national committee. s i'm joined now by desmond butler for the associated press. and the first journalist to interview this lobbyist today. desmond, who is this guy? >> rinat akhmetshin is a lobbyist who has lived in washington since the mid-'90s. a lot of us in -- who report on international affairs know him. he has worked on a lot of issues as both a lobbyist and a p.r. guy, having to do with the former soviet space. and he is a pretty talented operator. >> yeah, he's -- my sense is he's kind of a man about time in d.c. people know him, he knows the right people, he is at different functions. he's not some obscure figure. >> no, that's certainly true. >> what did he say about how he ended up in this meeting? >> he had been working for a russian company run by a -- own ed by an that was among other things tries to water down the sanctions that were targeting russi russian. and one of the people that he worked with was this russian lawyer, and he says that he was in new york, in jeans and a t-shirt and she called him up and she said that she had a meeting with donald trump jr.