Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest child, reportedly met with an emissary representing the princes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who wanted to help his father win the 2016 election during the campaign.
Trump Jr., who has already faced scrutiny for the June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging political opposition research on Donald Trump’s then-opponent Hillary Clinton, held the meeting at Trump Tower in August 2016 with the emissary, George Nader, and private security contractor Erik Prince, The New York Times reported Saturday. Israeli and apparent social media expert Joel Zamel was also present at the meeting.
The meeting could represent another example of the Trump campaign meeting with the representative of a foreign government intent on helping the billionaire claim victory in the 2016 election.
Such contact generated Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in favor of the current president, and Mueller’s team is reportedly looking into the Emirates potential role or influence in the election as well.
It is unclear if any action was taken following the meeting, and Trump Jr. stated through a lawyer that nothing occurred afterward.
Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Trump Jr., explained to The Times “prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it.”
Nader, who Newsweek reported was convicted and jailed on child pornography charges in the early 1990s, is presently cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and Prince has long been a controversial figure and whose sister is presently secretary of the Education Department, Betsy Devos.
Both Nader and Prince have faced scrutiny over setting up a meeting in the Seychelles in January 2017, just days before Trump’s inauguration, during which Prince met with a Russian tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin over a possible backchannel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, according to The Washington Post.
The revelation follows the release earlier this week of Trump Jr.’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, during which he discussed the June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer and denied any collusion taking place.
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