The list of participants at a pivotal June 2016 meeting between senior members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer said to have dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s efforts to help Trump, with CNN reporting on Friday that the number of known attendees had reached a total of “at least eight.”
Some of those present have confirmed their attendance at the Trump Tower meeting, arranged by a Trump family acquaintance, British publicist Rob Goldstone, who told Donald Trump, Jr. that his contact had information of great value to the campaign. Others remain nameless, for now.
The known participants include Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, Goldstone, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who Goldstone told Trump Jr. possessed this highly sensitive information, has also confirmed her attendance, although she denies discussing the U.S. election and having any connection to the Russian government.
Another attendee made himself known on Friday: Rinat Akhmetsin, a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who had teamed up with Veselnitskaya to lobby against a U.S. sanctions bill that resulted in Russian President Vladimir Putin banning American adoptions of Russian children. Both Akhmetsin and Veselnitskaya have said the meeting focused on the adoption issue.
CNN reported that the Trump Tower meeting was even more crowded, however. A source familiar with the sit-down told CNN that at least two other people, who were not named, were in attendance. One was a translator and the other was a representative of the powerful Russian family close to Putin who asked Goldstone to arrange the meeting with Trump Jr., according to the report.
Arav Agalarov, a real estate magnate, and his pop star son, Emin, helped Trump put on a Miss Universe competition in Moscow in 2013, and teamed up with him to create a Trump-branded tower in Moscow that was ultimately never built.
In his initial email to Trump Jr., Goldstone said that Emin Agalarov requested he hold a meeting with a lawyer who had “very high level and sensitive information” that is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump—helped along by Aras and Emin.”