If you thought the Trump-Russia scandal couldn’t get weirder, think again.
A player in the various investigations — Russian pop music star Emin Agalarov, who helped arrange an infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016 — has put out a music video jokingly portraying himself as involved in all sorts of shady activities connected to American politics.
The video, flagged by CNN’s Hunter Schwarz on Twitter, features Emin carousing with impersonators of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even Stormy Daniels. Emin hands over mysterious briefcases and envelopes, as he repeatedly sings “You got me so good, you really got me so good.” Here’s the video.
Who is Emin Agalarov, and why is he doing this?
Emin and his wealthy developer father, Aras Agalarov, worked with Trump to host the Miss Universe pageant in Russia several years back. They spent time with Trump during his short trip to Moscow for the pageant in November 2013 — a trip that has been the subject of endless intrigue and conspiracy theorizing in recent years.
The Agalarovs took Trump out on the town for various events during the trip, and Trump also made time to shoot a cameo for one of Emin’s music videos. Trump was very grateful and sounded keenly interested in working with them on future Russia-based business deals, including a Moscow Trump Tower. According to Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s book Russian Roulette, Emin’s sister showed up to Trump Tower soon afterward “bearing a gift for Trump” — a box with a sealed letter from Putin.
@AgalarovAras I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next. EMIN was WOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2013
Fast-forward to the presidential campaign. In June 2016, Emin had his publicist, Rob Goldstone, contact Donald Trump Jr. with a message from his father Aras. The “Crown prosecutor of Russia” had some information that could “incriminate” Hillary Clinton, Goldstone wrote in an email. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone continued.
Don Jr. responded enthusiastically (“If it’s what you say I love it”), called Emin to chat, and they arranged the now-notorious meeting with a Russian delegation at Trump Tower for a few days later.
When Don Jr.’s meeting became known last summer (confirmed in emails he himself released), it seemed to quite clearly show Trump’s team willing to accept campaign help from the Russian government. However, all parties involved claimed, and continue to claim, that the meeting ended up being a dud and let nowhere.
Emin didn’t seem particularly bothered by the development. Documents later released by the Senate Judiciary Committee show Goldstone texting Emin in a panic, worrying about his own reputation being destroyed because he was being painted as “some mysterious link to Putin.” Emin responded: “That should give you mega PR,” with a wide-eyed, eyebrows-raised emoji face.
Now, it’s Emin himself who appears to want “mega PR,” with this new video positively embracing (humorously) his starring role in the collusion investigation. After all, he lives in Russia so he isn’t in any legal danger from Robert Mueller’s probe.
What... what is up with this video?
The video shows Emin shadily meeting and hanging out with impersonators of Trump, Ivanka, Stormy Daniels, and Hillary Clinton — all as he’s being surveilled by a shadowy figure.
It sets some scenes, with Emin and Trump, at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. “I wish you at least would be honest, I wish that you told me the truth,” Emin croons as footage of him and Trump plays. (Despite the video, the lyrics generally sound like they refer more to a romantic relationship.)
At one point, the video shows a shows a shadowy figure at a computer terminal watching a video of Trump partying in a hotel room with several bikini-clad women and Emin himself. The figure then erases Trump from the video, in what’s clearly a reference to the “pee tape” rumor. Is Emin alluding that he knows something?
But, lest you view any of this as an admission, Emin also shows himself paying off Stormy Daniels in an elevator, and socializing with a hard-drinking Hillary Clinton. Mark Zuckerberg shows up too. Eventually, the whole group hangs out together to play a round of collusion poker, and the shadowy figure surveilling them all is revealed to be a popcorn-eating Kim Jong Un, because ... why not.
Also, near the end, Emin briefly plays actual footage of Trump himself wishing him a happy birthday, recorded back in 2014. Mega PR indeed.