Rob Goldstone, the music publicist who sent the email to Donald Trump Jr. that led to the infamous Trump Tower meeting, called the claims made in the email “puffed up” in a new interview with The Washington Post.
Scheduled before the September 25 release of Goldstone’s book “Pop Stars, Pageants and Presidents: How an Email Trumped My Life,” the interview touched on the music publicist’s motivations and state of mind when he sent the email to Donald Trump Jr. that claimed information that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” could be obtained.
“If it’s what you say I love it,” responded Trump Jr., in words that would later come to haunt the president’s son.
Although “the press seemingly couldn’t decide if I was ridiculous, bonkers and so naive as to be irrelevant. Or if I was some kind of brilliant operative,” Goldstone maintained that he was “not either of things,” but simply a publicist who wrote an email.
Goldstone also insisted that he had nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election, although he does believe that it took place and that Trump’s team was open to such help.
The Washington Post reported:
[Pop star Emin] Agalarov explained that his father had met that day with a “well connected” Russian lawyer, someone Agalarov said was either a current or former prosecutor. The lawyer had damaging information about Russian funding of the Democrats, Agalarov relayed. He asked Goldstone to get a meeting with “the Trumps” so the information could be passed along.
Goldstone said he was confused. What lawyer? What information? But Agalarov either didn’t know or refused to answer, insisting Goldstone should just secure the meeting and not worry about such details, Goldstone recalled. (Balber, the Agalarov attorney, said the singer does not recall telling Goldstone the information had to do with Russian funding for Democrats.)
At the time, Goldstone said, it never occurred to him that the offer might be unethical or even illegal. “Hindsight is a beautiful thing,” he said.
Goldstone told the Post the line about the Russian “government’s support” for Trump was “a bit of flattery intended to reflect the attitudes he had seen toward Trump in Russia” during their Moscow trip.
“It wasn’t made up. It was puffed up,” Goldstone told the Post. “There’s a huge difference in that.”
Goldstone also downplayed the email’s role in actually getting the meeting scheduled, blaming that instead ultimately on Trump Jr.’s phone call with Agalarov.
“My email didn’t get a meeting at Trump Tower. My email got a call,” he told the Post. Unless the call details are eventually revealed, “we’ll never know why there was a meeting.”