(AP) — A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended the June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump’s son that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican’s White House campaign.
Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to The Associated Press Friday. His disclosure marks another shift in the account of the meeting.
Donald Trump Jr. did not disclose Akhmetshin’s presence in statements and emails he released on the meeting earlier this week.
Akhmetshin has been reported to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies, though he denies ever working as an intelligence agent.
Emails posted by Trump Jr. show that he was told by an associate that the meeting was part of a Russian government effort to help Donald Trump in the election. The associate who helped arrange the meeting told Trump Jr. that the lawyer had damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and current White House senior adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee said the report of a second Russian person in the meeting with Trump Jr. “adds another deeply disturbing fact about this secret meeting.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California says Trump Jr.’s shifting explanations “paint a portrait of consistent dissembling and deceit.”