Putin’s Mouthpiece Is Center Stage in the Mueller Investigation
Why own a $620,000 Richard Mille watch if you can’t show it off? If such was the reasoning of Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, it failed him. After he was photographed wearing the luxury timepiece at his extravagant August 2015 wedding, anti-corruption crusader Aleksei Navalny posted the photo on his website, which has thousands of Russian viewers daily, and pointed out that the price of the watch was four times Peskov’s annual government salary.
Navalny followed up with an exposé that purportedly showed Peskov honeymooning with his new bride, Olympic figure skater Tatiana Navka, on a yacht that leases for 350,000 euros (about $400,000) per week and later published photographs of Peskov’s luxury $7.1 million home in an elite Moscow suburb. (Peskov has referred to Navalny as a “sick narcissist with an inflated ego.”)
Now Peskov is again in hot water, this time because of his entanglement with the Robert Mueller probe and a recent plea agreement with Mueller by President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. In late August 2017, Cohen sent a letter to Senate and House intelligence committees stating that in January 2016 he had sent an email to Peskov inquiring about permissions for the building of a Trump tower in Moscow (the so-called Moscow project), but that he did not recall receiving an answer and had no further contact with the press secretary or other Russian officials about the matter. His further testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed what he said in the letter.