- In an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Rob Goldstone discusses his involvement in two events that are central to the government’s investigation into possible campaign collusion.
- Goldstone discussed his work at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant as well as his efforts to set up the infamous Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 campaign.
- Goldstone, who released a memoir on Tuesday, also shares his thoughts on the infamous Steele dossier.
British music publicist Rob Goldstone has had a front row seat for two events that are key to the U.S. government’s collusion investigation.
Goldstone was part of an entourage that hosted Donald Trump at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, the alleged site of the opening scene in the infamous Steele dossier. And more infamously, he is the man who sent the email offer to Donald Trump Jr. to host a June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Goldstone describes his role in those events, as well as his interactions with the special counsel’s office, in his new book, “Pop Stars, Pageants & Presidents: How An Email Changed My Life.”
The promoter largely downplays conspiracy theories of campaign collusion and Kremlin kompromot on Trump while leaving open a slight possibility that there is some merit to them.
“The thing he’s learned over the past year is I leave open that 10 percent,” Goldstone told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “What I’ve learned is, anything is possible, I suppose.”
Goldstone says that he and his client, the Azerbaijani-Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, were with Trump for most of his 36-hour stay in Moscow. Trump, who owned a controlling stake in the Miss Universe pageant, had partnered with Agalarov’s father, the billionaire real estate magnate Aras Agalarov, to host the event.
In the dossier, which was funded by Democrats, author Christopher Steele cited a source — “Source D” — who claimed to be present when Trump engaged in “perverted” conduct that included “employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.”
Steele claimed that Kremlin operatives had wired Trump’s room at the Ritz Carlton and used footage to blackmail the real estate tycoon. The allegation, while unverified, is Exhibit A in Trump critics’ theory that Trump is a puppet of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“When I heard it, what first struck me was, well when would it have happened?” Goldstone told TheDCNF in a phone interview.
He said that Trump’s hectic schedule in Moscow, which included attendance at several promotional events, left him around four hours to sleep.
“I am skeptical of it, but not, again, I don’t dismiss it, because it doesn’t take four hours to pee on somebody,” Goldstone joked, referring to the dossier’s sensational claim.
“Ultimately a lot of things would have had to fallen into place, in my opinion, the most being that nobody at the hotel, nobody at the pageant, there’s hundreds of people involved in that, nobody in Emin’s organization — they told me everything about everything — has mentioned it before, during or after the story broke, which is when everybody crawls out of the woodwork.”
Goldstone, who says that he has not talked to Agalarov about the dossier’s allegations, also questioned the credibility of “Source D,” who has been identified in press reports as a Belarusian American businessman named Sergei Millian.
The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and The Washington Post have identified Millian as “Source D.” According to the recent book “Russian Roulette” Millian spoke unwittingly to a source working for Steele. In the dossier, “Source D” is described as “a close associate of TRUMP who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow.” (RELATED: Fusion GPS Doubted Credibility Of Major Dossier Source)
But Goldstone, who claims he handled the minutiae of Trump’s Moscow trip, says he had not heard of Millian until his name surfaced in connection with the dossier.
“I’ve never met him. I never heard of him being involved in the trip,” said Goldstone.
Goldstone said that he believes he would have known about Millian had he been with the Trump team in Moscow because Goldstone, Agalarov and Agalarov’s staff “interfaced with the Miss Universe organization on every detail.”
Goldstone has been questioned by prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller as well as a federal grand jury investigating Trump’s links to Russia. He told TheDCNF that he was questioned about Trump’s trip to Moscow as well as his relationship with the Agalarovs, who Goldstone began working for in 2012.
The infamous Trump Tower meeting was also a topic of discussion in those sessions, as well as during interviews with congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the election.
Goldstone was identified in press reports as the person who sent an email to Donald Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016 stating that a “Russian government attorney” would provide “information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia.”
“If it is what you say I love it,” Trump Jr. responded.
The meeting took place on June 9, 2016. Trump Jr. attended with campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Goldstone attended with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, her interpreter, Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian-American lobbyist who worked with Veselnitskaya named Rinat Akhmetshin, and Ike Kaveladze, an employee of the Agalarovs who was also at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Goldstone says that he does not know why he was asked to contact Trump Jr. or whether he was being used by the Russian government to secure a meeting with the Trump campaign. He says he is leaving open the possibility he was used as a “patsy,” but still doubts that that’s the case.
Nearly all participants at the meeting say that it was a dud. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer, used her platform to rail against the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that sanctioned Russian human rights abusers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was vehemently opposed to the law, so much so that in 2013 he blocked Americans from adopting Russian children. At the time of the Trump Tower meeting, Veselnitskaya was working alongside a Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm to investigate Bill Browder, a banker who is the leading proponent of the Magnitsky Act.
Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm, also happened to be Steele’s employer for the anti-Trump dossier project. Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson met with Veselnitskaya on the morning of the Trump Tower meeting but has denied knowing that it occurred until it was reported last year.
Goldstone says he does not know who asked his client, Emin Agalarov, to arrange the meeting. But he now admits to using “puffed up” language in his email to Trump Jr.
Goldstone also addressed a theory among some Trump critics that some members of the Russian delegation stayed behind the main meeting for a smaller gathering, possible to discuss the exchange of Clinton emails or other dirt.
But Goldstone says that he left with everyone he showed up with.
“We all left together in the elevator and went to the lobby,” Goldstone said. He recalls that Kaveladze, the Agalarov employee, suggested that the group get a drink nearby. But Goldstone, furious at what had happened in the meeting, declined and caught an Uber.
He says that he doubts that any follow-up meetings occurred.
“I would be stunned if it ever turned out that they went back in,” he says.
“They could have scaled Trump Tower with a rope and jumped through the window. I just don’t believe that happened. I also don’t believe they went back inside.”
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