Russian ‘Gun-For-Hire’ At Trump Jr. Meeting Once Ran Smear Campaign Alleging Anti-Semitism by the Forward

Russian ‘Gun-For-Hire’ At Trump Jr. Meeting Once Ran Smear Campaign Alleging Anti-Semitism

The former Soviet intelligence officer who was at the bombshell meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower last June allegedly helped organized a campaign against a fellow Russian seeking political asylum in the United States — by calling him anti-Semitic.

Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-born political lobbyist now living in Washington D.C., was accused of mounting a smear campaign against former Russian politician Ashot Egiazaryan, who at the time was seeking political asylum in the United States, according to Radio Free Europe.

A lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court charged that the campaign sought to derail Egiazaryan’s asylum request and force him back return to Russia, by alleging that he was an anti-Semite. Lawyers allege Akhmetshin was enlisted to help publish at least one article in the Jewish Journal accusing the deputy of anti-Semitism.

Akhmetshin has been described as a shrewd lobbyist who has mounted numerous under-the-radar political campaigns.

“I know of no Russian gun-for-hire who managed to run his campaigns so successfully, running circles around purportedly much more seasoned Washington hands,” Steve LeVine, a Washington reporter who has written about Akhmetshin’s work, told Radio Free Europe.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum


Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum .

Rinat Akhmetshin Once Played Jewish Card

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