Artem Klyushin, a close associate of Konstantin Rykov, the man who claimed he worked with Russian hackers, WikiLeaks and Cambridge Analytica, attended a Donald Trump speech at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in September, 2015.
An analysis of the tweet posted by Klyushin confirms that both images were unique images, meaning the Klyushin himself took the pictures. The first image is especially interesting, given that it appears he had close proximity to then candidate-Trump. Only VIP’s and media are allowed to be so close to the stage at high-profile events with Presidential candidates.
The tweet says, “Trump is a good guy, he quickly realized that to win you must pour” using a play on words that doesn’t directly translate to English per Lorenz Cohen, a Russian-English speaker. Cohen confirmed that the syntax used suggest that Klyushin was indeed attending the event. The tweet was previously undiscovered by media covering the Trump/Russia story, introducing a new series of questions. It is unclear why Klyushin, a native Russian, was in America’s heartland attending Trump’s speech, more than two years after they met. The event required the purchase of a ticket, starting at $55.
On Twitter, Klyushin praised Rykov on his creation of a news website the day before the Trump speech. In the months before and after, Rykov and Klyushin have corresponded dozens of times and posted multiple pictures together.
In June, 2013 Trump had a private dinner in Las Vegas with the Agalarov’s, Yulia Alferova and Klyushin in Las Vegas to finalize the details for the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. Any contact between any of these Russians and Trump after his Moscow trip remained elusive until the discovery of Klyushin’s tweet.
The Klyushin photos add a new layer of intrigue in the story of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The President has stated multiple times that he has nothing to do with Russia. The contacts he had with powerful Russian families leading up to, and during, his Presidential run show otherwise.