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Putin-Linked U.S. Banker Sought Access to Trump Transition Team: ABC News

An American banker who’s said to have close ties with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle sought access to Donald Trump’s transition team the week after the 2016 election, ABC News reports. Mark Burnett, the executive producer of The Apprentice and a close Trump friend, reportedly contacted one of Trump’s closest advisers nine days after the election to see if he would meet Russia-linked banker Robert Foresman. Foresman lived for years in Moscow, led a $3 billion Russian investment fund, and has been described by his company as having connections to Putin’s inner circle. He’s reported to have been scheduled to meet Thomas Barrack, the chairman of what would become Trump’s inaugural fund, but the meeting was later canceled. However, he did meet Sergei Gorkov, the chairman of a state-owned Russian development bank that December—the same banker who flew from Moscow to New York for one day that month to meet Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to Foresman saying the Senate Intelligence Committee “has reason to believe that you sought to engage the Trump campaign in discussions concerning outreach from senior Kremlin officials.”