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Ex-Soviet counter intelligence officer was now listed as present at that Donald Trump Jr. meeting on “adoption”

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Donald Trump Jr.

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I’m not sure the role an ex-Soviet counter intelligence officer would play at a meeting supposedly about Russian-American adoption but I guess you need to cover all angles right?

According to numerous reports, an ex-Soviet counter intelligence officer was indeed present during the now infamous Trump Tower meeting back in June 2016. That individual was apparently brought to the meeting by the advertised Russian government lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya under the flag of providing “dirt” about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign.

Identified by the Associated Press as Rinat Akhmetshin, a now dual citizen of the United States and Russian denies any current ties to spy agencies associated with the Kremlin.

Per NBC News: 

Born in Russia, Akhmetshin served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship. He did not respond to NBC News requests for comment Friday, but he told the AP the meeting was not substantive. “I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he told the AP.

He had been working with Veselnitskaya on a campaign against the Magnitsky Act, a set of sanctions against alleged Russian human rights violators. That issue, which is also related to a ban on American adoptions of Russian children, is what Veselnitskaya told NBC News she discussed with the Trump team.

This obviously continues to become a problem for the Trump campaign given who was present at the meeting from their end and their ongoing problem with disclosing this type of information. On the Trump side currently, former campaign manager Paul Manofort, current White House advisor Jared Kushner and Donald Trump‘s son Donald Trump Jr. were all present at this meeting which was originally taken on by Trump Jr. himself. Additionally Trump Jr. was first approached about setting up this meeting via email by music publicist Rob Goldstone. In that email chain Goldstone informed Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya has “information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” It was Goldstone who also referred to Veselnitskaya as a “Russian government attorney” which she has since denied.

Needless to say, this is the type of information that special counsel Robert Mueller will probably find interesting. Especially considering Kushner’s involvement and his current role in the White House.

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