While we may never know what was said during the call, Alex Holder has claimed that Donald Trump made a mysterious call to Russian President Vladimir Putin just before the 2020 presidential election, a British filmmaker told Politico.
Alex Holder, who was filming Trump and his family for a documentary in the months before the Capitol riot, told the outlet that he had been scheduled to film an interview with Trump on October 25, 2020.
That interview was abruptly cancelled on the day, Holder said.
“My memory is that the chief of staff sort of came over and said that the interview couldn’t happen today because the president was on the phone,” Holder told Politico.
“I believe, if I remember correctly, that he said that he was on the phone to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, which is why the interview had to be postponed.”
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider on the apparent call. No official read out of such a call was ever made public.
On the day of the apparent call, Trump was busy campaigning in New England. Holder said the call to Putin was made while on a flight from New Hampshire to Maine.
Politico noted that at the time Trump was pushing baseless claims that his opponent in the election, Joe Biden, had profited from dubious business deals his son, Hunter Biden, had made in Ukraine and Moscow.
Putin that day had dismissed the allegation, and was quoted in Russian state media reports just before the alleged call saying that he saw no evidence of criminality in Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and Russia.
Trump’s relationship with Putin has long been a source of rumor and controversy.
It was the subject of a lengthy investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who ultimately found that evidence did not substantiate charges Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
Mueller though did conclude that Russia sought to help Trump win that election. In 2021, a US intelligence report found that Russia had sought to influence the election by channeling damaging disinformation about Biden through Trump allies.
Holder has handed over months of interviews he filmed with Trump and his family to the House committee investigating Trump’s attempt to overturn his 2020 defeat. The existence of the tapes reportedly surprised Trump aides, who only learnt of them when they were subpoenaed by the House committee this week.