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Viktor Vekselberg
Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg |

3. Russian magnate met with Michael Cohen days before Trump's inauguration

The New York Times and CNN both reported that just 11 days before Trump's presidential inauguration in January 2017, Cohen met with Vekselberg, who has ties to the Kremlin, at Cohen's office in Trump Tower in New York City.

According to Columbus Nova CEO Andrew Intrater, who was involved in the meeting, the two reportedly discussed how to strengthen Russian-U.S. relations under the Trump administration.

A source who spoke to CNN explained that the meeting was short and that Vekselberg was not originally scheduled to attend.

It was days after the inauguration that Columbus Nova gave Cohen a $1 million consulting contract. Intrater assured that Vekselberg had no role in the company's decision to hire Cohen.

"Obviously, if I'd known in January 2017 that I was about to hire this high-profile guy who'd wind up in this big mess, I wouldn't have introduced him to my biggest client, and wouldn't have hired him at all," Intrater was quoted as saying.

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