World

Russian lobbyist attended meeting with Trump Jr.

15 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet counter-intelligence official, now a lobbyist, has confirmed that he met President Donald Trump's son and senior aides last year.

Donald Trump Jr. previously acknowledged only meeting Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Trump Jr. released emails revealing that Veselnitskaya had promised him damaging information on Hillary Clinton, which he seemed eager to accept.

He has played down the meeting's importance.

In context: Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russian lawyer

10 Jul 2017Trump's son, son-in-law met Russian lawyer over Clinton info

On July 10, President Donald Trump's son admitted to meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer last year, after being promised damaging information about Trump's rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr. said "no meaningful information" on Clinton was shared, the New York Times reported.

The president's son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.

12 Jul 2017Trump Jr.'s emails shows him welcoming Russian material on Clinton

On July 12, emails from June 2016 released by President Trump's son shows him keen to accept "sensitive" information on his father's rival Hilary Clinton from Natalia.

Donald Trump Jr. was told the information was part of the Russian government's attempt at damaging the Clinton campaign.

This comes amid investigations into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia in the presidential election.

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15 Jul 2017Russian lobbyist attended meeting with Trump Jr.

Who is Rinat Akhmetshin?

ProfileWho is Rinat Akhmetshin?

Akhmetshin claims he served in a Soviet counter-intelligence military unit but wasn't trained as a spy.

He said he became a US citizen in 2009 but retains his Russian citizenship.

Akhmetshin is a registered lobbyist who has focused on overturning the 2012 US Magnitsky Act.

This law led to the freezing of the assets of senior Russian officials, angering Russian President Vladimir Putin.

ExplainedHow the meeting is creating problems for the Trump administration

Trump Jr. has been asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify publicly about the meeting.

The meeting on June 9, 2016, was also attended by the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The meeting is the most clinging evidence so far of non-diplomatic meetings between Trump's team and Russian nationals.

Russia's alleged interference in the presidential election is being investigated.

DetailsWhy did Akhmetshin attend the meeting?

Akhmetshin told the Washington Post he had met Veselnitskaya for lunch and decided to accompany her for the meeting on the spur of the moment.

"I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest," he said.

He said Trump Jr. was keen on receiving damaging information on Clinton but lost interest when Veselnitskaya couldn't provide any substantial proof.