Former Russian Spy Attended Trump Jr. Meeting

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Remember that meeting between Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer who promised them government-supplied dirt on Hillary Clinton? Sure you do. It turns out there was one other person who attended:

The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned.

….The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship. The Associated Press identified the lobbyist as Rinat Akhmetshin, and said he acknowledged attending the meeting, though he said it was not substantive. “I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he told the AP.

Let’s not make too big a deal out of this. Lots of Russian attorneys with close ties to Putin probably invite former GRU agents to tag along when they meet with the brain trust of a presidential candidate to chat about state-supplied oppo on their opponent. I mean, it was summer and everyone was on vacation. This guy was probably the only translator with free time, amirite?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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