Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Mueller Probes $150K Payment To Trump From Ukrainian Jewish Billionaire

(JTA) — Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating a payment to President Donald Trump’s foundation from a Ukrainian steel magnate who, among other things, has supported the resurgence of the country’s Jewish community.

Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, is looking into a $150,000 donation made by Viktor Pinchuk to the Trump Organization, The New York Times reported, citing “three people briefed on the matter.” The payment was made in exchange for a video appearance by Trump at a 2015 conference sponsored by the Ukrainian oligarch and was solicited by Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer whose hotel room was raided on Monday by investigators, according to The Times.

Pinchuk is the founder of Interpipe Group, one of Ukraine’s major steel producers, and has a net worth of $1.44 billion, according to Forbes. His wife, Elena, is the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

A former head of the division of the Internal Revenue Service division that oversees tax-exempt organizations told The Times that the payment was “an unusual amount of money” for a 20-minute appearance.

The donation “is curious because it comes during a campaign and is from a foreigner and looks like an effort to buy influence,” Marcus Owens told The Times.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.