“I Mean His Trump Organization Employees”

I’m still plodding through the June 9 meeting materials, working on what they show about the story about the June 9 meeting that got crafted after the fact.

There’s one detail that I want to post separately. On July 13, 2017, Ike Kaveladze (who was really in charge of the meeting for his boss, Aras Agalarov) and Roman Beniaminov (Emin Agalrov’s assistant, who heard ahead of time the meeting was about dealing dirt on Hillary to the Trumps) had the following exchange by text (PDF 34).

[Kaveladze sends link]

Beniaminov: But I don’t recall taking any video. And I can’t understand why it looks so similar.

Kaveladze: I mean his trump organization employees.

By July 13, the Agalarovs and Trumps were increasingly at odds on how to respond to the story, not least after the Trumps leaked Rod Goldstone’s name to the press after saying they wouldn’t. After that, there seemed to be increasing amounts of dirt being leaked, perhaps by both sides.

It appears that Kaveladze may have phoned Beniaminov right before this to raise this CNN story, which had just been posted. Beniaminov seemed to think Kaveladze had suggested that he, Beniaminov, had taken the video, even while he seems to have been present at the Las Vegas event back in 2013.

Scott Balber, the Agalarov’s ever-present lawyer (who had actually represented Trump on a Miss Universe related issue in 2013), was quoted in the piece.

“It’s simply fiction that this was some effort to create a conduit for information from the Russian federal prosecutors to the Trump campaign,” Balber said on CNN’s “New Day.” “It’s just fantasy world because the reality is if there was something important that Mr. Agalarov wanted to communicate to the Trump campaign, I suspect he could have called Mr. Trump directly as opposed to having his son’s pop music publicist be the intermediary.”

I don’t rule out Balber having taken and leaked the video.

Or maybe not: What Kaveladze is interested in highlighting to Beniaminov is the presence of two other Trump employees in the video: Keith Schiller and Michael Cohen, shown above.

I don’t know what to make of the reference — though it’s equally possible they were involved in the 2017 response, or were viewed for some other reason as an additional concern regarding the June 9 meeting. Both, of course, have gotten some scrutiny for the liaison role they have served between Trump and other Russians.

29 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kurt and Mikey in this period did not often seem to travel together without the Don between them.

  2. orionATL says:

    it is interesting to have another data point for balber having represented, at some earlier time, the american side of the june 9 meeting. he is said to have represented the agalarov group and/or individual members of it after the june 9, 2016 meeting. so now we know balber was familiar with both sides. i think it is reasonable to assume trump referred balber to agalarov.

    it is interesting how difficult it can be to trace lawyers of record unless you know how to look.

    but in media reports of trump’s many, many legal depredations, there is often only mention of “trump’s lawyer”, michael cohen. i’d like to know if cohen was ever the lawyer of record on any trump court case, or walked into a court acting in trump’s name. 

    mostly it seems, cohen was trump’s enforcer: 

    “you fkin listen to me. i’m going to scrap my fkin teeth across and around your fkin ankles til you can’t fkin walk. when i fkin finish with you, your fkin life is going to be a fkin puddle of misery. the next time you want to fkin fck with donald trump, you will think fkin twice about it, you fkin hear me? “

      • orionATL says:


        tracking these guys is like walking thru a swamp. assumptions get you in trouble.

        i looked long and hard to see just what lawyer(s) represented trump in the ms. pennsylvania beat down. all i could come up with in the m’stream media was michael fkin cohen and he’s an enforcer not a lawyer.

        i was counting the other trump use of balber as the slapp suit against maher.

      • orionATL says:

        don’t know about breitbart but

        the curt schilling i know was one of the toughest pitchers you would never want to meet in a ballgame. he pitched for the phillies (wife’s family team). bmaz will probably tell you he pitched for some team in arizona too, but i wouldn’t know about that.

  3. Mitch Neher says:

    I doubt that anyone would have been allowed to video-tape Trump at that dinner without Keith Schiller questioning and clearing that person before Trump entered the room. I have no idea what inference to draw from that supposition. Maybe Kaveladze was trying to eliminate Beniaminov as the person who gave the video to CNN. I presume that no one from the Trump camp would have given the video to CNN. Maybe Schiller did not question and clear the person who made the video tape.

