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Former Soviet counter-intelligence official says he was at Trump Jr meeting

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Former Soviet counter-intelligence official says he was at Trump Jr meeting

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A Russian-American former Soviet counter intelligence official turned lobbyist has said he attended a 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr, marking another change in the account of a discussion earmarked by some as evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The president’s son had previously only acknowledged the presence of Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

However, Rinat Akhmetshin told US media that he was also present at the meeting.

House of Representatives Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called for an independent commission to investigate the matter, saying: “It is important that we see all of the electronic communication – whether it’s direct messaging, twitter, email, text, whatever it happens to be – among the members of the Trump family and within Trump administration”

The uproar began after Trump Jr revealed that he and several of his father’s aides had met with Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.

Despite the 39-year-old’s attempts to play down the encounter, controversy has shrouded the revelation as more information about the meeting comes out.

The meeting, which was held at Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016, was set up by British music publicist Rob Goldstone, who represents Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

In an email string released by Trump Jr via Twitter, Goldstone promised that Veselnitskaya – described by Goldstone as a “Russian government attorney” – would share damaging information about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

But Mr Akhmetshin told the AP that Ms Veselnitskaya told Trump Jr she had details of possible illicit funds being funnelled into the Democratic National Committee.