Trump Jr. attny tells NBC News a translator also attended meeting with Russian lawyer, bringing total to 6 people. https://t.co/qYNiM69N9q
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 14, 2017
Earlier Friday, NBC News reported that a fifth person — a Russian-American lobbyist with a Soviet military intelligence background — attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. In the above MSNBC report, Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, is revealed to have confirmed that that a sixth person, described by Futerfas as a translator, attended the meeting as well.
The lobbyist, unidentified in the original NBC report, was also identified by the Associated Press as Rinat Akhmetshin. He told the AP that Don Jr. asked to see the negative information about Hillary Clinton:
Akhmetshin said Trump Jr. asked the attorney for evidence of illicit money flowing to the Democratic National Committee, but Veselnitskaya said she didn’t have that information. She said the Trump campaign would need to research it more, and after that Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin.
“They couldn’t wait for the meeting to end,” Akhmetshin said.
Akhmetshin also said that Veselnitskaya brought documents to the meeting, but he could not say if the documents were prepared by the Russian government or if they were left with Trump Jr., Kushner, or Manafort:
Akhmetshin said the meeting was “not substantive” and he “actually expected more serious” discussion.
“I never thought this would be such a big deal to be honest,” he told AP.
Akhmetshin also denied being connected to Soviet intelligence, saying that he was drafted and served in the Soviet army between 1986 and 1988. Yet in April, Senator Chuck Grassley wrote to the Department of Homeland Security saying that Akhmetshin had admitted to being a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who had not registered as a foreign agent.
Futerfas has not provided much information about the sixth attendee of the meeting, noting only that it was a translator (though who wasn’t speaking English in the meeting between five other English speakers is unknown), who Futerfas described as a U.S. citizen that is not working for the Russian government.