Okay. Let me get this straight: Aras Iskenderovich Agalarov, an influential, Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch, and real estate developer, paid private-American citizen, Donald J. Trump, Sr., handsomely to bring his 2013 Miss Universe Pageant contestants to Moscow, where they were required to swoon in a music video, which included Mr. Trump, intended to launch Aras’s son, Emin (not to be confused with US rapper Eminem) Agalarov, a Russian, pop-star’s singing career.
Is that clear? No? How about, “A rich and famous Russian bought TV time to promote his son.” It worked! Emin (who speaks excellent English) is now one of Russia’s top pop-stars. Fellow real estate developers, Aras (who does not speak English) and Donald used the opportunity to discuss a possible Trump Tower – Moscow. The economic downturn quashed that development, but not the friendships.
The Agalarovs are very well connected in Russia and its southern neighbor, Azerbaijan. Ten days prior to the pageant, President Vladimir Putin awarded Aras the Order of Honour by the Russian Federation, which is reserved for eminent citizens, such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Vladimir Putin, cosmonauts, Olympic champions, ambassadors, and major musicians. Emin’s ex-wife is the daughter of the president of Azerbaijan.
The Agalarovs expressed support for Mr. Trump’s presidential aspirations. Enter Rob Goodlove, a British journalist turned PR publicist for the Agalarovs. Rob emails Trump, Jr., on Emin’s behalf, that Aras Agalarov, 61, met with the “Crown prosecutor (sic) of Russia,” who offered to provide damaging information about Clinton. (Britain has a “crown prosecutor “— Russia has a “prosecutor general.”)
Trump, Jr. replies, “perhaps I just speak to Emin first.” “Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”
Instead of a call, Rob relays a message, “Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.”
Rob replies, “I will send you the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.”
Trump, Jr. accepts, “Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.”
End of emails.
Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with two people. include the name of the Russian attorney (who does not speak English), Natalia Veselnitskaya, whose primary purpose in the U.S. is to support repeal of the Magnitsky Act, and, a lobbyist against the Magnitsky Act, Rinat Akhmetshin, a dual-citizen Russian-American.
Some unverified accounts of the meeting say that Rob Goldstone was there along with two more people: a translator and a representative of the Agalarovs. Rinat Akhmetshin could certainly translate Russian and English for the parties. Goldstone is an official representative of the Agalarovs. To me, the report of eight people in the meeting sounds like double-counting on the surface.
Veselnitskaya offered a document which alluded to DNC finances. Trump, Jr. asked if she had any documentation to back up that accusation. She said no and pivoted from the dirt on Hillary Clinton to their real agenda: lobbying the Trump campaign on Russia-related adoption policy .(the Magnitsky Act).
Jared, Kushner left the scheduled 20-minute meeting after 10 minutes. Some reports say Trump, Jr. left early too. No follow-up calls, meetings or emails.
What does this sound like? Trump, Jr. got duped into a meeting with two advocates of repeal of the Magnitsky Act, by a music publicist for a Russian pop-star Trump, Sr. met at the Miss Universe Pageant four years ago.