Wealthy Russian political and business leaders flocked to Washington, DC — and the lobby of Trump International Hotel — during last year’s inauguration festivities, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
“As questions about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election were beginning to percolate publicly, prominent business leaders and activists from that country attended inaugural festivities, mingling at balls and receptions — at times in proximity to key American political officials,” The Post reported.
“Their presence caught the attention of counterintelligence officials at the FBI, according to former U.S. officials, although it is not clear which attendees drew U.S. government interest,” The Post continued. “FBI officials were concerned at the time because some of the figures had surfaced in the agency’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the officials said.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer whose June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, attended a black-tie party hosted by Rep. Dana Rohrahbacher (R-CA). Rep. Rohrabacher has been nicknamed, “Putin’s favorite congressman.”
Other guests included tycoon Viktor Vekselberg and Russian politician Boris Titov.
“It’s strange,” noted ex-Russia ambassador Michael McFaul, who didn’t remember Russians attending former President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Alexey Repik, a wealthy Russian pharmaceutical executive, documented his adventures on Facebook, including a photo taken with Mike Pompeo, the Kansas Republican who was eventually chosen by Trump to head up the CIA.
Watch Seth Meyers answer “Who the hell is Dana Rohrabacher?“