Breaking News: A Former Soviet counter-intelligence officer attended meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer

WASHINGTON — The Russian lawyer who met with the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned.

The lobbyist, who denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies, accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign.

The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship.

The Associated Press identified the lobbyist as Rinat Akhmetshin, and said he acknowledged attending the meeting.

Veselnitskaya acknowledged to NBC News that she was accompanied by at least one other man, though she declined to identify him.

The presence at the meeting of a Russian-American with suspected intelligence ties is likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate panels investigating the Russian election interference campaign.

Contacted by NBC News, representatives for Kushner and Manafort declined to comment.

Alan Futerfas, the attorney retained by Donald Trump Jr., told NBC News two other people accompanied Veselnitskaya to the meeting — someone Futerfas described as a translator and someone he described as a “friend of Emin [Agalarov]’s and maybe as a friend of Natalia [Veselnitskaya]’s.”

Futerfas said he has talked with that individual. “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.”

Agalarov is a pop star and a client of Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who arranged the meeting with Trump Jr. Agalarov appeared in a music video with Trump when the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump owned at the time, was held in Moscow in 2013.

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52 Responses to Breaking News: A Former Soviet counter-intelligence officer attended meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer

  1. Then he acted on behalf of the Trump campaign, right?

  2. rikyrah says:

    Jared Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, is “dropping out” of representing him in the Russia probe, per @Isikoff
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 14, 2017

  3. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH

    UH HUH

    Once can be an accident & twice a mistake, but not reporting 100+ meetings, including with Russian agents, demands answers #revokekushner
    — Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) July 14, 2017

    Under normal circumstances it would demand revoked clearance and a pair of handcuffs. Strange how that doesn’t apply to Mr. Kushner.
    — Dudette (@Dudette9t9) July 14, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    is this true?

    I just saw in the Twitters that CNN is reporting that 8 people were in the meeting

  5. rikyrah says:

    Crib Notes on the Latest in the Russian Lawyer Story
    by Martin Longman July 14, 2017 1:47 PM


    What I’ll do here is just give you a brief outline.

    1. Hermitage Capital Management’s Russian offices were raided by Russian law enforcement and their official seals and incorporating documents were stolen.
    2. These seals and documents were subsequently used by mobsters in collusion with tax and interior ministry officials to take control of subsidiary corporations in Russian courts.
    3. These subsidiaries were then sued for breaches of contract and found guilty, with Russian mobsters and government officials serving as both plaintiffs and defendants.
    4. The resulting penalties were used to create a gigantic $230 million tax rebate.
    5. The $230 million was then laundered through an astonishing number of transactions and shell companies.
    6. A lawyer and auditor for Hermitage Capital Management named Sergei Magnitsky discovered this and took it to the Russian authorities who responded by accusing him of tax fraud, arresting him, denying him medical treatment, and ultimately bludgeoning him to death.
    7. Congress responded by passing the Magnitsky Act which placed sanctions on 44 Russians deemed to have some responsibility for either the tax fraud or Magnitsky’s death.
    8. Putin responded by placing sanctions on some Americans and by suspending adoptions of Russian orphans by American citizens.
    9. Putin then set up an American lobbying effort, ostensibly on behalf of Americans who wanted to adopt Russian children, to repeal the Magnitsky Act.
    10. The folks put in charge of this effort failed to register as lobbyists of a foreign power and several of them were the ones who ultimately met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort under the pretext that they would provide dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    It’s important to know that part of this case involved the purchase of New York real estate with some of the stolen Russian tax money. This put Preet Bharara, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on the case. He brought a civil case against the company that made those real estate purchases.

    Preet Bharara was fired by Donald Trump while the case was in court and it was ultimately settled for a measly $6 million and no formal acknowledgment of guilt.

    It would seem that the president followed through on his end of the deal here. The question is what he received in return. Was it assistance with his campaign or just an agreement not to disclose that his staff had met with Russian intelligence officers offering dirt on his opponent?

  6. rikyrah says:


    Trump Lawyers Claim Don Jr. Was Set Up By Democrats
    by Nancy LeTourneau July 14, 2017 8:00 AM


    Anyone think that sounds plausible? Apparently Trump’s lawyers do.

    On Monday, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s outside counsel, alleged that the meeting had been set up under false pretenses and implied that Veselnitskaya’s association with Fusion GPS was relevant to the alleged deception.

