All the President's men: Who's who in the Trump-Russia saga

As reports say Trump dictated his son's statement on meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya, we look at the main players in the affair

Donald Trump
Trump has almost 47 million Twitter followers
(Image credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Donald Trump dictated a "misleading" statement about his son’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer while flying home from the G20 summit in Hamburg, the Washington Post claims.

Advisers had said Donald Trump Jr should issue a truthful account so it "couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged", adds the paper.

But, it claims, Trump changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer [Natalia Veselnitskaya] had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children’".

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This later turned out to be "misleading", the Post continues, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the deliberations.

Multiple accounts of Trump Jr's meeting at Trump Tower in New York were issued before he finally released emails showing he had agreed to it with the hope of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Nor was he alone - Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort were also present.

"The extent of the president's personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy," the Washington Post says.

The "revelations draw president closer into tangled web over June 2016 meeting", The Guardian reports, and "has the potential to cause political, and even legal, trouble for the White House because it draws Trump himself much closer into the fray over the Trump Tower meeting, which has become a lightning rod in the Russian affair".

Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort have all been questioned by US investigators into whether there was collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign.

There are now so many inquiries, "it's become genuinely difficult to keep up with all the different government investigations related to his presidential campaign’s ties to Russia and its attempts to sway the 2016 election", Vox reports.

It is a complicated affair, but here is a breakdown of some of the key people involved.

THE AMERICANS: Trump’s inner circle

US President Donald Trump

While he denies any wrongdoing, Trump is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is examining Russia's role in the 2016 US presidential election.

Donald Trump Jr

According to his emails, Trumps oldest son arranged a meeting in June 2016 with someone he believed to be a Russian government official who had sensitive information that would incriminate Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Jared Kushner

Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and adviser, also attended the meeting with Trump Jr. In addition, he also met four Russian officials, including Sergey Kislyak, Moscow's ambassador to the US, during and after the election.

Jeff Sessions

US Attorney General Sessions recused himself from involvement in the investigation for failing to disclose his conversations with Kislyak during the campaign.

Michael Flynn

The President's former security adviser gave contradictory statements to Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Kislyak and their conversations about sanctions placed on Russia in December 2016 by the Obama administration. He was subsequently fired by Trump.


James Comey, former FBI director

Trump fired the former FBI director in May, while Comey was leading an investigation into possible Russian interference with the US election. The move led to comparisons with Watergate.

Robert Mueller

The former FBI director, who served up to 2013, was appointed to head the Russia investigation after Comey. He is also examining allegations that individuals with ties to Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia.


Rob Goldstone

Goldstone, a British publicist for Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, helped set up the meeting at Trump Tower.


President Vladimir Putin

Putin has been accused of many things during his 17 years in power, including meddling in the 2016 US elections. He met Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg on 7 July. It later emerged the two men also held a private talk during the event.

Natalia Veselnitskaya

Veselnitskaya is a Kremlin-linked attorney who met Trump Jr, Kushner, Manafort and others in June 2016. She reportedly didn’t provide the anticipated information about Clinton and instead wanted to discuss Russian adoption.

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