Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last June seeking damaging information on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer was also attended by a former Moscow counterintelligence agent, NBC News reported on Friday.
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who attended the meeting at which Trump Jr thought he was to get information from the Russian government that would hurt Clinton in the US election campaign, brought along a Russian-American lobbyist who NBC News said had formerly worked for Russian spy agencies.
The man, identified as Rinat Akhmetshin, reportedly has dual Russian and US citizenship, and is “a former Soviet counter intelligence officer who is suspected by some US officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence,” NBC News reported.
However, Mr Akhmetshin dismissed it as a “smear campaign.” He told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but was never formally trained as a spy.
In his first public interview about the meeting, Mr Akhmetshin said he accompanied Ms Veselnitskaya to the Trump Tower where they met an interpreter who participated in the meeting. He said he had learned about the meeting only that day when Ms Veselnitskaya asked him to attend.