BY: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS and PETE MADDEN
(NEW YORK) — Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star who helped arrange a key meeting at Trump Tower between high-ranking members of the Trump campaign and Russians, is trying to make the most of his time in the spotlight.
In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, the 38-year-old singer dodged questions about his role in brokering what has become a key focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and, instead, promoted his recent music videos, hyped his upcoming US tour and even praised President Donald Trump, his former business associate.
In an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee in November, Trump’s former bodyguard Keith Schiller disputed allegations printed in the infamous and unverified “dossier” that Trump had an encounter with prostitutes during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the annual Miss Universe pageant, telling congressional investigators that he turned down an offer someone made to send five women to Trump’s hotel room.
When asked if he was that ‘someone,’ Agalarov (whose father, Aras, had licensed the rights to bring the pageant to Moscow) issued a strange denial.
“No, completely untrue. … I think it’s important to remember that he had 87 of the most beautiful women in the world with him at the time,” Agalarov told ABC News. “So he had Miss Britain, Miss Australia, Miss Austria, Miss USA, Miss etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So I wouldn’t even risk to offer that.”
That hasn’t stopped Agalarov from capitalizing on the notoriety the accusation has provided him. In the music video for his new single “Got Me Good,” Agalarov appears to mock the Mueller probe, offering viewers faux surveillance footage capturing lookalikes of the investigation’s key players engaged in various forms of stagecraft.
He calls the video, which includes a pillow fight between a Trump impersonator and a group of scantily clad women dressed as Miss Universe contestants, all supervised by Agalarov, a “collage” of the “crazy” accusations that have been made about him in the media.
“I’ve been hearing my name in the news,” Agalarov said, “in the most ridiculous, craziest scenarios.”
For now, that satirical romp will have to stand as Agalarov’s only comment on the issues of interest to investigators. He doesn’t “recollect” the phone calls or text messages he reportedly exchanged with Trump’s son Don Jr., he denies having any interest in politics whatsoever, and he brushed off questions about a Trump Tower Moscow proposal he once floated to his father, a wealthy Moscow real estate developer.
“At some point we had a discussion of building a Trump Tower in Moscow,” Agalarov said. “It was actually my idea. … [But] it never led anywhere.”
He also would not explain why a key aide to his family company, Crocus Group, attended the Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr. As for the meeting itself, in which a Russian lawyer offered dirt on Trump’s rival candidate Hillary Clinton, he is keeping uncharacteristically quiet.
Agalarov told ABC News he has not spoken to Mueller, and he won’t say much more with the probe pending.
“There’s a criminal investigation currently going on,” Agalarov said. “So I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on that.”
The show, however, seems poised to go on. The interest of investigators, even the looming threat of a subpoena, does not appear have dampened Agalarov’s enthusiasm for his scheduled 2019 tour dates in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver.
“I wouldn’t know if I should be concerned or not,” Agalarov said. “But I do have a tour planned next year around the United States … So hopefully I’ll see all my fans there.”
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.