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Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. is interviewed by host Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel television program, in New York Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting reportedly featured at least 8 people


Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last year featured at least eight people in total, according to CNN.

CNN reported Friday that Trump and Natalia Veselnitskaya’s June 2016 encounter at Trump Tower in New York City also featured publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped arrange it.

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was also reportedly present, as was Paul Manafort, who was then the campaign manager for his 2016 election bid.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Rinat Akmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist for Veselnitskaya’s organization, additionally attended the conversation.

A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN that at least two other people were in the room as well.

CNN’s source said that a translator and a representative of the Russian family who asked Goldstone to arrange the encounter were also there, but did not provide their names.

Some Twitter users on Friday debated the latest revelations about the meeting, which has overshadowed President Trump’s administration this week.

Akmetshin is reportedly a former member of the Russian military intelligence services, known in the U.S. as GRU, but is now a U.S. citizen.

The lobbyist told AP that speculation he is linked to Russian intelligence is part of a “smear campaign” against him as he lacks formal spy training.

Akmetshin is reportedly a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya’s organization, which has lobbied the U.S. to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions.

The Magnitsky Act allows America to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians believed to have violated human rights.

Veselnitskaya’s group advocates overturning the U.S. ban on American citizens adopting Russian children, which is part of the Magnitsky Act’s sanctions.

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday tweeted out an email chain documenting how Goldstone and him arranged the meeting.

The meeting was prompted by emails to Donald Trump Jr. that pledged damaging information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Multiple Democrats are arguing that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting is evidence that President Trump’s campaign tried colluding with Russia during its election meddling last year.

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