NEW YORK — In a sit-down interview released Friday, First daughter Ivanka Trump said she had nearly no knowledge of plans to construct a Trump tower in Moscow while her father Donald Trump was campaigning for president, a project that has come under scrutiny in the Russia investigation.
“Literally almost nothing,” Ivanka Trump told ABC News’ Abby Huntsman. “We were an active business.”
Ivanka stressed that “there was never a binding contract” on the project, which raises questions as special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election.
“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,” she said. “Nobody visited it to see if it was worth our time, so this was not exactly like an advanced project.”
The president’s eldest daughter and senior White House adviser downplayed talks with Russia compared hypothetically to Iran.
“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, and we weren’t even advanced enough that anyone had even visited the prospective project site,” she said.
Ivanka concluded: “So it really was just a non-factor in our minds. I’m not sure that anyone would have thought of it.”
The proposed deal hit the spotlight in November when the president’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen admitted he lied to the House and Senate Intelligence committees about the timeline of his work on the Moscow project.
Cohen initially said his talks around the project ended in January 2016 before the crucial Iowa caucuses, but admitted they extended behind that. Prosecutors alleged that Cohen stayed on the project as late as June 2016, as Donald Trump was securing the Republican presidential nominee.
Huntsman, who co-hosts The View, asked Ivanka, “Are you concerned about anyone in your life that you love being involved?”
“I’m not. I’m really not,” the first daughter replied.
Ivanka appears less concerned than her older brother Donald Trump Jr., who attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, that Mueller is investigating.
“I know that I’m not worried about anything I actually did,” Trump Jr. told USA Today in October. “That doesn’t mean they don’t totally fabricate all of this stuff at this point.”