At least eight people attended Donald Trump Jr.’s now-infamous meeting last summer with a Russian attorney, according to new reports, double the number of participants previously disclosed.
When President Trump’s eldest son first acknowledged the June 2016 meeting on Monday this week he mentioned only three other attendees: Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and two members of Mr. Trump’s campaign, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
Two others have since stated publicly that they attended the meeting between Trump officials and Ms. Veselnitskaya, including the publicist who arranged the event, Rob Goldstone, and a Russian-American lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin.
A seventh person, translator Anatoli Samachornov, attended the meeting as well, The New York Times reported Friday, in addition to an eighth participant CNN described Friday as a representative for the Russian family who asked Mr. Goldstone to arrange the meeting.
The latest additions have done little to dismiss concerns raised ever since the Times first reported last Saturday that Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Manafort met with a Kremlin-linked attorney on June 9, 2016 per Mr. Goldstone’s request. The Times reported on Sunday that Mr. Trump had been promised damaging information on his father’s former rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and on Monday the president’s oldest son released an email exchange indicating the meeting was pitched on the premise of involving “very high level and sensitive information” concerning “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
“If it’s what you say I love it,” the younger Trump wrote in an email to Mr. Goldstone prior to meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya and company.
Details about the meeting emerged this week as investigators in the House, Senate and Justice Department continue to conduct separate probes concerning last year’s presidential election, particularly with respect to whether the Trump campaign colluded in any way with Russian actors.
“[W]hether the additional party or parties present during the meeting with these top Trump campaign personnel at the time Donald Trump had seized the nomination were connected directly with Russian intelligence or not, it is clear the Kremlin got the message that Donald Trump welcomed the help of the Russian government in providing dirt on Hillary Clinton,” Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s involvement in last year’s White House race, said Friday after Mr. Akhmetshin’s attendance at the meeting was revealed.
Neither representatives for the president nor his son responded to requests for comment Friday concerning the meeting and its updated roster, CNN reported. The White House has previously denied colluding with Russia, which the U.S. intelligence community blames with meddling in last year’s presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected that assessment as false and politically-charged.
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