This Trump "Pee Tape" Update Pokes Holes In What He Told James Comey
Well, it seems we have an update to President Trump's alleged "pee tape" story: According to various records obtained by Politico, Donald Trump did indeed spend the night in Moscow during the Miss Universe pageant in 2013. This is significant, given that Trump reportedly denied having stayed overnight in Russia when discussing the rumor with former FBI director James Comey in 2017. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment on how long Trump stayed in Russia during that weekend.
The release Comey's memoir, A Higher Loyalty, breathed new life into the unconfirmed report that Donald Trump, while visiting Russia as a private citizen in 2013, hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed that Barack Obama had once slept in — and that Russian intelligence may have recorded the incident. Trump and the White House deny all of this, and Comey — both in his memoir and recently-released memos from his time at the FBI — wrote extensively about his conversations with Trump on the topic.
Comey says that Trump repeatedly denied the pee tape allegation during several conversations the two had in early 2017. Importantly, Comey claims that Trump also denied having even spent night in Moscow during the weekend in question.
"[Trump] said that he arrived in the morning, did events, then showered and dressed for the pageant at the hotel (he didn't say the hotel name) and left for the pageant," Comey wrote in his memos after a meeting with Trump eight days after his inauguration. "Afterwards, he returned only to get his things because they departed for New York by plane that same night."
As Comey has noted, this wouldn't actually exonerate Trump, who could have easily partaken in the alleged incident without having spent the night in Russia. But according to Politico, travel records, congressional testimony and photographic evidence all suggest that Trump's claim was false, and that he did spend the night in Moscow during the Miss Universe pageant.
Politico obtained flight records from the Federal Aviation Administration, and they show that Trump landed at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow on a Friday — November 8th, 2013, to be exact — and didn't leave the country until the next Sunday morning. Those same flight records corroborate existing, and uncontested, reports about Trump's travels to and from other events around that same time, Politico reports.
Additionally, according to Politico, an upscale Russian restaurant posted a photo to Facebook of Trump reportedly posing with one of his Russian business partners, Emin Agalarov, during the visit. The post was published on November 8; Politico also pointed out that there was another picture of Trump reportedly posing at the pageant, this time with Nick Jonas (?) and Olivia Culpo, the winner of the contest.
According to Comey's memos, Trump told Comey that he flew into Moscow the morning of the pageant, which was on Saturday, and then left for New York later in the night. But both the flight records and the social media posts show that Trump was in Russia the day before the pageant as well, which would mean that he did indeed spend the night in Russia. The flight records in particular suggest that Trump stayed in Moscow for a total of three days before coming back home.
Finally, there's the testimony of Keith Schiller, Trump's longtime personal bodyguard, who testified in front of Congress behind closed doors in 2017. According to various media reports, Schiller told lawmakers that the Russian government offered to send "five women" to Trump's room during the 2013 visit, but Trump declined. Schiller reportedly added that he stood guard outside Trump's door for some time before going to sleep — implying that Trump did spend the night. Schiller's lawyer denies these reports, though, and said in a statement that the media's characterizations of Schiller's testimony are "false and misleading."
It's still unclear precisely what happened that weekend in Moscow. But if Trump did indeed mislead Comey, that could be of interest to another high-profile figure in the Russia investigation: Special counsel Robert Mueller.