Ivanka Trump said in a new interview that she has “zero concern” about the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and sought to play down the significance of a prospective Moscow real estate deal that the Trump Organization pursued while her father was running for president.
“I’m not, I’m really not,” said Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, when asked during an interview with ABC News if she was concerned about any of her “loved ones” being caught up in Mueller’s probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election campaign.
“I have zero concern,” she said.
Ivanka Trump asserted that the pursuit of a Trump Tower project in Russia during the 2016 campaign is a facet of the Mueller investigation that has been overblown.
“There’s nothing there, yet it’s weeks and weeks and months of headlines,” she said.
As part of a plea deal with Mueller, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen acknowledged that the pursuit of the project continued well into 2016, longer than he had previously acknowledged, raising questions about whether Moscow had leverage over Trump. Cohen also said that he had kept the president and his children apprised of progress on the deal, which never materialized.
Ivanka Trump, who worked for the Trump Organization, told ABC that she “barely” knew about the prospective deal. “Literally almost nothing,” she said.
“There was never a binding contract,” Ivanka Trump said. “I never talked to the — with a third party outside of the organization about it. It was one of — I mean we could have had 40 or 50 deals like that, that were floating around, that somebody was looking at. Nobody visited it to see if it was worth our time. So this was not exactly like an advanced project.”
Ivanka Trump also noted that several major hotel chains have properties in Russia.
“It’s not like it’s a strange thing, as a hospitality company or a development company, to have a hotel or a property in Russia,” she said. “We’re not talking about Iran. It was Russia. And we weren’t even advanced enough that anyone had even visited the prospective project site. So it really was just a non-factor in our minds. I’m not sure that anyone would have thought of it.”
In his plea deal in November, Cohen said he knowingly gave false answers in 2017 to the Senate and House intelligence committees about the Trump Tower project to minimize links between the proposed development and Donald Trump as his presidential bid was gaining steam.
Trump has repeatedly said he had no business dealings in Russia, tweeting in July 2016, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia,” and telling reporters in January 2017 that he had no deals there because he had “stayed away.”
Devlin Barrett contributed to this report.