June 17, 2015

In an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly the day after announcing his candidacy, Trump talks about how, as president, he’d push for friendlier relations with Putin.
“I would be willing to bet I would have a great relationship with Putin. It’s about leadership.”
September 25, 2015
Michael Cohen, in his capacity as executive vice president and special counsel for Donald Trump for the Trump Organization, forwards Felix Sater, a senior adviser to Trump, architectural renderings for a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. A little over an hour later, Cohen sends the same renderings to Andrey Rozov, a Russian real estate developer at a company called IC Expert.

September 29, 2015
Rozov’s financial adviser forwards a letter to Sater, originally sent to Cohen. The letter expresses the developer’s enthusiasm for building what would be the tallest skyscraper in Europe and attaches a PowerPoint presentation of previous projects. Rozov and his financial advisor did not respond to BuzzFeed News’s request for comment.

September 29, 2015

Trump gives high marks to Putin during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly:
“I think in terms of leadership he’s getting an ‘A’”
October 5, 2015
In an email to Sater, Cohen forwards the first version of a business document known as a letter of intent for what at the time was called Trump World Tower Moscow. The letter describes the proposed development of a 120-story “first class, luxury residential condominium with related amenities.”

October 6, 2015
Trump tells the radio host Michael Savage that he met Putin once “a long time ago” and that he “got along with him great.” Asked if Trump could “do business with Vladimir,” Trump responds “Yeah, I think I would get along very well.”
October 8, 2015
Sater sends a second version of the letter of intent to Michael Cohen and a lawyer from New York law firm Moses & Singer. According to the new revisions, the tower is now designated as “mixed use” rather than just condos. And a location has been picked: Moscow City, a former industrial zone now clustered with several of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe, perched on the Moscow River just three miles from the Kremlin.
October 9, 2015
Sater emails Cohen about a potential site to build the tower — and a potential link to Putin.

October 11, 2015

Trump is asked about similarities with Putin.
“I think that we are very different. I think that I would at the same time get along very well with him.”
October 12, 2015
Sater emails Cohen about VTB Bank, a US government–sanctioned Russian bank that Sater says might be willing to finance the tower development. "Now all we need is Putin," Sater says.

October 12, 2015
Three hours later, Cohen forwards Sater an email with the subject line “the residential Moscow.” Attached to the email is a deck about a 950-apartment development project from a Russian real estate firm, Platforma Investment Management.

October 13, 2015
A second version of the letter of intent gets Rozov’s signature. Sater says the deal could "help world peace and make a lot of money."

October 17, 2015
Days after receiving the signed letter of intent from the Moscow developer, Trump tweets a Washington Examiner story with the headline, “Putin loves Donald Trump.”

Donald J. Trump

Russia and the world has already started to respect us again!

October 21, 2015
The Trump Organization makes edits to the letter of intent. In a file attributed to a Trump Organization lawyer, Adam Rosen, color-coded line edits change the tower’s name from the Trump World Tower Moscow to simply Trump Moscow. The first installment of the up-front fee is bumped up from $100,000 to $900,000. And while the terms of the agreement are to be kept confidential by everyone involved, the edit makes a tweak that allows Trump himself to speak about the deal publicly. Reached by BuzzFeed News, the Trump Organization declined to comment.

October 28, 2015
A final version of the letter of intent gets the Russian developer’s signature, along with Donald Trump’s.

The day Trump signed the LOI was also the day of the third Republican primary debate.
November 2015
Ivanka Trump receives an unsolicited email from the wife of a Russian man, Dmitry Klokov. She puts Klokov, who says he is politically connected, in touch with Cohen. Klokov tells Cohen he could arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin to expedite the tower deal, saying, “There is no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the president of Russia],” according to Mueller’s sentencing memo against Cohen.

After this timeline was published, a spokesperson for Abbe Lowell, ethics counsel for Ivanka Trump, sent a statement. Noting that there was nothing wrong with considering real estate deals in Russia, it said, “Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site and, even internally, was only minimally involved.” The extent of her involvement, the statement said, was to remind Cohen of the Trump brand’s high standards and to suggest architects.
November 2, 2015
Cohen sends the final, signed letter of intent to Sater and IC Expert.

November 3, 2015

The day after the countersigned letter of intent is circulated, Trump holds a press conference at Trump Tower in New York City.
“I believe we will have a very good relationship with Russia. I believe that I will have a very good relationship with Putin.”
November 3, 2015
Less than an hour later, Sater emails Cohen saying that he is traveling to the Bahamas with the Russian developer, who has rented a private island for $175,000 for the two men and another individual who was linked to some of Putin’s oldest friends, the billionaire Rotenberg brothers. Sater tells Cohen to get him the video clip of Trump promising improved relations with Russia to share with Putin. “It will help our cause,” he writes.

December 1, 2015
Sater asks Cohen for copies of his passport so that he can arrange for visas to travel to Russia.

December 2, 2015
When asked about Sater’s history with organized crime and stock fraud, Trump responds, “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it.” He adds, “I’m not that familiar with him.” A Trump Organization lawyer, Alan Garten, says their business relationship started in 2010 and lasted only six months. Garten declined a request from BuzzFeed News for comment.
December 17, 2015
Putin praises Trump, calling him “talented” and saying “he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race.”

Putin: “He wants to move to a different level of relations, to more solid, deeper relations with Russia. And how can Russia not welcome that.”
December 17, 2015
Cohen emails Sater after a Google Alert about a news story describing Putin’s statements. Cohen writes: “Now is the time. Call me.”

