Of all the sordid scandals of the Trump era, none is quite as salacious or mythologized as the elusive “pee tape.” First suggested by the now-infamous dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the story goes that Trump visited a hotel in Moscow where he paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had previously slept in.
Reportedly, Russian intelligence services had the room bugged and got the entire incident on video as blackmail.
President Trump insists that it never happened, and went so far as to tell former FBI Director James Comey that the pee tape couldn’t exist because while Trump did travel to Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant, he didn’t spend the night in Russia.
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“He said he arrived in the morning, did events, then showered and dressed for the pageant at the hotel. Afterwards, he returned only to get his things because they departed for New York by plane that same night,” wrote Comey in a memo detailing a meeting with the president.
Bloomberg has exposed Trump’s lie. Flight records, when taken in the context of existing reports of Trump’s trip in tandem with social media activity, show that — despite the president’s insistence to the contrary — he spent more than 24 hours in Russia.
Trump attended a birthday party in North Carolina for right-wing religious figure Billy Graham. Afterward, Trump’s personal plane returned to New York, but flight records indicate Trump himself was not on board. Instead, the reality television host hitched a ride to the capital of Russia on a plane owned by his business partner.
The plane landed at 6:15 a.m. on Friday, November 8th, reports Bloomberg. The airport was less than an hour from the Moscow Ritz-Carlton, where Trump was staying. He attended a birthday party later that night.
Facebook posts from the next day Saturday, November 9th, show that Trump was still at the Ritz. In the afternoon, in what is one of the clearest pieces of data debunking his current claims, Trump tweeted out that he had taken a tour of Moscow. In other words, Trump admitted at the time that he stayed more than 24 hours, and is only now claiming that he didn’t.
Trump attended the Miss Universe Pageant the night of the 9th followed by an after-party at 1 AM, meaning at that point November 10th had rolled around and he was still in Russia.
Bloomberg adds that after that afterparty, a very narrow, generous interpretation of his claims to Comey can be interpreted. The plane that he flew into the country on departed at 3:58 AM on Nov. 10th. It landed in New York early Sunday morning local time. That night, Trump tweeted about his trip to Russia. So Trump’s claim that he left shortly after the pageant is true, but it’s a lie that he didn’t spend the night in Russia.
Clearly, Trump lied about his stay. Why would he do that? If he really didn’t engage in the urinary sex acts suggested in the Steel dossier, why not admit he stayed in Russia and deny the pee tape itself? The more we learn, the more likely it appears that the pee tape may in fact exist.