A lobbyist who was once a Soviet counter-intelligence officer participated last year in a meeting with senior aides to US President Donald Trump, including his eldest son, and a Russian lawyer, NBC News reported on Friday, adding to allegations of possible connections between Moscow and the November election.
NBC News, which did not identify the Russian-American lobbyist, said some US officials suspected him of still having ties to Russian intelligence, something he denied to the network.
The Associated Press said the lobbyist, whom it identified as Rinat Akhmetshin, confirmed that he had attended the June 2016 meeting in New York’s Trump Tower.
A source familiar with the participants of the meeting confirmed to Reuters that Akhmetshin was in the room.
The meeting appears to be the most tangible evidence of a connection between Trump’s election campaign and Russia, a subject that has prompted investigations by congressional committees and a federal special counsel.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former campaign adviser Paul Manafort were also at the meeting, which the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to attend because he believed he could get damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr. did not mention Akhmetshin’s presence when he released a series of emails about the meeting earlier this week.