Russian social media giant offered pro-Trump effort during campaign

The Russian tech executive pitched Trump's social media guru.

A Russian tech executive began pitching the Trump campaign in early 2016 about using social media to help gain “massive exposure” for his presidential bid, according to Senate interview transcripts released Wednesday.

Goldstone described the plan in his email, saying the company “had an idea to create a campaign page on VK for Mr. Trump and market it to the almost 3 million influential Russian American voters living in the USA.”

“I can get massive exposure for Mr. Trump on the site for sure - and it will be covered in Russian media also - - where I noticed your campaign is covered positively almost daily - [with] extremely gracious comments from President Putin etc.,” he wrote.

Graff then forwarded the message to the campaign’s social media director, Dan Scavino, who replied, “This is great!”

The pitches, which began in January 2016, represent the first known instance of Russian nationals urging Trump to accept their help in promoting his White House bid through a more robust social media campaign – though in this case it is limited to Russian-based platforms.

Scavino told ABC News in an e-mailed statement, “I do not know Rob Goldstone – the ‘pitch’ came to me via an email on January 19, 2016 - that I was cc’d on, and the email chain regarding VK was below that. I kindly acknowledged the email on the same day, and did not pursue further. There are no other responses.”

By June 2016, a day before the infamous Trump Tower meeting - which Goldstone also set up - the publicist sent a fresh email pushing the idea of a social media campaign. This time he included a mock-up web page featuring Donald Trump’s picture, his campaign slogan, pictures from the trail, and a previous Trump tweet sure to be popular with the candidate, “The media is really on a witch-hunt against me.”

Sidorkov, through Goldstone, touted the site as the most popular in Russia, a statistic confirmed by Amazon’s Alexa analysis site, and extended this invitation, “Also we can set up the official meeting with our CEO and fly to USA anytime,” he wrote. It is unclear if the meeting ever occurred.

Scavino told ABC News that he never pursued the project.

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