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Trump Jr. Met With Mueller Witness     05/20 10:40

   Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a private military 
contractor and an adviser to Middle Eastern leaders, both of whom have since 
become a focus of investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller, a 
lawyer for President Donald Trump's eldest son said Saturday.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a 
private military contractor and an adviser to Middle Eastern leaders, both of 
whom have since become a focus of investigators working for special counsel 
Robert Mueller, a lawyer for President Donald Trump's eldest son said Saturday.

   Erik Prince, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign and former head of 
Blackwater, and George Nader, a veteran operative who has advised the United 
Arab Emirates and helped American contractors secure business in the Middle 
East, met with Trump Jr. at Trump Tower to discuss a social media proposal, 
lawyer Alan Futerfas said in a statement.

   "They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing 
strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it," Futerfas said.

   Also at the meeting was Joel Zamel, the CEO of a social media company called 
WikiStrat. But he neither offered social media services to the Trump campaign, 
nor was he asked to help the campaign, his lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said.

   "Joel Zamel offered nothing to the Trump campaign, received nothing from the 
Trump campaign, delivered nothing to the Trump campaign and was not solicited 
by, or asked to do anything for, the Trump campaign," Mukasey said Saturday.

   Mukasey also called it "misguided" to say Zamel conducts "social media 
manipulation," as suggested by The New York Times, which first reported the 
meeting. The newspaper said the August 2016 meeting was convened primarily to 
offer assistance to the Trump campaign and that the outreach suggests countries 
other than Russia may have offered to help get Trump elected.

   Mueller's investigators have been looking into a later meeting, in January 
2017 in the Seychelles, that Nader and Prince held with Abu Dhabi's crown 
prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker 
with close ties to the Kremlin. Nader is a witness in Mueller's ongoing 
investigation into Russian interference in the election.

   The Associated Press reported in March that Nader had been convicted on 10 
counts of sexually assaulting a minor in the Czech Republic in 2003. Employees 
for Prince's previous firm, Blackwater, were implicated in the deaths of 14 
civilians in Iraq in 2007.

   Neither a spokesman for Prince nor a spokeswoman for Nader's lawyer 
immediately returned requests for comment Saturday.

   Members of the House intelligence committee peppered Prince with questions 
about his interactions with the Trump campaign during a November 2017 
interview, but Prince did not disclose the Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr. 
and Nader.

   Mueller has dug into various facets of the social media and digital efforts 
in the 2016 election as part of his expansive federal probe. In February, he 
filed an indictment against 13 Russians and three companies accused of running 
an elaborate campaign on social media to disrupt the elections.

   The federal probe has also dipped into the digital side of Trump's 2016 
campaign, with Mueller's team asking former campaign staff about the role of 
Cambridge Analytica, the voter data firm which former White House chief 
strategist Steve Bannon helped run.

   The president and his closest aides have repeatedly said there was no 
collusion between his campaign and the Russians. And the Republican-led House 
intelligence committee found no evidence of collusion. But Senate investigators 
said this past week that they believed the Russian meddling was clearly meant 
to harm Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump.


(KA)

 
 
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