Publicist used 'hot-button language' to ‘puff up’ Trump Tower meeting email

Publicist used 'hot-button language' to ‘puff up’ Trump Tower meeting email

British publicist Rob Goldstone said in a new interview he used "hot-button language" to "puff up” an email to Donald Trump Jr. about meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign in order to make it sound more interesting. 

“I should have listened to that little voice in my head. But I never thought in a million years that an email I wrote in about three minutes to Don Jr. would be examined by the world many times over. I just needed to get him to respond,” Goldstone told The Sunday Times in London.

Goldstone, a former tabloid journalist who is now living in Thailand, is the manager for Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian entertainment artist who has boasted of having a close relationship with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE

“If I’m guilty of anything, and I hate the word guilty, it’s hyping the message and going the extra mile for my clients. Using hot-button language to puff up the information I had been given,” Goldstone said. “I didn’t make up the details, I just made them sound more interesting.”

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Goldstone exchanged a series of emails with Trump Jr. in 2016 to set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMissing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani On The Money: Trump downplays urgency of China trade talks | Chinese negotiators cut US trip short in new setback | Trump sanctions Iran's national bank | Survey finds Pennsylvania, Wisconsin lost the most factory jobs in past year Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro get heated over whistleblower debate MORE.

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. responded to Goldstone, regarding the meeting.

Goldstone, Trump Jr., White House adviser Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort all attended the meeting.

Goldstone said in the new interview he believes the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, pulled a "classic bait-and-switch." He said she arranged the meeting under the pretext of information about Clinton, but instead discussed the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russia for the death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. 

Goldstone said it did not occur to him that the meeting would lead to any fallout regarding foreign influence in the election.

Trump Jr. has called the meeting a waste of time, and that Veselnitskaya did not want to talk about Clinton. 

Goldstone said he has agreed to meet with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. 

“I’m keen to talk to them and put my recollection of events in the public record,” Goldstone told the newspaper. “After the story initially broke, it seemed to quiet down for a while. But now it’s back in the news with such force, I feel it’s time for me to explain what happened.”