    “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier,” Corallo said in a statement.

    I first heard about this on Facebook two nights ago from one of the people I follow specifically to hear what kind of fake news is being spread by Trump supporters. This story in even crazier form was traveling around those sites that anyone with half a brain would avoid. So I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then I noticed that Erick Ericksson had bought into it. I know he’s a right wing extremist, but he’s been no fan of Donald Trump. The title of his piece is, “Were Democrats Working With Russia Against Trump? That Russian Lawyer Has Ties to Democrat Oppo Researchers.” Here’s his introduction:

  7. rikyrah says:

    Trump role in publishing hacked material draws lawsuit
    Walter Dellinger, former U.S. solicitor general, talks with Rachel Maddow about a lawsuit filed against Donald Trump for his role in the public sharing of materials hacked by Russians during the 2016 election.

    Here is the link to the lawsuit. Interesting reading:

  8. rikyrah says:

    THIS, IMO,

    Leads to Kushner and the Mercers.

    Russian 2016 online propaganda likely needed American guidance
    Michael Carpenter, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, talks with Rachel Maddow about why Russia would have needed American help in implementing tailored online propaganda to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Trump lawyer e-mail meltdown raises questions of competence
    Rachel Maddow looks at the oddly aggressive streak in Donald Trump’s legal team and reports on an angry meltdown by the head of Trump’s legal team, Marc Kasowitz, in which Kasowitz replied to a stranger’s e-mailed criticism with curses and threats.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The White House’s spin on the Russia scandal goes off the rails
    07/14/17 12:46 PM—UPDATED 07/14/17 02:01 PM
    By Steve Benen
    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    White House aide Kellyanne Conway accused critics of the Trump administration of moving the goalposts on the ongoing investigations into possible coordination between members of the Trump campaign and Russian nationals.

    “The goalposts have been moved,” Conway told “Fox & Friends” Friday morning. “We were promised systemic – hard evidence of systemic, sustained, furtive collusion that not only interfered with our election process but indeed dictated the electoral outcome.”

    Let’s take a breath and think about how we reached this point. When reports first surfaced of Russian intervention in the American elections, Donald Trump and his team said there was no Russian meddling. Then Team Trump said there was meddling, but Russia wasn’t trying to help put Trump in power. Then Trump World said Russia may have been trying to help Trump, but the Republican campaign wasn’t in communications with Russian nationals during the attack. Then Team Trump said there were communications, but there was no cooperation between Russia and the campaign.

    This week, all of that changed, thanks to documented proof that Russia not only offered to help put Trump in the White House, but also that top members of Trump’s inner circle welcomed Moscow’s intervention.

    It’s against this backdrop that Kellyanne Conway, who’s practically hired a team of movers to help relocate the goal posts on multiple occasions, told a national television audience, “The goalposts have been moved.” As she sees it, proving cooperation between Trump World and Vladimir Putin’s government isn’t enough – because she expects evidence of “sustained” collusion.

    In other words, some cooperation with a Russian espionage operation, as part of the most serious attack on the United States since 9/11, is underwhelming. Conway wants evidence of a lot of cooperation.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Why did Chris Wray remove his related work history with Gazprom & Rosneft from his bio?

    Because he is compromised.— Jay McKenzie (@JamesFourM) July 13, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    (AP) – Russian-American lobbyist tells AP he attended ’16 meeting w/ Trump’s son billed as part of Russian govt effort to help the campaign.
    — Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) July 14, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    Conway: Trump-Russia collusion “goalposts have been moved”
    — Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 14, 2017
    The goal post is Oath of Office: to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign & domestic. To bear true faith & allegiance to same
    — meta (@metaquest) July 14, 2017

  14. What kind of ISH is this? He’s the Attorney General. Remove this thug out of office. He’s clearly unfit to serve.

  15. rikyrah says:



    There IS NO FORMER in Russia.!!?!?

  16. No one cares if he’s open to it….he has no say. Buffoon.

  17. These treasonous thugs have to be punished severely. A message must be sent so it never happens again. God help us all.

  18. JUST IN….

    The 6th person in the meeting was a translator

  19. And now possibly a 6th person attended the meeting but don’t know who that person is as of yet. My God! We’ve been taken over with the help of Americans. It’s a coup.

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