Did Donald Trump Jr. walk away from Russia meeting with a folder filled with dirt on Clinton?

The Associated Press says Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian sources about Hillary Clinton, but wanted more

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 14, 2017 2:08PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

While confirming that he attended the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer connected to that nation's government, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin has also provided his own version of the events that happened that day.

After dismissing reports that he has ties to Russian intelligence as a "smear campaign," Akhmetshin admitted to the Associated Press that he attended the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. had agreed to the meeting because he was told that Veselnitskaya may have dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Akhmetshin also confirmed that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort were also present.

While Akhmetshin's confirmation that he was there raises questions about why Trump Jr. neglected to mention him, parts of Akhmetshin's story do align with Trump Jr.'s version of events. According to the Russian veteran, Trump lost interest in the meeting once he heard that Veselnitskaya did not documentation to back up her claims and expected the Trump campaign to conduct its own research. This conforms with Trump Jr.'s claim that he felt the meeting had not been productive.

According to Akhmetshin, Veselnitskaya showed the Trump campaign a plastic folder containing documents she claimed could demonstrate that the Democratic National Committee was receiving illegal funds from Russia. He also recalled her saying that "this could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money."

Akhmetshin could not say whether Veselnitskaya received the documents from the Russian government, but did speculate that they were left with the Trump campaign.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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