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Ivanka Trump reportedly connected Michael Cohen to a Russian weightlifter who said he could arrange a meeting with Putin

Key Points
  • Ivanka Trump reportedly connected Trump's embattled lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to a Russian weightlifter in 2015 who said he could introduce Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Champion heavyweight weightlifter Dmitry Klokov reportedly offered to set up the meeting to help facilitate the construction of the 100-story Trump World Tower Moscow.
  • Cohen, who reportedly exchanged at least two emails and one phone call with the athlete, declined the assistance, according to Buzzfeed.
Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump talks during a panel at the W20 Summit in Berlin on April 25, 2017. The conference aims at building support for investment in women's economic empowerment programs
Maurizio Gambarini | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ivanka Trump connected President Donald Trump's embattled lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to a Russian weightlifter in 2015 who said he could introduce Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Buzzfeed News report that cites four sources.

Ivanka Trump is the president's elder daughter and an advisor in the White House.

Champion heavyweight weightlifter Dmitry Klokov reportedly offered to set up the meeting to help facilitate the construction of the 100-story Trump World Tower Moscow, according to the report. Cohen, who reportedly exchanged at least two emails and one phone call with the athlete, declined the assistance, according to Buzzfeed.

Cohen is currently being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York.

In a text message to CNBC on Wednesday, Klokov appeared to deny contacting Cohen.

"no, i don't know what are you talking about," Klokov wrote. "i'm just a weightlifter not political."

Asked whether he knew or had ever spoken to Ivanka Trump, Klokov responded: "no."

Peter Mirijanian, spokesperson for Abbe Lowell, Trump's ethics counsel, told CNBC that Trump was minimally involved in the planning for the tower.

"Ms. Trump did not know and never spoke to Dmitriy Klokov. She received an unsolicited email from his wife (who she also did not know) and passed it on to Michael Cohen who she understood was working on any possible projects in Russia. She did no more than that," Mirijanian said in a statement.

An assistant for Michael Cohen's attorney, Stephen M. Ryan, told CNBC that the lawyer was unavailable to comment because he was in a meeting. Ryan declined to comment to Buzzfeed.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

The giant building project in Moscow, which was ultimately abandoned, was underway well into Trump's campaign for president. It has raised questions about the potential conflicts of interest facing a president with unprecedented foreign business ties.

Trump has repeatedly denied any conflicts of interest and has handed control of the Trump Organization to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr.

Trump's Moscow project came under further scrutiny following the publication of emails sent by one of Trump's business associates, Felix Sater, about the project.

"Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it," Sater wrote in a 2015 email published by The New York Times. "I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process."

Sater also claimed in the email that he would be able to get Ivanka Trump a seat in Putin's "private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin."

It is not clear how Ivanka Trump came into contact with Klokov, or whether he would have been able to set up a meeting with Trump had Cohen not refused.

Congressional investigators working for the Senate Intelligence Committee have reviewed emails between Cohen and Klokov, according to two of the sources cited by Buzzfeed. Two other sources told the website that the special counsel has also reviewed the emails.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, declined a request for comment from CNBC. A spokesperson for the Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment.

Read the full report from Buzzfeed News.