Report: Mueller probing Trump Jr. meeting with Arab emissary

By Daniel Uria  |  May 20, 2018 at 12:36 PM
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May 20 (UPI) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., an emissary for two Arab princes and an Israeli social media specialist before the 2016 election.

Three months before the 2016 presidential election Trump Jr. met with George Nader, a top adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, and Israeli social media specialist Joel Zamel, to offer his father, now-President Donald Trump, assistance, The New York Times reported.

Private security contractor and former head of Blackwater Protection Erik Prince organized the Aug. 3, 2016, meeting in which Nader told Trump Jr. the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates wished to help his father win the presidential election.

Zamel detailed the ability of his firm, which is staffed by former Israeli intelligence officers skilled in collecting information and shaping opinion on social media, and presented a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help Trump win the election.

A lawyer for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, issued a statement confirming the meeting, adding Trump Jr. wasn't interested in the proposal and "that was the end of it."

"Prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Eric Prince, George Nader and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy," Futerfas said.

Following the election Nader issued a payment to Zamel of up to $2 million, which a person familiar with the matter said was unrelated to the campaign.

Mueller has conducted interviews regarding Zamel's work and two private firms he has founded, including analysis firm Wikistrat and the Psy Group, a private intelligence firm, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Zamel has met with Mueller's team to be questioned about his business relationship with Nader and his attorney has said he isn't a target of the investigation.

An attorney for Zamel, Marc Mukasey denied claims his companies engaged in "social media manipulation" and added Zamel "offered nothing to the Trump campaign, received nothing from the Trump campaign, delivered nothing to the Trump campaign and was not solicited by, or asked to do anything for, the Trump campaign."

Nader has also been cooperating with the probe and investigators have questioned witnesses in Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta and Tel Aviv about potential offers to provide foreign help in the election.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate judiciary committee released 2,500 pages of documents detailing a similar meeting, in which Trump Jr. met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who said she had damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton that could help Trump's campaign.

Trump sent out a series of tweets Sunday dismissing The New York Times report as "long and boring" and calling Mueller's investigation a "Witch Hunt."

"Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don't worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier!" Trump wrote.

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