  4. Mitch Neher says:

    Beniaminov told Kaveladze that he doesn’t recall taking any video and that he can’t understand why it looks so similar. Similar to what? Some other video that Beniaminov took on some other occasion?

  5. Trip says:

    So what’s the deal with Rocketman and The Dotard? They signed a pledge to talk and be besties forever and ever? Was it a pinky swear? A spit handshake?  Will there be a marriage? Will Dennis Rodman perform the ceremony?  They can sit and chat about torture techniques, military parades and starving the masses; so much in common to reminisce about in old age.

    • Trip says:

      Who doesn’t want to trade seaside Trump condos for NK sanctions lift? How is that not the Fart of the Deal? Let’s hear from Donald:

      “I may be wrong, I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong,’” Trump said. “I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

      Whoomp there it is!
      Whoomp! Shaka-laka-shaka-laka-shaka-laka-shaka

    • Trip says:

      As a side note, Putin began his chumminess with NK in or around 2013/14. He has been aiding/trading (w) them while they were under sanctions. In order to work around Russia’s own sanctions, Putin wants a pipeline through NK to SK, plus a transiberian rail. What is the over/under that Putin is puppeteering this entire Trump/Jong un show?

  6. Willis Warren says:

    Sounds like what they’re doing is trying to figure out if someone (FBI) surreptitiously took the video.  This probably means that the tRUmp agenda goes back to (at least) 2013.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      That’s interesting. My video player doesn’t work with CNN stories. So I don’t know if anyone looked into the video camera or shielded their eyes from a glaring light. If not, then the video could have been surreptitiously recorded. OTOH, if the camera angle or camera position changes during the video, then you’d need a surreptitious camera-person, too.

      • Willis Warren says:

        There’s not much of the video on CNN’s website, but no one is looking at the camera, and it’s odd that tRUmp would be being filmed without mugging for the camera.  The angle on the camera would have been hard to pull off…  Algarov looks like he’s looking at the camera, but he doesn’t linger.  It doesn’t look professionally done.

        The word “similar” is interesting, though.

      • emptywheel says:

        I wondered whether Schiller was filming the reflection of the mirrors in the room. Or something like that.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          If Trump is right-handed, and if Trump raises his glass to toast Agalarov with his right-hand appearing on the right-hand side of the video image, then the video image was recorded from a reflection in a mirror. If, however, Trump’s right hand appears on the left-hand side of the video image, then the image was not recorded from a reflection in a mirror.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          Yes it does. Since Cohen’s right hand appears on the left-hand side of Cohen’s image in the still shot, therefore that image was not recorded from a reflection in a mirror.

  7. cfost says:

    Looks like it was filmed by a camera that was attached to someone’s clothing. A pen or lapel or eyeglass camera.

    If that is true, my guess is that this person was not the only one in the room who was filming surreptitiously!

    Something at least as important to me as the video images: Trump was, as of this date, already using Miss Universe pressers and publicity events to inject politics and US/Russia relations into his comments. Someone with time and access to Trump videos and comments could create a history of his state of mind and intentions, just by tracing the subject matter of his comments.

  8. SpaceLifeForm says:

    To those that think I am full of crap when I talk about Metadata, note that these players *WERE* paying attention to the news and even provided a link to a CNN article.

    News really does create Metadata. People actually do talk about news. Especially if something in an article may be worrisome to them.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      What’s crap is not using full sentences and using jargon without explanation or elucidation.  Unlike this comment, which does neither.  More of that would help.

        • greengiant says:

          I had no idea. But don’t have an android phone. Possible translation Googles Accelerated Mobile Pages, amp, using amp.com leaves a tidal wave of bread crumb metadata in business records, perhaps including phone number/IP and the quick link. This is all surfed up to sell to anyone and is free to the Feds for the asking. The (hypothetical in my case) corollary is any actors can buy this stuff and soon everyone is blackmailing everyone else, see Schneiderman’s and friends’ search histories of assault.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        “There’s one detail that I want to post separately. On July 13, 2017, Ike Kaveladze (who was really in charge of the meeting for his boss, Aras Agalarov) and Roman Beniaminov (Emin Agalrov’s assistant, who heard ahead of time the meeting was about dealing dirt on Hillary to the Trumps) had the following exchange by text (PDF 34).”

        [See the redacted image immediately below what Marcy wrote. Note the URL in top line, right]

        [I believe my sentences were fully complete and grammatically correct. I believe you know what Metadata is]

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