>> I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia.>> Since the campaign, President Trump has downplayed his business ties with Russia. But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump. A Reuters review has found that 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought over $98 million worth of property in seven Trump branded luxury towers in Southern Florida.
Reuters investigative reporter Nathan Lane has the story.>> I think broadly we found kind of three groups of people. We found the people that you would consider kind of upper crust of Russian society, a very wealthy people. And the kind of the second group were kind of regional politicians that had become wealthy and wanted to invest in the US.
And the third group I should say, are kinda normal, I wouldn't say normal Russians, but Russians with a little bit of money but not necessarily very wealthy. But enough money to invest in property in the US.>> Trump struck a deal in 2001 with a local American developer named Gil Dezer to construct six luxury towers in the Florida beach town of Sunny Isles.
The properties would bear Trump's name, but be operated by Dezer under a licensing agreement.>> So typically what happens when you develop these properties and Trump puts his name on the property, he is getting a cut of the initial sale, a certain percentage 1, 2, 3%. We don't know exactly what the percentage was and that's not insignificant, I mean this is millions of dollars that is flowing to the Trump organization.
>> In interviews Russians who bought into the Trump buildings said they did so to safeguard their money from instability and corruption in Russia or because it was a good investment And there might be even more Russian money in his properties as Russian millionaires and billionaires sometimes buy condos through LLCs, which can shield your identity.
This all adds to the Russian intrigue swirling around Trump.>> In the mind of the public that is looking at the situation and wondering what exactly are his ties with Russia? I think this adds to the understanding of that and I think it will add to the ammunition of critiques pushing for him to disclose his tax return.
And just make as clear as possible what his ties with Russia really are.