Amid reports regarding a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a prominent Kremlin-linked lawyer, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who connected Trump Jr. with that lawyer, has come into the public eye. On Monday, the New York Times broke the news that Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in 2016, reportedly expecting to receive damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
On Tuesday, minutes before the Times published another story about the contents of the emails setting up the meeting, Trump Jr. released what he called the email chain between Goldstone and himself. In it, Goldstone wrote that "the crown prosecutor of Russia” would "provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."
In an interview on Monday, Goldstone told the Times that Aras Agalarov, a Russian developer with whom the president has worked and whose son Goldstone represents in the music business, tipped Goldstone off that a lawyer associated with the Kremlin had information on Clinton. “He said, ‘I’m told she has information about illegal campaign contributions to the DNC,'" Goldstone said.
You have to love that Rob Goldstone wrote an email saying the Russian gov wants to help beat Hillary and then checked in for the meeting pic.twitter.com/Ajg1NWHciA— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) July 11, 2017
The Russian lawyer Trump Jr. met, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has denied that she spoke of the campaign or incriminating information on Clinton during the meeting. She also said she wasn't there on behalf of the Russian government.
Goldstone, a former tabloid journalist since turned music publicist, has reportedly traveled to Russia at least 19 times since 2013. In one Instagram post, according to The Guardian, he described Moscow as "his second home.” In March 2016, amid the hotly contested Republican presidential primary, Goldstone had dinner with then-candidate Donald Trump and Agalarov in Vegas. According to The Guardian, he posted an image of the meeting on Instagram with the caption: "deep in discussion over dinner in Vegas."
“I reached out to Donald Trump Jr. and he agreed to squeeze us into a very tight meeting schedule,” Goldstone said in a statement after the Times report on Monday. “At the meeting, the Russian attorney presented a few very general remarks regarding campaign funding and then quickly turned the topic to that of the Magnitsky Act and the banned U.S. adoption of Russian children — at which point the meeting was halted by Don Jr. and we left. Nothing came of that meeting and there was no follow up between the parties.”