US & Canada

Emin Agalarov: Russian singer with Trump links cancels US tour

Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump, Aras Agalarov Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Russian singer Emin Agalarov, left, with Donald Trump and his father Aras Agalarov in 2013

A Russian pop star behind a now-infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower has cancelled his North America tour.

Emin Agalarov, a singer and the son of billionaire property developer Aras Agalarov, was due to perform in four cities in the US and Canada.

In an Instagram video, he told his followers he had been "put in this position against [his] will".

A special counsel led by Robert Mueller is investigating Russian links to President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Mr Agalarov told BBC News this was why the tour had been cancelled, blaming "the inability of the other side to guarantee that I will be able to leave the USA before the investigation is over".

"The investigation has been going on for over a year," he said. "It could be going on for years from now. And I'm not able to stay on United States soil for unlimited time because of the obligations I have for my tours and other events that I have planned for this year."

Mr Agalarov's US lawyer Scott Balber told NBC News his team "don't want him to be subpoenaed or held under a material witness warrant or anything else".

Mr Mueller's office has declined to comment.

President Trump's relationship with Mr Agalarov and his father has come under scrutiny.

Aras Agalarov was Mr Trump's business partner in taking Miss Universe to Moscow in 2013, and the two were in discussions about a Trump Tower project in Russia that never materialised.

The US president also made a cameo appearance in one of Emin Agalarov's 2013 music videos.

In 2016, the singer's then-publicist Rob Goldstone contacted Mr Trump's campaign team claiming to have "dirt" on his rival, Hillary Clinton.

Following that email, in June, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met Mr Trump's son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort at Trump Tower.

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Media captionThe BBC's Sarah Rainsford tries to get Russian pop star Emin Agalarov to comment on his links to Donald Trump.

But at that highly controversial meeting, Mr Goldstone later told BBC News, Ms Veselnitskaya presented "very generic dirt".

Mr Agalarov, meanwhile, has made his feelings about the Mueller investigation very clear.

Last year he released a music video making fun of the allegations, using Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jared Kushner impersonators to act out various scandals - including the unsubstantiated claim that Mr Trump was filmed with sex workers at a hotel in Moscow.

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