A bombshell new report from the New York Times reveals that Russia was likely not the only foreign group which actively worked to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.
On August 3, 2016, three months before the election, Donald Trump Jr. apparently held a small meeting at Trump Tower which was organized by private security contractor Erik Prince (the founder of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos). The meeting was attended by George Nader, an emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and Joel Zamel, an Israeli social media manipulation expert.
Three months before the 2016 election, a group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Don Jr. to offer help to win:
• Israeli specialist in social media manipulation
• George Nader, an emissary for Arab princes
• Blackwater founder Erik Prince https://t.co/nb5vCpXccp
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 19, 2018
In the meeting, Nader apparently expressed to Trump Jr. that the UAE was “eager to help his father win election as president” and wanted to offer as much support as possible.
Zamel apparently attended the meeting on behalf of a company called Psy-Group, which specializes in online manipulation and had prepared a social media strategy proposal to assist Trump in the election (spoiler alert: the strategy involved fake social media accounts).
Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.’s attorney, insists that nothing came of the meeting, however. He tells the Times, “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.”
The meeting has come to Robert Mueller’s attention and is now part of the special counsel’s investigation. (A meeting which Donald Trump Jr. apparently held in June 2016 with a Russian connected to Vladimir Putin has also come under scrutiny.)
This particular meeting is significant as it is the first solid indication that countries other than Russia may have had a hand in meddling in the 2016 election.
“The emissary told DJT Jr. the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win. Trump Jr. responded approvingly. meetings are first indication countries other than Russia may have offered Trump campaign assistance” https://t.co/3aOuudAPg8
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 19, 2018