Top Trump Organization executives endorse controversial “Russia-gate” figure Felix Sater on business networking website LinkedIn
As the federal investigation into Russia’s alleged election meddling heats up, a controversial Moscow-born real estate investor and former “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump” is back in the spotlight.
Felix Sater gained notoriety during the 2016 election when his criminal past became a focal point for journalists investigating Trump’s business ties to Russia.
Sater (right) at the launch of Trump SoHo (source)
In the mid-to-late 2000s, Sater collaborated with Trump on a number of high-profile development projects, including the troubled Trump SoHo hotel-condominium in Lower Manhattan.
After his collaborative work with Trump, Sater is best known for stabbing a man in the neck with a broken margarita glass, and for his involvement in a $40 million mafia-linked racketeering scheme that robbed two elderly holocaust survivors of their savings (when the couple tried to recoup their money, Sater threatened to sue).
In recent years, Trump has sought to distance himself from his former business partner, and in a 2013 video deposition for a civil lawsuit testified that “if [Sater] were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.”
However, recent reports by The New York Times suggest Trump has an ongoing relationship with Sater reaching far beyond the now-president’s business empire.
In a 2015 e-mail, Sater promised Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen that he would engineer a real estate deal with the aid of Russian president, Vladimir Putin, which he said would help Trump win the presidency.
Earlier this year, Sater met with Cohen to discuss a plan to lift sanctions against Russia. Cohen subsequently hand-delivered the proposals to the office of then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
Now new details have emerged that shed light on Trump’s shadowy relationship to Sater, whose LinkedIn profile states that he worked for The Trump Organization as a “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump” between 2010 and 2011.
According to LinkedIn, no fewer than four top executives who were “Felix’s colleagues at The Trump Organization,” including executive vice president and counsel George A. Sorial, have endorsed Sater using the site.
Sorial, sometimes referred to as Trump’s “right-hand man,” endorsed Sater in the categories of “Real Estate,” “Real Estate Development,” and “Due Diligence.”
Sater’s other endorsements include former senior advisor to Trump, Michael Boccio; former vice president of The Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Matthew Brimhall; and former Trump Organization purchasing director, Sid Leibowitz.
Tying together his business and political interests, Sater’s Linkedin profile also includes two noteworthy congratulatory posts about his former boss.
The first, from May 4, 2016:
And the second, from November 11, 2016: