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Senate Transcripts Show That Trump, Jr., Wanted to Collude with Russians

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According to his own account, which the Senate Judiciary Committee released on Wednesday, along with lots of other materials from its Russia investigation, Rob Goldstone, the fifty-seven-year-old English music publicist who helped arrange the notorious Trump Tower meeting that took place on June 9, 2016, believed it was a mistake from the get-go. On June 3, 2016, Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop singer whom Goldstone represented, called up Goldstone and asked him to “contact the Trumps” and set up a meeting with a “connected” Russian attorney, who had just passed “some interesting information” to his father, Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin.

Goldstone, a streetwise Lancastrian who left school at sixteen to train as a journalist, was taken aback. “I made a flip remark,” he told Patrick Davis, a senior counsel for the Committee. “I said, connected like as into the power grid? Like connected to what? And he said, connected.” Goldstone then asked Emin about the nature of the information that had been passed to his father. “Emin simply said that all he knew was that there was some potentially damaging information re: Hillary, which could be of interest to the Trumps,” Goldstone told Davis. “The words he used were, ‘the Trumps.’ ”

“At the time of the call, did you believe setting up this meeting was a good idea?” Davis asked Goldstone.

“I said, in the call at the end, that I believed it was a bad idea and that we shouldn’t do it,” Goldstone replied. “And I gave the reason for that being that I am a music publicist. Politics, I knew nothing about. And I said, neither do you and neither does your father. And the answer was simply, I’m only asking you to get a meeting.”

A bit later in the day, when Goldstone e-mailed Trump, Jr.—whom he had dealt with in the past, when Emin performed at a Trump golf course—he kept to himself any concerns he may have had. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump—helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone wrote. “What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?”

Seventeen minutes after Goldstone sent his e-mail, Trump, Jr., replied: “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on


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