Rob Goldstone, the music producer who set up the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, revealed details about the communications between the Russians and the Trump campaign that he shared with the special counsel investigation, NBC News reported Monday.
Mr. Goldstone said he set up the meeting between Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veslenitskaya after being asked by Emin Agalarov, who he was working for at the time, on behalf of his father Aras Agalarov, according to the report.
The music publicist said he wrote up a quick email “in about three minutes” to the eldest Trump son while “puffing” up the damaging information the Russians had on Hillary Clinton, candidate Trump’s political rival. Mr. Goldstone told NBC News that Mr. Trump Jr. was happy to accept information that could have helped his father.
After that initial email, Mr. Goldstone said that “a series of calls” between Mr. Trump Jr., and Emin Agalarov actually made sure the meeting went through.
“I don’t know what was discussed,” Mr. Goldstone told NBC News. “What I do believe is that it is almost [incredible] to think that this conversation or these conversations could have taken place without discussion of funding, Russian funding, illegal funding, Democrats, Hillary, and it being of use to the campaign.”
Mr. Trump Jr. has denied speaking with Emin Agalarov, and a lawyer for the Agalarov family said his clients were not involved.
Emin Agalarov and his father continued to pressure Mr. Goldstone to set up additional meetings in the following months after Donald Trump became president, he said. He does not believe any additional meetings ever took place.
The June meeting between the key Trump campaign officials and the Russian lawyer is part of the Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Americans and foreign agents to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Several Russians were indicted in July because of the probe for hacking the Democratic National Committee.
Mr. Goldstone said the Mueller team was concerned with the connections between the Kremlin, the Agalarovs and the Trump campaign.
He also told investigators about the president’s 2012 trip to Russia and said it was “not beyond the realm of possibility” that they have something to hold over his head, NBC News reported.
Mr. Goldstone told NBC News he suspects that the president knew about the meeting because top campaign officials — Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Mr. Trump Jr. — were all involved. The music publicist said those three should have known better than to accept the meeting.
“People have said to me, ‘Shouldn’t I have known?’ ” Mr. Goldstone said, NBC reported. “Well, shouldn’t they have known? I know nothing about politics, I set up a meeting. Shouldn’t they have known?”
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