When President Donald Trump’s eldest son Don Jr. testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his phone calls with the Azerbaijani-Russian pop star Emin Agalarov at the height of the 2016 campaign, he insisted: “I simply don’t remember.”
“I said, ‘Listen, there's some people that want to meet you,’” Emin told VICE News in an exclusive interview. “‘They obviously want something that could potentially help them resolve things that you could be interested in, or maybe not. If you can spare a few minutes of your time, I'd be grateful. If not, no problem.’ Obviously Don Jr., obviously, being Don Jr., said, ‘Of course. I'll do it if you're asking.’”
In a wide-ranging interview about his relationship with the Trumps, his music career, and his business projects, Emin admitted that he helped orchestrate the infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower ahead of which the top brass of the Trump campaign were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. And that meeting, he said, was exactly what he spoke to Don Jr. about on the phone a few days before it happened.
Emin said the request had come to him via his father, the billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, who’s believed to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
That outreach resulted in the meeting at Trump Tower between Don Jr., Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Natalya Veselnitskaya, a lawyer from Moscow, with her own ties to the Kremlin, also attended.
But Emin’s insight into the meeting pretty much ended there. He said he didn’t know who asked his father to arrange the meeting in the first place, before adding that it was “pointless” and ultimately “about nothing.”
He expressed a similarly blase position when it came to the infamous Steele Dossier. But Emin cast doubt on its most salacious detail: the allegation that Trump cavorted with prostitutes during a visit to Moscow during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. And he said he wasn’t behind an offer, reportedly made to Trump’s then-bodyguard, Keith Schiller, to send prostitutes to Trump’s hotel room.
“Mr. Trump came to Moscow with 87 most beautiful ladies in the world. I would never even offer it, because I can never live up to the high level of the most amazing and beautiful women surrounding us constantly,” Emin said. “I don’t think any successful people are interested in buying sex.”
This segment originally aired July 10, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.