Eight people attended Russia meeting with Trump Jr.

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Washington, July 15 (IANS) A June 2016 meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who allegedly had compromising information about former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, was attending by at least eight people, the media reported.

The revelation came after Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who once served in the Soviet army, confirmed on Friday to The Washington Post that he was present at the meeting on June 9, 2016.

So far acknowledged in attendance: Donald Trump Jr.; the President’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner; former campaign chairman Paul.J. Manafort; Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya; Akhmetshin; and publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting.

A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN there were at least two other people in the room as well, a translator and a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting. The source did not provide the names.

On Friday, Akhmetshin told The Washington Post that he was on his own in New York when he got a phone call from Veselnitskaya.

The two then met for lunch at restaurant near Trump Tower.

Akhmetshin, who holds dual US-Russian citizenship, said that the lawyer initially sought his advice on what to say at the meeting before finally asking him to join her for the discussion with the oldest son of then-candidate Donald Trump.

“I was literally the only person wearing jeans and T-shirt” at the meeting, Akhmetshin told the daily.

Regarding the substance, Akhmetshin said that in the course of her work for clients, Veselnitskaya had discovered that a US hedge fund which “seemed linked to the (Democratic National Committee)” was operating in violation of Russian tax and securities law.

He adds that Veselnitskaya “left a document behind” after the meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

Akhmetshin assured that his only connection with government service was the two years he spent in the Soviet army as a young conscript in a unit whose responsibilities included counterintelligence

“I never worked for the Russian government. I served as a soldier, for two years, like tens of millions of Russian young men who were drafted. I am proud of my military service. At no time have I ever worked for Russian government or any of its agencies. I was not an intelligence officer. Never,” he told The Washington Post.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. released an email chain relating to the conversation he had with Veselnitskaya.

The emails show that Trump Jr. agreed to meet with someone who was a “Russian government attorney” about “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Clinton, reports CNN.

Veselnitskaya has denied she had provided any such information.

–IANS

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