The "pee tape" allegation surrounding President Donald Trump may sound absurd. But it’s been getting some serious scrutiny, thanks to recently reported conversations between the president of the United States and his former FBI Director James Comey.
According to Comey, Trump repeatedly insisted he couldn’t possibly have been videotaped watching prostitutes pee on each other during a trip to Moscow in 2013 because the trip to was so short that he hardly visited his own hotel room.
But that claim isn’t holding up to publicly available information. And on Monday, Bloomberg revealed the most recent wrinkle: Flight records indicate that Trump arrived in the Russian capital on Friday and stayed through Sunday morning.
The notorious and still far-from-confirmed claim first emerged from Christopher Steele’s dossier. Trump himself has forcefully denied the allegation, and has even cited his aversion to germs in doing so. But speculation has refused to die, and the release of Comey’s memos last week raised fresh questions around Trump’s alibi and the precise timeline of his trip to Moscow in November 2013 for the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant.
According to Comey’s memos of his private conversations with the president last year, Trump claimed he couldn’t have been filmed in a hotel room watching what Trump called the “golden showers thing” because he arrived early in the morning on the day of the pageant, and left shortly after it finished.
The flight details appear to indicate otherwise.
Trump borrowed his friend and business partner Phil Ruffin’s Global 5000 private jet for the trip to Moscow, according to The New York Times.
Bloomberg, which bought the flight records from an aviation data company called FlightAware, reported that Ruffin’s jet flew from Las Vegas to Asheville, North Carolina, on Nov. 6, 2013.
The next day — Thursday, Nov. 7 — Trump was widely seen attending a birthday tribute to the evangelist Billy Graham in Asheville. Later that same evening, Ruffin’s jet took off from Asheville bound for Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport. The Bombardier jet landed in Moscow on Friday, Nov. 8, at a time unspecified in the records, according to Bloomberg.
Social media posts still up on Facebook and Instagram line up with the flight records: Moscow’s swanky Nobu Moscow posted a picture of Trump on Facebook on Friday, Nov. 8, taken outside in daylight. In that picture, Trump poses alongside Emin Agalarov, the young pop star from Azerbaijan who helped Trump bring the beauty pageant to Moscow. Emin, on his own Instagram, posted the same picture that Friday.
The pageant itself was held Saturday, and Trump reportedly told Comey he left shortly after it concluded. According to flight records, the jet took off from Vnukovo airport at 3:58 a.m. Moscow time on Sunday a.m. The jet touched down at Newark Liberty International Airport, just outside New York City, on Sunday morning at 4:11 a.m. local time, according to the flight records.
Cover image: Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler, from Venezuela, left, and pageant owner Donald Trump, of the United States, point to each other while posing for a photo after the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)