The Post said it obtained an email from July 2015 written by promoter Rob Goldstone, who eventually did help arrange a meeting a year later between Donald Trump Jr. and a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. The lawyer claimed she had dirt on Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“Maybe he would welcome a meeting with President Putin,” Goldstone wrote in the email to Trump’s personal assistant, Rhona Graff, according to the Post. The newspaper said it couldn’t determine if Graff responded.
The email is part of a trove of documents being examined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose team is investigating possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to affect the outcome of the election.
The documents add to a list of actions and attempts to draw Trump closer to the Kremlin. A Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, also worked to arrange a meeting for Trump or campaign members with Putin, according to court documents. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian government.
The email also shows Trump’s connections to Russia and Russian business interests. Trump has known Goldstone’s pop-star client, Emin Agalarov — and his father, Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Moscow developer with ties to Putin —since 2013. That was the year the Agalarovs licensed Trump’s Miss Universe pageant to bring it to Moscow.
An attorney for Emin Agalarov cast doubt on Goldstone’s overture to Trump, telling the Post his client couldn’t “arrange a meeting with Vladimir Putin for anybody.”
Goldstone’s offer to Trump began with an invitation to Aras Aglarov’s birthday in Moscow. Though Trump was too busy to attend, he did send a birthday card, according to the Post.
Goldstone has been interviewed by congressional investigators, the Post reported, and Graff is to be interviewed in New York next week by members of the House Intelligence Committee.