Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The ‘International Man of Mystery’ Linked to Flynn’s Lobbying Deal

by Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica

Image of [C]ultural attaché in public diplomacy”Baronoff is from article, with caption (in Russian) "The Russian Hand of Donald Trump"; by all indications Baronoff is not related to President Trump's youngest son Barron

Dmitri “David” Zaikin made Russian energy deals with powerful officials, advised Eastern European parties drifting toward Russia, brokered condos at Toronto’s Trump Tower, and teamed up with the guy who hired Michael Flynn.


Zaikin started getting more involved in Eastern European and American politics, he and his wife repeatedly met with a friend named Elena Baronoff who worked with the Trump Organization to sell condos in Florida.

On social media, Zaikin and Baronoff discussed plans to meet and posted photos of themselves dining out in London. In October 2013, Zaikin posted back-to-back photos of himself and Baronoff with the chef of a French restaurant in the posh Mayfair neighborhood. Two weeks later, he tweeted a photo of his wife and Baronoff hugging with the comment, “It was warm like in Miami.”
On another apparent visit, in July 2014, Baronoff posted to Instagram a photo of herself and Zaikin’s wife, Yana, on a London sidewalk and then a photo of the lobby of a five-star hotel captioned, “with love to Yana and David Zaikin.”
Baronoff was born in Russia, earned degrees in journalism and mass communication, and served as an official “cultural attaché in public diplomacy” for the Russian government at an unspecified time, she said in interviews and bios. In 1989, she moved to Iowa, then Florida.
Starting with little means, Baronoff became a travel agent and later a real estate agent. She wrote on LinkedIn that her diplomatic training was key to her success in “marketing and building the brand of high-end luxury condominiums under the Trump brand.”
By 2004, Baronoff was Trump’s on-site director of customer relations for the Trump Grande near Miami. She was photographed with Trump and his daughter Ivanka and celebrated on the cover story of The Women’s City magazine as “Donald Trump’s Russian hand.”
As the exclusive agent for the Trump Grande development, Baronoff sold 44 units to Russian buyers, according to an analysis by Reuters. An undated photo surfaced on Twitter showing Baronoff in Moscow with Trump’s children Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr.

NEW Photo: Ivanka, Don & Eric Trump in Russia 🔥this is 1st photo ever released of Eric there.

Uncovered by @pacelattin  
Last month, Trump released a letter from his lawyers saying any of his firm’s transactions with Russians were “immaterial,” though Donald Trump Jr. said in 2008 that the company was seeing “a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Baronoff fell ill while traveling to Turkey in 2014 and was diagnosed with leukemia. She died in 2015. Following her burial, her family received visitors at the Trump International Beach Resort. ...