If the details surrounding the mysterious and hotly-contested meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., his father’s campaign manager, and a possibly Kremlin-connected individual with dirt on the Clintons sounded like the setup to bad joke already, then the revelation that the meeting was facilitated by the publicist of a Russian pop star sounds like the poorly worked punchline.
Obviously, other ties to Russia and the ongoing investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election make all of this even more dubious. Yet, here we are, with more proof that sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The newly-released emails made the situation come to a head this morning, and piqued interest in the pop star at the center of it all.
Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who has worked for artists like Michael Jackson and James Taylor and was formerly a tabloid journalist in Britain, is currently the president of a marketing company called Oui2 Entertainment. Goldstone got involved in the political mishaps of the Trump clan by offering information from Russia via email. He claimed that his client, Emin, had dirt from family connections that would help the Trump campaign.
As the story unfolds, many of us are wondering, just who is this Emin character, and what is his connection the Trumps? Read on to learn more.
Who Is Emin Agalarov?
Emin Agalarov is a Russian pop star and the son of Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate tycoon (sometimes called the “Donald Trump of Russia”) who has close ties to Vladimir Putin. He writes and performs songs in English and Russian and is very popular in Azerbaijan and Russia, where his official website claims he has sold over a million records. Emin is 37, and despite his performance chops, also has studied business and finance at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. He works for his family’s company, the Crocus Group, and tours the world performing his music.
How are the Trumps connected to the Agalarovs?
Both the elder Mr. Agalarov, Aras, and Emin were huge proponents of holding Trump’s Miss Universe contest in Russia. They worked closely with Trump to bring the pageant to Moscow in 2013 to help facilitate the show, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Goldstone’s marketing company Oui2 Entertainment helped helm the publicity. The Trump and Agalarov families reportedly grew close during this time, and Emin even performed at the Miss Universe that year during the evening gown competition section. According to Forbes, the family signed a $7 million agreement in licensing fees to bring the pageant to the Russian capitol.
Even more recently, in the same Forbes piece, Emin details plans for a larger licensing partnership with the Trump organization, and a desire to build a Moscow Trump Tower right next to their own Agalarov tower. Apparently, the plan was only abandoned after Trump became busy with his role as president of the United States, but as such, has remained in touch with the Agalarovs and spoken with Emin personally as recently as this January. “Now that he ran and was elected, he does not forget his friends,” Agalarov told Forbes in March.
Why did Trump appear in one of Emin’s music videos?
Indeed, Donald Trump, Aras, and Emin could be counted as friends — Trump appeared in one of Emin’s music Euro dance music video for “It’s Another Life,” which was filmed around the Moscow Miss Universe pageant, and utilized the connection with the event to enlist models from the contest to appear in the clip. Trump’s cameo appearance comes at the end of the video, where he berates Emin for daydreaming during a business meeting and hits him with a signature “You’re fired!”
Around this time, Trump also tweeted his appreciation for the Agalarovs, and confirmed his own desire for the Russia tower back in 2013:
How does Emin figure into the investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia?
Confirmed in emails Donald Trump Jr. himself released today, Emin’s publicist, Rob Goldstone, offered Donald Trump Jr. compromising information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government if Trump Jr. met with a lawyer connected to the Kremlin.
On June 3, 2016, Goldstone sent an email to Trump Jr. stating, “Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to 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. What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?”
However, as far as we know, Emin and Donald Trump Jr. never spoke directly on the matter.
Who did Donald Trump Jr. meet with then?
Natalia Veselnitskaya says it’s possible Trump Jr. was “longing” for info on the DNC. “They wanted it so badly.” https://t.co/VApY0cLIo4
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 11, 2017
Instead, on June 9, 2016, Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, who was chairman of the Donald Trump presidential campaign at the time, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law through his daughter Ivanka, met with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York, where they insist she instead discussed the Magnitsky Act, an Obama-era human rights bill designed to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of a Russian lawyer who died while being held in a Russian prison. For her part, the lawyer claims she had no compromising info on the Clintons.
What is Emin’s response to the situation so far?
Goldstone says that Emin will not comment on the situation, giving a very roundabout answer instead of the standard no comment:
“Emin said to me that I could tell journalists that you know he has decided to go with just a straight no comment. His reasoning for that is simply that he believes that by him commenting in any way from Russia it once again will open this debate of Trump Trump Russia. Now here’s another person from Russia. Now he’s another person from Russia. So he wants to just not comment on the story. That’s his reasoning. It’s — the story will play out however it plays out.”
Somehow, that doesn’t seem like it will be the end of the situation. While we wait for it all to unravel, maybe take a listen to Emin’s latest album below. For our money, he just might be the Donald Trump of pop stars.