WASHINGTON — On the defensive over connections being made between himself and Russia, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday repeatedly stated that he has no business ties with that country.

On Twitter and at a news conference in New York, Trump said, "I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we've stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia."

While Trump neither owns nor licenses his name to properties in Russia, it's not for lack of trying. He and his children have not "stayed away," as he said, but have regularly expressed interest in pursuing projects there since the Soviet era.

The dealings that Trump has had with Russian nationals have been transactional — selling a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch for $95 million, for example, or taking the Miss Universe beauty pageant to Moscow in 2013.

"Almost all the oligarchs were in the room," Trump said of the pageant visit in remarks to Real Estate Weekly. But though Trump and Russian developers have announced collaborations in the past, those never got off the ground.

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