White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President
Dan Scavino was a 16-year old golf caddy-turned-General Manager at Trump’s Briar Hill Country Club and joined the Trump Campaign in June 2015 as Director of Social Media.
December 7, 2017 “While mainly used by Russian-speaking users, the site has also become known in Europe — and increasingly in the United States — as a platform embraced by white-nationalist groups, according to groups that track their activity. Far-right politicians in Germany and other countries have VK profiles, Albright said. The website also directed substantial amounts of traffic to Breitbart News and Infowars, a popular conservative conspiracy site, during the 2016 campaign, he said.
The overture with VK was brokered by Rob Goldstone, a British music promoter who asked Trump Jr. last year to meet with a Russian lawyer who he said had compromising information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia’s equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino in January and again in November of last year, offering to help promote Trump’s campaign to its nearly 100 million users, according to people familiar with the messages.
“It will be the top news in Russia,” Konstantin Sidorkov, who serves as VK’s director of partnership marketing, wrote on Nov. 5, 2016.
While Scavino expressed interest in learning more at one point, it is unclear whether the campaign pursued the idea. An attorney for Trump Jr. said his client forwarded a pitch about the concept to Scavino early in the year and could not recall any further discussion about it.
The emails, which were read to The Washington Post and confirmed by people with knowledge of their contents, show a new point of direct contact between an influential Russian and advisers to Trump during the 2016 race.
“Please feel free to send me whatever you have,” Scavino wrote to Goldstone on Jan. 19. “Thank you so much for looking out for Mr. Trump and his presidential campaign.”
A few days later, Sidorkov emailed Scavino, Trump Jr. and Donald Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff.
“Nice to meet you and your team,” Sidorkov wrote, attaching information about VK and its social media reach.
Sidorkov joined VK as a partner relations manager in July 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He had apparently crossed paths with Trump at least once before, at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Sidorkov posted photographs from the after-party on his VK page, including one in which Trump posed with a thumbs up next to Olivia Culpo, the previous year’s winner, and musician Nick Jonas.
Sidorkov said he was 18 and working for a radio station during the event and had not met Trump personally but rather taken pictures while standing in a crowd.
Sidorkov — a young, jet-setting tech executive who documents his frequent travels on Instagram and other sites — posted a photograph this July posing next to Vladimir Putin. The Russian president had just participated in a Q-and-A session with schoolchildren and VK users.”