President Trump’s eldest son may have profited off an appearance at an event last fall hosted by a couple aligned with the Russian government on Syria, according to new reporting.
Trump's private talks with the pro-Russia figures on Oct. 11 in Paris were reported in November, though new details about the meeting have since emerged.
Donald Trump Jr. was likely paid $50,000 for addressing the dinner at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Trump was a guest of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, whose president Fabien Baussart and Syrian-born wife Randa Kassis have cooperated with Russia on ending the Syrian civil war, U.S., Arab and European officials told the newspaper.
Trump, 39, serves as executive vice president of the Trump Organization and was a top official in his father’s 2016 presidential campaign before the October event.
All American Speakers, a talent booking agency that represents Trump, lists his booking fee range as “$50,000 and above” on its website. The Journal noted it confirmed with people who had participated in past Center events that it often pays speakers 20-30 percent above their going rate.
The Trump Organization did not dispute Thursday whether Trump received at least $50,000 for his remarks in France.
“Donald Trump Jr. has been participating in business-related speaking engagements for over a decade — discussing a range of topics including sharing his entrepreneurial experiences and offering career specific advice,” said Amanda Miller, the company’s vice president for marketing, according to the Journal.
Kassis heads a political party, the Movement for a Pluralistic Society, which is part of a faction endorsed by Russia in global negotiations aimed at ending the Syrian conflict.
She regularly visits Moscow to coordinate policy with Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Arab and European officials told the Journal, and she is often featured at Russian state media.
Baussart told the newspaper he and his wife are focused on finding a solution to Syria’s six-year civil war involving cooperation between Russia and the U.S. Kassis said she explained the need for harmony between the two nations to Donald Trump Jr. in October, adding she had passed on his views on the conflict to Russian diplomats in Moscow.
Baussart formally nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize in December for his role in ending the Syrian civil war.
“I believe that President Putin deserved it,” he told Ria Novosti then while discussing the award. "He is the only one who is truly fighting terrorism.”
The Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials and allies have come under increasing scrutiny following reports last month that top campaign aides and allies were in regular contact with Russian intelligence officials last year.
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded Russia launched an extensive hacking and influence campaign during the 2016 race.Read More...
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