Trump Jr. met with Gulf adviser who offered help to win election: report
President Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. reportedly met with a Gulf emissary months before the 2016 presidential election who said that the crown princes of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were eager to help Trump win.
Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with George Nader was held at Trump Tower in August 2016, The New York Times reported Saturday, noting the meeting and other interactions are the first indication that a country other than Russia may have offered to help the Trump campaign before the election.
Also present at the meeting was an Israeli political strategist named Joel Zamel, whose company chalked up a plan to manipulate social media in an effort to help elect Trump, the Times reported.
It remains unclear whether the plan was executed, and a lawyer for Zamel denied to the Times that his client carried out a campaign on behalf of Trump.
The Times reported that private security contractor Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, arranged the August meeting. He declined to comment for the report.
A lawyer for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, told the Times in a statement that “prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it.”
Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to investigate Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, is reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.
A lawyer for Nader told the newspaper that he “has fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation and will continue to do so.” A senior official in Saudi Arabia also told the Times that it never employed Nader nor authorized him to speak for its crown prince.
The meeting took place just three months prior to the election in Trump Tower in New York City, the same location of a controversial meeting between campaign aides and a Russian attorney tied to the Kremlin in June of that year.
Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee released the full transcript of its interview with Trump Jr. regarding the infamous June 2016 meeting he attended with a lawyer promising dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Updated at 1:50 p.m.