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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Put a pin in your Trump map to mark Manhattan's Grand Havana Room cigar bar

It's where Paul Manafort allegedly handed off internal campaign polling data on Aug. 2, 2016, during dinner with his deputy and a third man, an associate federal officials link to Russian intelligence.

A view of the 666 Fifth Ave. skyscraper,

A view of the 666 Fifth Ave. skyscraper, which houses the Grand Havana Room, is seen in 2017 in midtown Manhattan. Photo Credit: AP/Richard Drew

The Grand Havana Room happens to sit high up in the office building at 666 Fifth Ave. that presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner purchased for a head-turning $1.8 billion in 2007 as head of a family firm.

For years the members-only cigar bar has provided a hangout for President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who's even been known to trade nods of recognition there with his old nemesis the Rev. Al Sharpton.

That the locale comes up in Trump-related news this week is probably a fluke.

But the club, where individual members pay a one-time $3,000 fee and then $200 per month to belong, adorns any list of relevant sites in the administration's brief history, although Trump is no cigar smoker.

Paul Manafort, who was Trump's campaign chairman in 2016, met there for dinner on Aug. 2, 2016, with his then-deputy Rick Gates and operative Konstantin Kilimnik, whom federal officials tie to Russian intelligence.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, working with special counsel Robert Mueller, has told a judge that this huddle goes "very much to the heart of what the special counsel's office is investigating." The trio reportedly discussed a proposal regarding embattled Ukraine. And Manafort allegedly handed off internal campaign polling data for some reason.

Two years later, Manafort would be convicted on financial fraud charges related to his paid consulting for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. Other charges resulted in a plea deal, but this week, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that he "made multiple false statements" to the FBI, Mueller and a grand jury.

That's how the cigar-bar meeting arises anew as a subject of interest.

Not that the Trump crew calls all the shots at the Grand Havana Room even if it sits only three short blocks down Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower, where the campaign was headquartered.

One Grand Havana board member is actor Alec Baldwin, whose unflattering mimicry of Trump on "Saturday Night Live" prompted critical wailing from the president on Twitter.

Still, Baldwin described the place to The New Yorker magazine last year as “Republican Manhattan — Wall Street guys, Yankees fans, Rudy’s people.”

Publicity for the club on its website boasts of "panoramic views of New York City from the penthouse floor of its prestigious mid-town location."

"Here, members have the opportunity to enjoy camaraderie, entertain clients and friends, conduct business meetings, and smoke cigars in a refined and relaxed atmosphere."

Even from a distance, the club exudes nothing close to Trump-rally populism.

Its other location, the flagship, is in Beverly Hills, California.

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