Saturday, July 15, 2017


The never-ending sage of Russia and Trump family and administration officials and campaign aides continues.

"WASHINGTON — He is a veteran of the Red Army, photographed in the 1980s with fellow soldiers in a Russian birch forest. He collects fine art, likes opera and owns a nearly $2 million townhouse in trendy Logan Circle, in the center of Washington. He often zips around the city on a bright orange bicycle.

On Friday, Rinat Akhmetshin, the Soviet army veteran, revealed another detail of an exotic life: He was one of the people at the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

The presence of Mr. Akhmetshin adds another development to the evolving narrative about the gathering, which Donald Trump Jr. arranged after learning that a Russian lawyer claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The news of Mr. Akhmetshin’s attendance shows how the story of the meeting keeps changing and has increased pressure on the White House to offer a more comprehensive account of what happened.

Mr. Akhmetshin, a naturalized American citizen who talks openly of his past in a K.G.B. counterintelligence unit focused on hunting spies in the Russian military, is well known in diplomatic and media circles in Washington, where he has worked for years on behalf of business and political interests in Russia and other former Soviet states.

Since The New York Times first reported the meeting on July 8, Donald Trump Jr. has had shifting accounts of what happened. When he learned that The Times planned to publish excerpts from his emails about the meeting, Donald Trump Jr. released them himself on Twitter and said he was doing so to be transparent.

The emails revealed that Donald Trump Jr. also invited Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a campaign adviser, as well as Paul J. Manafort, who at the time was the Trump campaign chairman. Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the meeting, was also there.

But Donald Trump Jr. did not disclose that other people who were not mentioned in the emails were also in attendance, including Mr. Akhmetshin and a translator. In his interview with The Times, Mr. Akhmetshin identified the translator as Anatoli Samachornov.";postID=4806657670835871098

Perhaps Jr. has inherited a gene for dissembling.

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