Donald Trump Jr met Gulf states emissary offering election help. New York Times reports August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower Meeting included Israeli social media expert and Erik Prince.
Donald Trump Jr met with an emissary for foreign governments seeking to help his father’s presidential campaign three months before the 2016 election, the New York Times on Saturday.
Citing several anonymous sources with knowledge of the meeting, the Times said Trump Jr met at Trump Tower on 3 August 2016 with an emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Also present, the paper said, were an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, Joel Zamel, and Erik Prince, the founder of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater.
Zamel represented a firm that employed several Israeli former intelligence officers and specialized in data collection and social media persuasion. At the time of the meeting, the Times stated, “the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr Trump”.
The meeting, which the Times said was facilitated by Prince, is the first evidence that countries other than Russia sought to influence the US election in favor of Donald Trump.
The US intelligence community and the Senate judiciary committee agree that Russian election interference aimed to help Trump defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating that interference and alleged links between Trump aides and Moscow