Ex-Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer Attended Trump Jr Meeting, NBC Says

Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military

Last Updated: July 14, 2017 @ 6:45 AM

An ex-Soviet counter intelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence was at the now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr., according to NBC News.

On Thursday, the outlet reported that a Russian-American lobbyist (the network has decided not to name him) accompanied Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with the president’s eldest son, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.

Trump Jr. tweeted the email chain earlier this week, presumably to get out in front of a report by the New York Times that was going to reveal the information. The email chain detailed Trump Jr. agreeing to meet with Veselnitskaya, who offered damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship, according to NBC.

Representatives for Kushner and Manafort declined to comment when reached by NBC News, while a lawyer for Trump Jr. did not respond to “multiple requests,” according to the network.

Trump Jr. was a guest on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Tuesday to discuss his previously undisclosed meeting. Host Sean Hannity asked Trump Jr. if he now regretted the meeting that took place in June 2016, two weeks after his father, Donald Trump, landed the Republican nomination for president.

“In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” the president’s eldest son told Hannity. “Again, this is before the Russia mania — this is before they were building this up in the press.”

Trump Jr. said he attended the meeting for “opposition research,” which President Trump said is standard in American politics during a joint press conference with the president of France on Thursday.

Trump Jr. has repeatedly said he didn’t gain anything from the meeting.