Donald Trump Jr. attended a controversial meeting where he was offered help in winning the election for his father, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
According to the report, Trump Jr. and his aides met with three people who are all said to have dubious histories. One of them was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, while an emissary from the Gulf who represented two Arab princes also attended the meeting. The third person, a private security contractor in the Middle East and the former head of Blackwater, reportedly arranged the meeting on August 3, 2016.
The emissary, George Nader, said that he represented UAE and Saudi Arabia and could help Donald Trump win the election. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, talked up his company’s virtues in giving an edge to a political campaign. The report claims that at the time of the meeting, Zamel’s firm had already prepared a multimillion-dollar proposal to help Donald Trump win the election by using social media to influence voters in America. Zamel’s company is known to have several Israeli intelligence officers on its roster and specializes in collecting personal information and influencing social opinions.
The three people who met with Donald Trump Jr. continued to make inroads into the Trump campaign after the meeting and established working relationships with Trump’s staff.
“Mr. Nader was quickly embraced as a close ally by Trump campaign advisers — meeting frequently with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Michael T. Flynn, who became the president’s first national security adviser. At the time, Mr. Nader was also promoting a secret plan to use private contractors to destabilize Iran, the regional nemesis of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.”
After the election, evidence exists of a significant payment — ranging somewhere near $2 million — made by Nader to Zamel, who showed a presentation showing how his company manipulated social media to help Donald Trump win.
As noted by the New York Times, this is the first time that such a meeting has been reported and also the first time that a nation other than Russia has been shown to be involved in assisting Trump’s campaign in helping win the 2016 presidential elections. These interactions are already being investigated by Robert Mueller, who is looking into purported Russian interference into the election, and George Nader is one of his cooperating witnesses. Mueller’s team has conducted interviews with his associates in both the United States and Israel, but it is still not known if any such assistance was coordinated with Russia.
Despite the insistence by Donald Trump’s lawyers that he won’t be forced into sitting with Robert Mueller, the news of these controversial meetings with representatives of foreign governments is certain to throw the current administration into serious trouble.