Says Russians did provide information on Hillary Clinton.
Courtesy of NBC News:
The British-born music publicist who helped arrange that infamous meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Democrats now believes the meeting could have been a set-up by Russian intelligence, he told NBC News in an exclusive television interview.
“I’m willing to believe that I don’t know who wanted this meeting,” Rob Goldstone told NBC’s Cynthia McFadden in a wide-ranging interview, in which he also discussed Trump’s behavior in Moscow during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Asked if he had conveyed a “dirty offer” to the Trump team in brokering the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Goldstone said, “Yes. That is true.”
“That [dirt] didn’t materialize,” said Goldstone, but he believes the apparent willingness of campaign officials to accept dirt is what drew the scrutiny of congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller.
(At this point I should say that according to what Goldstone told the BBC there WAS information provided during this meeting: Mr. Goldstone says that at the meeting Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya did present material but it was “very generic dirt”. He was highly embarrassed, our correspondent says.)
Here is more from the NBC article:
Goldstone now says he had no direct knowledge that the Russian government was trying to help Trump, but assumed such because he had observed the favorable treatment then-candidate Trump received from Russian press at the time, and saw first-hand how Russians treated Trump with great affection and enthusiasm during his visit to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
But he did believe, he said, that Veselnitskaya had Kremlin connections, something that has proven to be true. In an April interview with NBC News, she acknowledged she had worked closely with and provided information to the Russian prosecutor general, a high-ranking Kremlin official.
Goldstone also says that he does not think his email (“If it is what you say it is I love it.”) was the reason for the meeting, but that it was the result of phone calls between Don Jr. and Emin Agalorov:
“I don’t know what was discussed,” Goldstone said. “What I do believe is that it is almost [incredible] to think that this conversation or these conversations could have taken place without discussion of funding, Russian funding, illegal funding, Democrats, Hillary, and it being of use to the campaign. I–I just can’t understand how-how it wouldn’t have been touched upon.”
Goldstone also believes that Trump knew that the meeting was taking place:
“It was taking place in his conference room and it was taking place with his campaign chair sitting and attending the meeting, as well as his son and his son-in-law. So, you know, the publicist in me would say, ‘It’s a bit of a stretch if he’s a floor or two above to believe that he doesn’t know it’s going on.'”
Goldstone also revealed that there was a planned meeting between Putin and Trump that did not materialize back in 2013:
Goldstone says there was an attempt to arrange a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump during the Miss Universe pageant, but it ultimately did not occur. “I was in the room for that call with Mr. Trump and with Emin and Aras. And it was President Putin’s spokesman, a man by the name of Dmitry Peskov. And he spoke with Aras. And Emin translated and said, ‘Unfortunately, although Mr. Putin would love to meet with Donald Trump today, the meeting can no longer go ahead because the king of Holland has been delayed in traffic.'”
“And he said something else that was interesting. He did say that President Putin was very keen to meet Mr. Trump, and would make himself available at any other opportunity where their paths coincided, and invited him to the Sochi Olympics.” Goldstone says Trump later received a wooden box and a note from the Russian leader.
When asked Goldstone added that he knew that Trump had stayed in the Russian hotel where the pee pee tape was supposed to have been made during this time.
Goldstone also talked about his testimony to the Grand Jury, saying that when asked he stated that he certainly believed that the Russians saw Trump as somebody they could use.
Goldstone added that this meeting has essentially ruined his life and blames Emon Agalarov for getting him involved.