Report: Former Soviet Officer Turned American Lobbyist Was in Meeting with Trump Jr., Russian Lawyer
There is another new wrinkle in the story that has dominated the American news cycle in the past week, the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had with a woman he was told was a “Russian government lawyer” in June 2016.
NBC News reports that in addition to Trump Jr. being flanked by Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had backup, too.
According to a new report from NBC News, Veselnitskaya was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who had served in Soviet military counterintelligence before emigrating to the United States. NBC is not naming the man, who is denying current involvement with Russian intelligence, but Veselnitskaya did say she was joined by a man she wouldn't name.
Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Trump Jr., spoke to NBC, seemingly confirming the basic framework of the story at first:
“It’s very simple. The person was described as a friend of Emin [Agalarov]’s and maybe as a friend of Natalia’s...He is a U.S. citizen. He told me specifically he was not working for the Russian government, and in fact laughed when I asked him that question...For the purpose of security or otherwise, the names were reviewed...I have absolutely no concerns about what was said in that meeting.”
On Tuesday, Sean Hannity asked Trump Jr. in an interview broadcast on Fox News if he had met with any other Russians during his father's presidential campaign.
He responded that he had not “in the context of actual — a formalized meeting or anything like that.”