Russian pop star Emin Agalarov is admitting he was the force behind the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 that featured Donald Trump Jr. speaking with Russian nationals who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The fall out from that June 9, 2016 gathering, which also featured Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, and the Trump campaign attempts to explain the meeting, had been a key focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
But the singer denied he was trying to influence the election.
‘I have been accused of influencing — this is gonna sound very strange — influencing the American election. Me, this guy here from Azerbaijan, living in Moscow. Because I know personally Mr. Donald Trump,’ he told Vice News. ‘It’s quite a strange and ridiculous accusation.’
Russian pop star Emin Agalarov admitting to helping set up the Trump Tower meeting but denied he was trying to influence the 2016 election
The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, that Donald Trump Jr. participated in, is a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation
Agalarov also said he doesn’t know Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney and admitted government informant who also attended the meeting.
‘I never met her. I think my father met her a few times,’ he told the news show. ‘I think somebody asked him to help her set that meeting knowing that we were acquainted with the Trump family.’
He said he doesn’t know who asked his father to set up the Trump Tower meeting.
He did admit, however, that he and Donald Trump Jr. spoke before it took place.
‘I said, ‘Listen, there’s some people that want to meet you.’ They obviously want something that could potentially help them resolve things that you could be interested in or maybe not. If you can spare a few minutes of your time, I’d be grateful. If not, no problem. Obviously Don Jr. obviously being Don Jr. said, ‘Of course. I’ll do it if you’re asking,’ Agalarov said.
Trump Jr. had said he could not recall whether he and Agalarov spoke prior to the meeting, according to Senate Judiciary Committee testimony released in May.
Rob Goldstone, Agalarov’s publicist, helped arrange the meeting, emailing that a Russian official would provide ‘official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.’
But Agalarov said Goldstone was exaggerating in the email to cater to the Trump family.
The Russian pop star also denied to Vice News any knowledge of an offer to send prostitutes to Trump’s hotel room when the business mogul visited Moscow in 2013 for his Miss Universe pageant.
Former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller testified to the House Intelligence Committee in November that a Russian or Ukrainian man offered to send five prostitutes to Trump’s room.
Schiller said he told the man Trump wasn’t interested and that he and Trump later laughed about it.
Agalarov said it wasn’t him and that there were so many beautiful women around Trump because of the pageant that he would never offer prostitutes.
‘Mr. Trump came to Moscow with 87 of the most beautiful ladies in the world,’ Agalarov told the news show. ‘I would never even offer it because I can never live up to the high level of the most amazing and beautiful women surrounding us constantly.’
Agalarov’s father, wealthy real estate developer Aras Agalarov, paid a $20 million to bring the Miss Universe pageant to the Russian capital.
Emin Agalarov said Trump wanted to invite Vladimir Putin to the event.
‘We tried doing it, but [Putin] couldn’t come because he had [the] king of some country visiting and was unable,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the pop star has been using his Trump ties to promote his music career in the United States.
The music video for his new single ‘Got Me Good,’ appears to mock the Mueller probe, according to ABC News and features a pillow fight between a Trump impersonator and a group of scantily clad Miss Universe contestants.
Agalarov told ABC News he has not spoken to Mueller.
‘There’s a criminal investigation currently going on,’ he said. ‘So I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on that.’