Magazine Posts Memo Brought By Russian Lawyer To Trump Tower Meeting

Yury Martyanov/Kommersant
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Foreign Policy magazine Monday published an English translation of a memo Kremlin-linked attorney Natasha Veselnitskaya took to a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a group of Trump campaign associates, including Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The memo — which was provided to Foreign Policy by the Crimea-based Russian news organization News Front — focuses on attacking the claims of Bill Browder, a major foe of Vladimir Putin, and the Russian sanctions legislation that he advocated for, known as the Magnitsky Act.

The memo includes no mention of Hillary Clinton and its main discussion of internal U.S. politics is about a hearing on a Russian sanctions bill that was ultimately signed into law. It instead focuses on the case for repealing the Magnitsky Act and for doubting Bowder’s claims — a case for which Veselnitskaya is well known for in her lobbying efforts. Adoption—which President Trump and his son first claimed was the subject of the meeting — is only mentioned once and in the context of the ban on Americans adopting Russian children that Russia imposed in retaliation for the sanctions.

Veselnitskaya confirmed the authenticity of the memos in an phone interview with Foreign Policy and said it was the set of talking points that she used not just in the Trump Tower meeting, but in her various discussions while in the United States.

The meeting has come under intense scrutiny of the various Russia investigations, particularly after Donald Trump Jr. released emails leading up to the meeting that showed him being promised by Rob Goldstone, a Trump family acquaintance, information that “would incriminate Hillary” Clinton.

A lawyer for Aras Agalarov and his son Emin — who also were involved in arranging the meeting  — told Foreign Policy that a “bit of a game of telephone” was to blame for the discrepancy between Veselnitskaya’s talking points for the meeting and what was promised to Donald Trump Jr. in the emails leading up to it.

Read the full memo at Foreign Policy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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