ROB GOLDSTONE, A British-born former tabloid reporter and current publicist, has found himself in the middle of one of the biggest scandals of Trump’s presidency thus far. When Donald Trump Jr. sat down with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with reported ties to the Kremlin (ties which Veselnitskaya denies), it was Goldstone who had brokered the encounter.
After The New York Times first reported that the meeting took place, Trump Jr.’s initial statement referred to Goldstone as simply “an acquaintance.” Goldstone, for his part, issued a statement that detailed the meeting in the broadest possible strokes.
Of course, thanks to an email thread between Goldstone and Trump Jr. that the latter tweeted Tuesday, it’s clear that Goldstone likely knew quite a bit more than he first let on. In those June emails, he indicated that the meeting was with a “Russian government attorney,” offering up “information that would incriminate Hillary” Clinton. Both Goldstone and Trump Jr. also failed to mention Goldstone’s years-long relationship with the Trumps, dating at least as far back as 2013. They also neglected to note Goldstone’s close connection to a powerful, Kremlin-connected Russian family.
Goldstone first connected with Donald Trump thanks to Goldstone’s Russian pop star client, Emin Agalarov. Emin’s father, Aras Agalarov, is the president of Crocus Group, a Russian development company that worked with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. In addition to singing, Emin works as his father’s business partner; the Miss Universe dealings brought him and Goldstone together in the first place.
It’s not hard to see why Goldstone and Trump get along so well. Both are Russia-sympathizing (Goldstone has referred to Moscow as his second home) publicity hounds who like to have a good time. As the son of a real estate mogul himself, Emin fits in nicely.
Through his father, Emin also potentially provides Goldstone with a conduit to the upper echelons of the Kremlin. Goldstone notes that the Russian lawyer’s conversations began with Aras, after all. And the elder Agalarov has a history of close ties to Russian government. In October of 2013, Russia awarded him the Order of Honor, one of the country’s “highest civilian awards.” And when Putin had to cancel his meeting with Trump before the Miss Universe pageant, he sent a note of apology through Aras himself.
While Trump and his circle don’t appear to have directly interacted much with Aras, he certainly has with Goldstone and Emin. What’s more, as a prolific user of Facebook (in addition to being perhaps the only person to ever use Twitter correctly), Goldstone has left a detailed log of his Trump family interactions. That Goldstone, the Agalarovs, and the Trumps know each other comes as no surprise. But the extent of their time together, detailed through Goldstone’s social media history below, makes it all the easier to see just how close the Trumps have been to at least one of the Kremlin’s lackeys.
Click on the WIRED link above and see the Facebook pics and videos that prove that Goldstone and his buddies were more than just “acquaintances” of the Twitler clan.