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Russian State-Run Bank Financed Deal To Help Trump Tower Project In Toronto

Russia's state-run bank financed a deal in 2010 to help the financially troubled Trump International Hotel and Tower project in Toronto.

The bank, called Vnesheconombank (VEB), has been identified by analysts as a funding source for projects politically important to the Russian government, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto
Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto

President Donald Trump broke ground on the Toronto project with his joint venture partner, Russian-Canadian developer Alexander Shnaider, just prior to the financial crisis in 2007. In 2010, with the project suffering from financial troubles, Schnaider’s company, Midland Resources Holding, sold its interest in a Ukranian Steelmaker to an unknown buyer for $850M, a deal both initiated and financed by VEB.

Schnaider used $15M in proceeds from the sale to help finance the Toronto project, the Journal reports. 

Trump said in February that to his knowledge, no person he has dealt with had dealings with Russia.

The Trump Organization told the WSJ that Trump had no financial dealings with VEB on the Toronto project, which sold to its main debt holder in March. The company's statement also said its only involvement with the project included licensing the Trump brand and managing the hotel and residences. Trump Toronto Hotel Management Corp. has collected at least $611K from the partnership since 2015. 

This is not the first time the Trump administration has been tied to VEB. The president’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, met with the head of VEB, Sergey Gorkov, in December, a month after the Toronto project went into receivership.