What a coincidence according to Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin, a journalist who has been been one of the more outspoken ones in demanding intervention against Assad, that a billionaire businessman with a global hotel chain would have ever wished to explore business opportunities in Russia.
In a 1997 New Yorker profile, Trump talked about his trips to Russia to explore having the Trump Organization take part in skyscraper and hotel development projects in Moscow, including the reconstruction of the Moskva and Rossiya Hotels.
“That’s a very big project; I think it’s the largest hotel in the world,” Trump told Russian politician Alexander Ivanovich Lebed at the time. “And we’re working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow and the mayor’s people. So far, they’ve been very responsive.”
Negotiations over the two hotels eventually fizzled, but in 2008 the Trump Organization was at it again, announcing it planned to build elite residences and hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, and license the Trump brand for other projects. Donald Trump Jr., the candidate’s son, made the announcement in a speech at the 2008 “Real Estate in Russia” conference.
Mitt Romney’s. From the NYT in 2012:
But while in Moscow, Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.
Matt Romney traveled to Moscow with Gary B. Sabin, the chairman and chief executive of Excel Trust, which is based in San Diego. Greg Davis, the firm’s vice president of capital markets and communications, said the trip was unrelated to the campaign.
“It is a harmless trip,” Mr. Davis said. “It was a trip that has been planned for some time. Any travel they’ve done on behalf of Excel is strictly on the private side. It would have nothing to do with anything governmental.”
Excel is a real estate investment trust that focuses on shopping centers largely in states from California to Florida and up to Pennsylvania. By distributing 90 percent or more of its taxable income in the form of a dividend, it helps investors avoid double taxation under the law, Mr. Davis said.
Or maybe not. In yet another striking coincidence, on the website of the Emergency Committee for Israel, Josh Rogin is listed seventh on the “leaderboard” of journalists who have earned the most “political capital” (howsoever they measure that).