Russian oligarch that set up Don Jr's infamous meeting sent Trump an expensive painting — and he thanked him for it
Donald Trump (left) and Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov (right) at the 2013 Miss USA pageant. Image via Ethan Miller/AFP.

Aras Agalarov, the Russian oligarch that arranged the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, gave President Donald Trump an expensive painting for his birthday following the confab — and the president later sent him a message thanking him.


This anecdote was, as CNN noted Friday, one of the new pieces of information contained in a report released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee dissenting from the document released by the GOP majority at the end of their Russia investigation. The information came from an email sent by British producer Rod Goldstone, the man who organized the meeting itself. It was sent to Trump's personal assistant, Rhona Graff.

"There are few things better than receiving a sensational gift from someone you admire," Trump told Agalarov a week later. "And that's what I've received from you."

Agalarov — a real estate tycoon and patriarch of a family The Guardian called "the Trumps of Russia" — is known for his ties to the Kremlin. The two collaborated on bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013, and Agalarov's son Emin, a pop singer represented by the British producer Goldstone, was also integral in planning the meeting between members of Trump's family and campaign and Russians who professed to have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.