A flashy music promoter offered then-presidential candidate Donald Trump a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 if Trump visited Moscow for a birthday party, an email released Wednesday shows.
The promoter, Rob Goldstone, said Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov could set up that meeting between Putin and Trump, the email reveals. The meeting never happened.
The email was contained in thousands of pages documents released Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee in connection with its investigation of a June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in New York City.
Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort met that day with a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was offering them purportedly damaging information about then-Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
That meeting was arranged by Goldstone, who managed Agalarov.
Almost a full year before that meeting, on July 22, 2015, Goldstone emailed Trump Sr.’s long-time assistant Rhona Graff and invited the elder Trump to Moscow on Nov. 8 for the 60th birthday of Agalarov’s father.
Goldstone also asked Graff to have Trump write a «small message of congratulations» for the singer’s father, according to an email released among the material Wednesday.
Graff replied two days later, on July 24, 2015, saying that she thought it was highly unlikely Trump would be able to go to Moscow in November «given his presidential campaign,» but added that she was sure he would want to write a note for Agalarov’s dad.
Goldstone replied to Graff later that day.
«I totally understand re Moscow — unless maybe he would welcome a meeting with President Putin which Emin would set up,» Goldstone wrote.
Goldstone, in his testimony last year to the Senate Judiciary Committee, was asked about the emails with Graff and why he believed Emin Agalarov «could arrange a meeting between Trump Sr. and Putin.»
Goldstone answered by saying that during the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013, which Trump had attended as the pageant’s owner, «there was a lot of talk about whether Mr. Trump would meet with Mr. Putin, whether Mr. Putin would attend the pageant.»
Putin ended up not attending, supposedly because of a conflict with a trip by «the King of Holland,» Goldstone testified.
But, Goldstone added, that Putin’s spokesman during a phone call, had told Trump that if he and Putin should «ever be in the same place again, Mr. Putin would do everything possible to accommodate a meeting.»
Goldstone said the «the next time» Trump would be in Moscow, «if he was to come,» would be for the birthday party in November 2015 for Agalarov’s father.
«So I was pretty sure that somebody would follow up on that — my point of contact is always Emin — would follow up and see whether that meeting [between Trump and Putin] could finally happen,» Goldstone testified.
He then was asked whether — other than the emails to Graff in July 2015, or the circumstances leading up to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower — he had «sought to arrange meetings between Russian government officials and individuals associated with the Trump Organization or Trump campaign.»
«No,» Goldstone replied.