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New videos reveal a Russia link

President Donald Trump waves as he departs the White House, headed to Paris for Bastille Day.
President Donald Trump waves as he departs the White House, headed to Paris for Bastille Day. Alex Brandon

DONALD Trump insists he has no Russian ties, but two videos leaked yesterday show him rubbing shoulders with Russian billionaires.

One video, released by US NBC News, purports to show President Trump and members of his family celebrating the birthday of Emin Agalarov - the pop star son of Russian billionaire and President Putin confidant Aras Agalarov - at a function in Moscow in 2013.

Another, released by CNN, shows Mr Trump at a dinner with the Agalarovs to discuss plans for the then upcoming Moscow Miss Universe Event.

Mr Trump calls the Agalarov family "the most powerful people in all of Russia ... the richest men in Russia”.

When introduced to Emin's mother and sister, Mr Trump is seen to react: "Whoa, look at this! Now I'm glad we're going to dinner. What a beautiful mother you have! Well, you produce good looking stuff, right? Beautiful stuff.”

Also attending the dinner were his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and future director of Oval Office operations, Keither Schiller.

Agalarov publicist Rob Goldstone is also present.

He is at the centre of a new controversy swirling around Donald Trump Jnr and the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Both attended a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya early last year upon the promise of "damaging material” aimed at presidential campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

Mr Goldstone purportedly set up a phone call between Mr Trump Jnr and Emin to discuss the information.

Mr Goldstone's email exchange with Mr Trump Jnr has been described in some quarters as a possible "smoking gun” in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow to get him elected.

The videos reveal the close relationship between the billionaire families.

The Trumps and Agalarovs formed a business partnership to take the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. CNN also reports they have a business partnership in Las Vegas.

- staff writers

Topics:  billionaires donald trump vladimir putin



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