Shortly after the 2016 election, the Trump campaign insisted none of its officials had interacted with Russians during the campaign. Over time, they have released more and more information about contacts, including a series of misleading statements about a meeting with a Russian lawyer on June 9, 2016.

Scroll through to see how the story developed, or take a look at all of Trump’s ties to Russian interests.

Setting

Trump Tower, June 9, 2016

Purpose

“Primarily” to discuss adoption
To receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton
To recieve damaging information as part of a Russian government effort to help his father
To receive “very high level and sensitive information” that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”
Missing information

Who was in the room

Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump’s eldest son and campaign adviser

Jared Kushner

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and campaign adviser

Paul Manafort

Campaign adviser

Natalia Veselnitskaya

Russian lawyer

Rob Goldstone

Music publicist

Anatoli Samochornov

Translator

Rinat Akhmetshin

Russian-American lobbyist

Ike Kaveladze

VP of Agalarov real estate, the Crocus Group

March 2017

Donald Trump Jr. denied holding any campaign meetings with Russians in an interview with the New York Times: “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did. But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”

July 8

Donald Trump Jr. acknowledges meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, as well as Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. His statement mentioned an unnamed acquaintance asked for the meeting but said the meeting was “primarily” about adoption. The Post later reported that President Trump dictated the statement.

July 9

In a new statement, Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged he took the meeting after being offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reported that the meeting was set up by music publicist Rob Goldstone, who also attended.

July 10

The New York Times reported that Trump Jr. had been told the damaging information he would receive at the meeting was part of a Russian government effort to help his father.

July 11

To preempt a new Times story, Trump Jr. released his emails with music promoter Rob Goldstone in which Goldstone wrote that the meeting would be so that Trump Jr. could be provided “very high level and sensitive information” that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

July 14

Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist, told reporters that he also attended the meeting, as did a translator for Veselnitskaya, Anatoli Samochornov. Alan Futerfas, a laywer for Donald Trump Jr., indicated that another man that he did not name, an American citizen, had also been in attendance.

July 18

An attorney for Ike Kaveladze, a U.S.-based employee for the Agalarovs’ real estate company the Crocus Group, reveals that his client was the eighth person at the meeting. The attorney he said he believed the meeting was attended by eight people, whose identities are now all known to the public.

Keep scrolling for more background info on every person in the meeting.

Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump’s eldest son and campaign adviser

Why was he in the meeting? Rob Goldstone, a music promoter, requested that Trump Jr. take the meeting so he could hear “very high level and sensitive information” that was “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his father’s campaign.

Background: As an executive in his father’s company, Donald Trump Jr. traveled back and forth to Russia for years, attempting to broker a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow. In 2008, he told an audience at a real estate conference that Russians “made up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” At the time of the 2016 meeting, Trump Jr.’s role as an informal adviser in his father’s campaign was expanding.

Jared Kushner

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and campaign adviser

Why was he in the meeting? Donald Trump Jr., the candidate’s son, asked him to attend. The Russian lawyer told NBC that he attended only briefly and left before the meeting ended.

Background: In a White House that has viewed politics as a family business, Kushner—who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka--has emerged as the president’s most important adviser and confidant. At the time of the campaign, he was a top adviser but remained in charge of his own family’s real estate business, searching for new investors for key projects. After Trump’s election, Kushner met with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banker, both meetings he did not at first disclose.

Paul Manafort

Campaign adviser

Why was he in the meeting? Donald Trump Jr., the candidate’s son, asked him to attend. The Russian lawyer has said he stared at his phone throughout the meeting.

Background: A globe-trotting political consultant whose previous clients included dictators and a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine, Manafort was hired to bring discipline and professionalism to the Trump campaign in April 2016. At the time of the meeting, he was locked in a bitter internal dispute with Corey Lewandowski, then the campaign manager. Eleven days after the meeting, on the advice of his adult children, Trump fired Lewandowski and named Manafort chairman of his campaign.

Natalia Veselnitskaya

Russian lawyer

Why was she in the meeting? Somewhat in dispute. Emails show that Rob Goldstone asked Donald Trump Jr. to meet with her after his Russian pop star client Emin Agalarov’s father Aras met with a prosecutor in Russia who had information to transmit to the campaign and asked that Trump Jr. meet with a “Russian government lawyer.” A lawyer for the Agalarovs says he never met with the prosecutor but interceded after Veselnitskaya asked for help securing the meeting. She has said she was not acting on the Russian government’s behalf.

Background: Veselnitskaya began her career as a prosecutor in the Moscow region before going into private practice, where her clients include prominent Russians like Russian businessman Denis Katsyv. Her ex-husband was a government official. She has told the Wall Street Journal that she is friendly with Russia’s top prosecutor and exchanged information with him prior to the meeting but insisted she was no government envoy.

Rob Goldstone

Music publicist

Why was he in the meeting? His client, the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, asked him to set up the meeting.

Background: As Emin Agalarov’s publicist, Goldstone was intimately involved in bringing Miss Universe to Moscow in 2013. He attended a meeting with Trump and the Agalarovs in Las Vegas in 2013 and later attended the pageant.

Anatoli Samochornov

Translator

Why was he in the meeting? He has worked before with Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, and accompanied her to serve as her translator.

Background: He has previously worked for the U.S. State Department and has worked for other groups in the New York area to translate Russian.

Rinat Akhmetshin

Russian-American lobbyist

Why was he in the meeting? In an interview, he said he was having lunch with Veselnitskaya a few blocks from Trump Tower when she started telling him about the meeting and asked his advice about what she should say. “She said, ‘Why don’t you come with me?’” he recalled.

Background: He is a veteran of the Soviet army, where he served in a unit whose responsibilities included counterintelligence. He denies any ties to the Russian government or intelligence services. He was hired by Veselnitskaya to launch a U.S. lobbying effort to lift the Magnitsky Act sanctions and he had conducted meetings on Capitol Hill about the topic. He is known as a wily political operator whose tactics have included sullying the reputations of his client’s enemies.

Ike Kaveladze

VP of Agalarov real estate, the Crocus Group

Why was he in the meeting? Kaveladze’s lawyer said he attended at the request of Aras Agalarov, a Russian developer who hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

Background: Born in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, he came to the United States in 1991. In 2000, he was the subject of a Government Accountability Office report requested by Congress that concluded it is “relatively easy” for Russians to launder money through U.S. financial institutions. The report outlined how he had set up 236 bank accounts for Delaware corporations on behalf of Russian brokers. His lawyer said he did nothing wrong and was not charged with any crime.

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Information compiled from staff and other media reports. Originally published July 21, 2017.

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