The Russian pop star who helped set up the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on then-White House rival Hillary Clinton is making headlines again. But in a testament to how bonkers the news lately, it’s not for the Trump-trolling video for his bossa nova cheese-pop single, “Got Me Good,” which giddily sends up President Trump’s hydra-headed scandals tied to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
That clip, which dropped in late June, stars a Trump impersonator hanging with singer Emin Agalarov — son of Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin pal Aras Agalarov — and a gaggle of beauty pageant contestants, as a shadowy figure monitors them from a basement spy nest. There are silver briefcases of secret documents handed off in hotel hallways, and surveillance footage of Emin and Trump partying with the models in a lush hotel suite, including a shot of a grinning Agalarov laying on a bed as a few bikini-clad women dance around him on the mattress.
Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with Trump, also makes a cameo, along with a Clinton impersonator. The whole scenario ends around a poker table where Emin, Trump, Clinton and Daniels play a high-stakes game with Ivanka and Jared Kushner and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Oh, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un makes a cameo at the end.
But why does any of this matter right now? On Thursday (Aug. 2), CNN reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has been trying to get an interview with Aras and Emin Agalarov for the past year as part of his expansive investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. To date, a spokesperson for Agalarov said those discussions have not gone anywhere; Mueller does not have the authority to subpoena the Agalarovs.
Mueller’s team would like to speak to the father and son real estate moguls about their role in setting up the Trump Tower meeting, as well as their discussions about possibly building a Trump Tower in Moscow. The Agalarovs teamed with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.
Agalarov’s lawyer said his clients had no reason to believe that Trump knew about the meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — who had ties to the Russian government — before it happened, though sources told CNN last week that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claims to have information that Trump did know about the meeting and the purpose of it beforehand. Agalarov’s publicist, Rob Goldstone, helped set up the Trump Tower meeting that was ostensibly about getting damaging information on Clinton. Emin is also mentioned several times in an email between Trump Jr. and Goldstone before the June 9, 2016 meeting.
“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting,” Goldstone wrote to Trump Jr. “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” Goldstone posited the information as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. wrote back, “I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first…if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
In an exclusive interview with Vice News two weeks ago, Emin showed off his extensive car and motorcycle collection and a massive estate that includes a deluxe home studio. “I’ve been accused of influencing the American election, me, this guy here from Azerbaijan living here in Moscow, because I know personally Mr. Donald Trump,” Agalarov says with a chuckle in the Vice piece, noting that Trump once appeared in one of his music videos and that the then-reality TV star was eager to invite Putin to the 2013 pageant, though the Russian president was ultimately unable to attend. “Apparently in those three days we’ve rigged the American election and helped him become president of the United States. So it’s quite a strange and ridiculous accusation.”
In the piece, Emin also denied reports — based on 2017 testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee from Trump’s head of security, Keith Schiller — that he offered to send five prostitutes to Trump’s room during his 2013 stay in Moscow for the pageant. “Mr. Trump came to Moscow with 87 of most beautiful ladies in the world,” he told Vice. “I would never even offer it because I can never live up to the high level of the most amazing and beautiful women surrounding us constantly. Trump and prostitutes for me, I think these are two separate worlds. I think any really successful people are interested in buying sex.”
The Vice report included a previously unseen tape of Emin and Goldstone brainstorming in February 2016 with the singer’s management team about how they might leverage Trump’s rise as a presidential candidate to boost the star’s then “absent” presence on the U.S. music scene. “Musically I’m non-existent there, so this could be an interesting instrument of exposure if played right,” the singer says in the clip. Goldstone adds that the Trump team had also reached out to him at the time for help getting to “Russian-American voters;” he later told a New York tabloid that no one from the Trump campaign has asked him for anything.
Trump has stridently denied any collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign and has repeatedly referred to Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt.”
Watch the “Got Me Good” video and Vice News piece below.