Rob Goldstone, the man who says he connected Donald Trump Jr. with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, is a British-born music producer with ties to a Russian billionaire through his pop star son.
Trump Jr. has confirmed in a statement that he and other Trump campaign officials met with Natalia Veselnitskaya. The person who asked Trump Jr. to attend the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya: Rob Goldstone, a music producer with ties to a Russian pop star, according to The Washington Post.
The New York Times broke the story that Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort had attended the meeting, although Trump Jr. says Veselnitskaya never produced information negative to Clinton.
A special prosecutor is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Goldstone Told The Washington Post That He Was the Intermediary Between Trump Jr. & Veselnitskaya
In the statement that he released on the meeting, Trump Jr. did not name the intermediary. However, Rob Goldstone told The Washington Post that “he had arranged the meeting at request of a Russian client and had attended it along with Veselnitskaya.”
He wouldn’t identify the Russian client, according to The Post, but he said that Veselnitskaya wanted to speak with Trump Jr. about the Russian adoption issue.
In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. wrote that he was “asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign.”
Trump Jr. also says in the statement that he was told that Veselnitskaya “had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”
2. Goldstone Works With a Russian Pop Star Whose Father Is a Wealthy Developer in Moscow
According to The Post, Goldstone “works as a manager for Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star whose father is a wealthy Moscow developer who sponsored the pageant in the Russian capital in 2013.”
Trump was featured in a music video with Emin Agalarov.
Emin’s father is Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire. Forbes says Aras is worth almost $2 billion, a fortune he made from real estate, and added that he brought the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow.
The son has boasted of the family’s ties to Trump.
Ermin Agalarov told Forbes in an interview that “he and his billionaire developer father, Aras, had plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia that would now likely be under construction had Trump not run for office; that he has maintained contact with the Trump family since the election, and has exchanged messages with Donald Trump Jr. as recently as January; and that President Trump himself sent a handwritten note to the Agalarovs in November after they congratulated him on his victory.”
3. Goldstone Is a Former Journalist From the UK & Has Represented Many Famous Clients
Goldstone got his start in journalism and runs a PR firm.
“Oui 2 PR founder, Rob Goldstone is a former journalist, publicist and international marketing director, whose previous clients include Michael Jackson, BB King, HMV Record Stores, Richard Branson, The Hard Rock Cafe and Oscar-winning lyricist Tim Rice,” his bio says.
“Born in the United Kingdom, Rob studied as a journalist and by his early 20’s worked for daily newspapers and radio stations. In 1985, The Band Aid Relief Fund invited Rob to accompany Bob Geldof to Ethiopia.”
The New York Times referred to Goldstone as a former “tabloid journalist,” writing that he is “a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant.”
The bio continues, “In 1986, Rob moved to Australia, first as a journalist – as the only journalist chosen by Michael Jackson to accompany him on his tour “down under” – and later as a publicist and co-president of his own PR company, Crawford Goldstone Publicity. For six years, Sydney-based Rob represented almost every major international artist touring Australia; from Cyndi Lauper to Julio Iglesias, James Taylor, Tracy Chapman, BB King, Marianne Faithful and Poison! Among his corporate clients were Saatchi and Saatchi, The Hard Rock Cafe, Chess: The Musical, Richard Branson’s Virgin Megastores, and HMV Music Stores.”
The Oui 2 company bio for Goldstone says he founded Oui 2 Entertainment with David Wilson in 1998.
“Manhattan-based Oui 2 and has since gone on to represent some of the biggest music brands and entertainment events in the country, including a decade relationship with EMI Music Publishing (then the world’s largest music publisher), Best Buy (handling their PR and creating events to introduce them into New York and San Francisco including Sting in Central Park), The Friars Club (handling media for their Roasts and tributes),” the bio says.
4. Goldstone Was in Moscow Two Weeks Before the Meeting
Goldstone has since privatized his Instagram account, but a July 27, 2016 post read, “It’s the last full day in Russia today and it’s been a 3 week whirlwind between Baku, St. Petersburg and Moscow.”
He also posted from Red Square in May 2016.
On Facebook, Goldstone says that he is single, lives in New York, New York, and is from Manchester, United Kingdom. His most recent public Facebook posts show travels to Greece, Croatia, and Italy.
5. Trump Jr. Admits Meeting With Veselnitskaya but Says She Had ‘No Meaningful Information’
According to a statement released by Trump Jr., he was not told the lawyer’s name before the meeting and asked Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to attend “but told them nothing of the substance.”
The meeting occurred in Jule 2016, and she “stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.”
She didn’t provide details or supporting information and “it quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.”
Trump Jr. said it became clear to him that “this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”
Trump Jr. originally said only that the meeting dealt with adoptions, according to The New York Times.