Ex-Soviet spy didn't think Trump Jr. meeting was a big deal

Jared Kushner

An ex-Russian "spy" has admitted he attended a controversial meeting with Donald Trump's son in 2016.

"It was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up", he said.

GEOFF BENNETT, BYLINE: Hi, Kelly.

Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to the Associated Press on Friday. She claimed in a recent interview that the meeting was meant to discuss US sanctions against Russian Federation and that issues related to the presidential campaign were not discussed.

Another attendee made himself known on Friday: Rinat Akhmetsin, a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who had teamed up with Veselnitskaya to lobby against a USA sanctions bill that resulted in Russian President Vladimir Putin banning American adoptions of Russian children.

He had worked for the Soviet's military intelligence arm in Afghanistan and had been lobbying in Washington, D.C., for Russian interests for decades.

Brad Parscale said in a statement that he is "unaware of any Russian involvement" in the data and digital operations of Mr Trump's campaign. It's just not credible to say she's not connected to the government'.

Krauthammer has differed from many of his fellow conservatives and Fox News colleagues with his steady criticism of Trump, although he offered praise for the President's speech earlier this month in Poland. "I think that Donald Trump Jr. has learned a lesson, and I hope it's a valuable lesson".

BENNETT: And we now know that it wasn't everything. He said the meeting only lasted for roughly 30 minutes.


Ahkmetshin told AP that he did not consider the meeting to be "substantive" and had been expecting a "more serious" conversation. Remember; he said it ended up being a waste of time.

Kucinich argued that Trump Jr. had not violated campaign finance law, which he explained required "receiving something of value".

He accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign.

MCEVERS: What could this development mean for the ongoing Russian Federation investigations? He said he is willing to talk with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Most people would have taken that meeting", Trump said during a Thursday press conference in France, referring to the June 2016 confab.

The Trump Russia scandal has spread to Congress as Democratic Reps. That's the law that imposes sanctions on Russian officials involved in human rights violations.

"I think you are seeing a clear pattern of people in the Trump campaign coordinating with Russians", Quigley told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

"Going into meetings with people who have Kremlin ties on the part of anybody who's in national politics, without thoroughly vetting what they're doing, is politically and possibly legally quite unsafe", said Jeffrey Mankoff, a Russian specialist with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Lots of Russian attorneys with close ties to Putin probably invite former KGB agents to tag along when they meet with the brain trust of a presidential candidate to chat about state-supplied oppo on their opponent. Trump Jr. responded enthusiastically, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer".

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller - as a special counsel in the Justice Department's Russian Federation probe - is investigating allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation in an effort to defeat Clinton in last fall's presidential election. And if his name sounds familiar, yes, he is related to the Baseball Hall of Famer by the same name. The White House has not commented yet either. And we understand senior administration officials say his goal is to impose some discipline in the White House regarding how it handles and responds to all of these Russian Federation matters.

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