Former Trump Adviser Says Campaign Never Discussed Russia

Eloi Lecerf
Julho 16, 2017

A lobbyist who was once a Soviet counter-intelligence officer participated a year ago in a meeting with senior aides to US President Donald Trump, including his son, and a Russian lawyer, adding to allegations of possible connections between Moscow and the November election.

In Washington, Grassley, a key lawmaker investigating Russia's meddling in the election, sent a letter to the younger Trump asking him to testify about his June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.

Another NBC report Friday stated that there was an additional sixth person in the June 9 meeting, although their identity has yet to be revealed. Now a USA citizen, he lobbies to lift anti-Russian sanctions. "I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance", Trump Jr. said.

However, Veselnitskaya has insisted that she did not attend the meeting as a representative of the Kremlin.

"They couldn't wait for the meeting to end", Akhmetshin said.

"It's called opposition research, or even research into your opponent". Knowing of his work with Veselnitskaya, Yahoo News had originally reached him by phone in Moscow on Monday, not long after stories about the lawyer's meeting at Trump Tower first broke.

"I think you are seeing a clear pattern of people in the Trump campaign coordinating with Russians", Quigley told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

Later in the week, however, it emerged that multiple others were present, including former Soviet military intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin and Russian translator Anatoli Samachornov.

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The meeting, which paired Donald Trump Jr. and Kremlin-linked attorney Natalia Veselnitska reportedly lasted just 20 minutes, but has caused massive headaches for the Trump White House by reigniting claims the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Mr Trump Jr's meeting has already drawn the attention of Congressional investigators.

In the midst of the firestorm renewed by Trump Jr.'s email revelation, the president defended his son early Wednesday.

But there aren't many on the right who share Krauthammer's concerns about Trump, or the Russian Federation investigation.

"I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest", Akhmetshin told the AP.

Browder filed a formal complaint to the Department of Justice in July 2016, accusing Akhmetshin of failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act while lobbying for Russian interests.

Accusations by USA intelligence agencies that Moscow meddled in the election and colluded with the Trump campaign have dominated the Republican president's first months in office.

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