The Russians at the Center of the Donald Trump, Jr., E-mails

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Media Outlet: The New Yorker

Joshua Yaffa wrote for the New Yorker profiling the Russians involved in the Donald Trump Jr. emails and meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016:

The two Russian figures at the immediate center of the latest scandal—Veselnitskaya and Emin Agalarov, the pop star and heir to his father Aras’s fortune—look like potential bit players and opportunists out to advance their own agendas, powerful in their own worlds but not in the arena of Russian high-level politics. Veselnitskaya parlayed a set of contacts in the Moscow region into a meeting in Trump Tower; Emin was able to use a relationship built on a beauty pageant and a music-video cameo to make it happen. The open question now is whether the Putin state put them up to it. What’s hard to fathom, knowing the way that the system and its component parts work, is that after the fateful meeting in Trump Tower, those who wield the real power in Moscow didn’t, at the very least, know of the Trump campaign’s willingness to hear them out.


Joshua Yaffa is a New America fellow, reporting and writing on how Putin has sought to redefine the pillars of his rule and legitimacy, and what this new age of Putinism means for everyday Russians and Western governments.