Translator in Trump Jr. meeting identified as ex-State Dept. contractor

The translator who attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin is a former State Department contractor, CBS News’ Kylie Atwood has learned. 

The translator has been identified as Anatoli Samochornov, who a State Department spokesperson confirmed has done contract work for them. Samochornov is not a State Department employee, the spokesperson said, but has worked with the State Department’s Office of Language Services as an interpreter. Samochornov also helped the State Department implement exchange programs when he was working for Meridian International, a nonprofit that has a cooperative agreement with the State Department. 

The Meridian contract under which Samochornov worked to support State Department-sponsored exchanges expired at the end of the fiscal year 2016.  

Anatoli Samochornov, the translator who attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer and a Russian lobbyist.


At the June 2016 meeting, Samochornov was working as a translator for Veselnitskaya, who reportedly Veselnitskaya does not speak any English.   

A friend of Trump Jr.’s, Rob Goldstone, sent an email to Trump Jr. about Veselnitskaya, promising information from the Russian government on then-candidate Donald Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr.’s brother-in-law and now-presidential adviser Jared Kushner attended as well as campaign adviser Paul Manafort.

On Friday, Goldstone said there were more people at the meeting than initially reported. Among the participants, he told the Associated Press, was lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to The Associated Press on Friday. 

Akhmetshin served in the Soviet military and is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. 

Akhmetshin has worked with Veselnitskaya, who secured the meeting with…

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