Russia

Ex-KGB agent: ‘I guarantee you’ that one or more Russian spies attended Trump JR meeting

for Sanchez thank you let’s talk more about this thickening plot joining us former undercover KGB agent Jack Barsky he is the author of deep undercover my secret life and tangled allegiances as a KGB spy in America and also with us editor-at-large for Time magazine David vondre Lee David is a man behind this cover but Jack I’ll start with you take a look at who is in this meeting as we are learning there were up to eight people a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin a Russian lobbyist Russian American lobbyists who is admitted to being an ex Soviet military officer a publicist who organized the meeting a translator and a still unidentified person Jack does this seem like a Russian intelligence operation to you it’s an interesting collection of people in preparation for this I I refreshed my memory we don’t have good data on Russian intelligence and Soviet intelligence but there is some really really good data on intelligence out of my old country the German Democratic Republic it became public knowledge at 1 out of 10 think about this for a moment one out of 10 people had official unofficial connections to the Stasi secret service so this kind of these kinds of tentacles you would expect to have been in place in the old Soviet Union and and you know Russia is just a little child of the Soviet Union I guarantee you if there were at least it was at least one if not multiple folks who had some intelligence connection in that meeting David I want to read you a portion of your cover piece for Time magazine in it you write this but this much is now clear thanks to from Jr’s Twitter stream whether the Trump teamed up with the Russians are not they certainly wanted to he now admits that he knew of purported Russian attempts to help his father weeks earlier in fact he tried to make it happen the proof is in an email chain of course you’re alluding to the email that he tweeted out himself right before and the New York Times of course puts together their latest reporting do you think enough is being made to the fact that the Trump campaign was told last summer that there was a Russian government efforts to help them win but even to this day question Russia’s interference in the election I think that this is what makes this story so big is that it’s no longer the intelligence community of the United States it’s no longer the media that’s going into this it’s we have the firsthand testimony as it were in that email chain of people at the very highest level of the Trump campaign this is you know that president Trump’s operation is a family business this is his oldest son this is his son-in-law and then the Chairman or manager of his campaign at the time Paul Manafort and they had document which said hey the Russian government wants to help your dad and we’d like to give you some damaging information can we do that and the response was if this is true we’d love it I would love it said Don jr. so it’s not coming from his enemies anymore that’s coming right from the heart of their own operation it’s black and white if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer he writes Jack I want to ask you about this new player in the meeting a Russian lobbyist that was at this meeting we just learned his name yesterday Rinat Akhmetov as an officer in the Soviet Army in the late 80s he said his unit was loosely part of counterintelligence now Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has also noted in a letter to homeland security that was in April that he allegedly still has ties to Russian intelligence although ak Machine denies it do you see any red flags in his background yes absolutely again you know as I said before in the forest former Soviet Union as well as Russia if you are anywhere near a center of power in the army if you’re in the army that’s the center of power you have some connection with intelligence now whether this was all a concerted effort to to to do some real damage in in the United States that’s a whole different ballgame but you know I said that before you know anytime you have contact with a with a connected individual that comes out of Russia you have to be very much aware that you are dealing with an adversary and the Trump Organization was totally a sload I’m looking at the right side of the screen there gentlemen these are live pictures of President Trump he is at Bedminster Golf Club that’s where the US Open is taking place so there’s a there’s a lot of crowd there as he’s spending the weekend in New Jersey back to our roots I’m curious jack given your ties to the KGB if you’ve ever heard of this person Rinat Akhmetov or I know that’s a different generation I’m sorry all right well the day the big question that remains David is what did President Trump know and when did he know it you point out that just hours after this Russian meeting was scheduled Ben candidate Trump announced to the world he was drafting a major speech to make public all things that taken place with the Clintons just a coincidence you think well the problem is whether intentionally or unintentionally President Trump and his administration have made it very difficult for us to know anything categorically because they change their stories daily and hourly but this is the important thing regardless of what his opponents political opponents do regardless of what the media does the facts are going to come out because he’s now embroiled himself largely through his own decisions in a major federal investigation in which people will be put under oath at risk of perjury and the facts are going to be ascertained you know some citizens don’t realize this but the media we don’t have subpoena power we there’s no penalty for lying to us but the whole game is different when you are dealing with the FBI and the Department of Justice and Special Counsel Muller Jack based on what was said in the emails we don’t know what was actually discussed if there was an information that was gleaned there by the Trump campaign but based on the emails and based on what you said about just the the tentacles of the of the Kremlin do you think the Russian government would have been aware of this meeting and it’s so what kind of information even without even knowing what was discussed could have been gleaned by the rush just by having this meeting not first of all aware of it yes connected to it with plausible deniability but that would not have been as much as you know getting information from the Trump campaign but you know creating all bunch of havoc which you know if that was the plan they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations David you you have a new time cover I got to ask you about it red-handed is the title split up guys so as we look at this the Russia scandal hits home you say people can read into this as they wish but what’s the message you wanted to get across here that this is coming not from outside but now from inside that there’s no longer speculation we now know that regard while we don’t know the details of what was passed or what was going on what we do know now categorically is that the Trump senior leadership of the campaign what believed that they were going to get help from the Russian government and that they were excited about that and that they arranged to have their top people going to a meeting fully expecting to get help from the Russian government and we’ll find out as this investigation goes on what actually transpired in that meeting and potentially the other meetings if there are meetings that we haven’t learned about yet but we do know now emphatically this question is resolved they thought they were going to get help they wanted the help and they took steps to get the help even conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer is writing and paying on