December 18, 2015

Trump says he likes Putin’s praise of him and compliments Putin again, during an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country.”
December 18, 2015

More praise for Putin from Trump, this time on an Iowa radio show.
“I really believe that Russia and the United States can be a positive force together, as opposed to really working negatively with each other all the time.”
December 19, 2015
Sater says he is working with a former Russian military intelligence connection to help secure visas and make contact with Russian banks for investment. He asks Cohen for Trump’s passport, and claims they can use VTB Bank as a go-between to finally reach Putin. Reached for comment last week, a VTB spokesperson said that “VTB never held any negotiations on any matter relating to the construction of the Trump Tower.” Cohen sends Sater photos of his passport.

December 21 – December 30, 2015
Cohen and Sater argue over how long it’s taking to solidify the deal and secure the necessary financing.

Not you or anyone you know will embarass me in front of Mr. T when he asks me what is happening.
December 30, 2015
In response to Trump’s public claim that he barely knew Sater, Sater tells Cohen:

Story made me look really bad and I took it on the chin… It lasted 1 day because I kept my mouth shut for you and your team.
December 31, 2015
Sater texts Cohen a picture of a letter, this time an invitation from a smaller Russian bank called Genbank. Cohen expresses his extreme displeasure that the deal is taking so long, and that Sater is now sending him “a bullshit letter from a 3rd tier bank.”

Bullshit letter from a 3rd tier bank and you think in going to walk into the boss' office and tell him I'm going there for this? Tell them no thank you and I will take it from here.
January 14, 2016
Cohen emails Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov’s office, asking about the Trump Moscow Project, according to the criminal information that the special counsel filed against Cohen.
January 16, 2016
Cohen emails Peskov’s office again.
January 20, 2016
Cohen receives an email from Peskov’s assistant, asking him to call her back. They speak on the phone for 20 minutes about the Trump Moscow project, and Cohen requests assistance in securing the land and financing the construction of the tower. In this conversation, as BuzzFeed News has previously reported, Cohen tells the aide the Trump Organization plans to give the tower’s $50 million penthouse to Putin. The Kremlin did not respond to a request for comment.
January 21, 2016
According to the criminal information filed against Cohen, the next day Sater writes to Cohen: “It’s about [the president of Russia] they called today.”
January 25, 2016
Cohen receives an invitation to Moscow from Andrey Ryabinskiy, a Russian boxing promoter and real estate developer, to visit various land plots in the city. Ryabinskiy did not respond to a request from BuzzFeed News for comment.

Sater continues pushing for dates when Trump can break off from the campaign trail to travel to Russia and meet Putin.

January 26, 2016
Sater and Cohen continue to make plans to travel to Russia with Trump.

Since you gave DT dates, you can do anytime that’s good for you in February or March. Completely your call, either way it’s set they are waiting and will walk you into every office you need to make sure you are comfortable for DT trip.
February 17, 2016
At a rally in South Carolina, Trump is asked about Putin again. “I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius,” Trump says. “He said, ‘Donald Trump is a genius and he’s going to be the leader of the party and he’s going to be the leader of the world and something, he said some good stuff about me.”
“I think I’d have a good relationship with Putin, who knows...If we got along with Russia, that would be sort of nice, wouldn’t it?”
January – May 2016
Sater and Cohen temporarily move their discussions about the project to the encrypted messaging app Dust, according to Sater’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Prior to pleading guilty to lying to Congress, Cohen had testified that their discussions on the project officially ended in January 2016.)
May 3 – May 4, 2016
Sater and Cohen discuss whether Trump’s trip to Russia should happen before or after the Republican National Convention. Cohen says Trump should travel after “he becomes the nominee after the convention.”

I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention.
May 5 – May 6, 2016
Sater says Cohen will be invited to “Russia’s Davos,” the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in hopes of meeting Putin. Sater claims the invite is being handed down by Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.

Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia's Davos it's June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev, as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well.
May 26, 2016
Trump earns enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
June 9, 2016
Senior campaign figures, including Donald Trump Jr., attend a meeting with a Russian lawyer and lobbyist in Trump Tower on the promise of “dirt” about Hillary Clinton. Just days before, Rob Goldstone, who had helped arrange the meeting, told Trump Jr.: “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump.”
June 9, 2016
Sater writes Cohen about preparations for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and names a date for a possible meeting with Putin.

I am filing out the badges for the St. Pete economic forum for you...Putin is there on the 17th very strong chance you will meet him as well
June 13, 2016
Sater forwards Cohen the official invitations from the Roscongress Foundation, the group that organizes the Forum. Sater also sends Cohen a visa application.

June 14, 2016
“Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.
June 14, 2016
A representative from Roscongress sends Sater a support letter to expedite Cohen’s visa. Later that morning, he forwards the invite to Cohen. Roscongress did not respond to a detailed request for comment.

Later that afternoon, Cohen and Sater meet in the atrium at Trump Tower in New York. Sater will later recall in an interview with BuzzFeed News that this meeting was when Cohen told him the Trump Tower Moscow deal was off.

No. Atrium snack bar
Coming down
July 18 – July 21, 2016

Trump officially becomes the Republican presidential nominee at the GOP convention in Cleveland.
July 22, 2016
WikiLeaks starts publishing DNC emails that US intelligence agencies have since said were hacked by Russia.
July 24, 2016
ABC asks Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort whether “there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime.” Manafort replies, “No, there are not. That’s absurd. And, you know, there’s no basis to it.”
July 26, 2016
Trump emphatically proclaims that he has no investments in Russia.

Donald J. Trump

For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.
November 29, 2018
Cohen pleads guilty to charges of lying to Congress about the Trump Moscow project. The same day, Trump tells reporters, “There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won” the presidential election, “in which case I would have gotten back into the business. And why should I lose lots of opportunities?”