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Former Trump operative Roger Stone met with Russian who wanted $2M for Clinton dirt

Conservative political provocateur Roger Stone met in May 2016 with a Russian who offered damaging information about ...

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 8:55 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 8:55 AM

Conservative political provocateur Roger Stone met in May 2016 with a Russian who offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million, Stone and former Trump campaign communications official Michael Caputo told CNN on Sunday.

The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.

Stone and Caputo say the meeting was part of a larger effort by law enforcement to set up the Trump campaign, citing records suggesting that the man Stone met with is a Russian national who has claimed to be an FBI informant.

In letters to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes obtained by CNN, lawyers for Caputo and Stone say Caputo arranged a meeting between Stone and the Russian man who called himself Henry Greenberg.

Caputo's lawyer writes that his client facilitated the meeting through his Russian business partner. Greenberg told Caputo he "had information about Hillary Clinton he wanted to provide to the Trump campaign," the letter says.

Caputo and Stone did not disclose the meeting to congressional investigators, but it has become a focus in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign, according to the Post.

In the letters to Nunes, the two political operatives assert that they were transparent in their testimony before the committee, despite not disclosing the meeting with Greenberg.

Caputo told CNN he communicated with Greenberg by phone, and while he recognized that Greenberg had an accent, Caputo "assumed he was a US citizen."

"It was May 2016," Caputo added. "Nobody was talking about Russia, collusion, etc."

Caputo said he now believes the Russian who met with Stone was an FBI informant because "the OSC (Office of Special Counsel) knew more about it than I did." He added that it was not until prosecutors informed him that Greenberg was Russian that he learned the man he had spoken with in 2016 was not a US citizen.

"I was under the understanding that he was an American citizen of Russian descent," Caputo said. "I had no reason to believe that, I just assumed it."

The letter from Caputo's lawyer states that during his testimony with the House Intelligence committee, he "answered all questions with candor and to the best of his recollection."

However, Caputo's lawyer wrote that during his interview with the special counsel, which took place more than a month ago, "his recollection was refreshed regarding one brief interaction with a Russian national in May of 2016."

"In the course of his interview with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, this specific contact was not discussed since at the time of this interview, Mr. Caputo had simply forgotten about this brief encounter in 2016," the letter states.

Caputo's lawyer relayed that he would be willing to brief the committee on the matter.

In his letter to Nunes, Stone's lawyer similarly called the testimony "entirely truthful," adding that Stone "feels obligated" to disclose the meeting because of "information brought to his attention after his appearance."

The letter states Greenberg approached Stone "wearing a Trump MAGA hat and T-shirt and spoke with what was possibly a Russian accent."

"Prior to meeting, Mr. Stone did not know anything about Mr. Greenberg, including his background or nationality. At the meeting, Mr. Greenberg proudly showed Mr. Stone photos of Mr. Greenberg and friends at several South Florida Trump rallies," the letter states.

Stone's lawyer described the encounter as a "one-time, 20-minute interaction" and stated that Greenberg offered Stone the "non-specific, damaging Clinton information" in exchange for a $2 million payment from Trump, but that Stone declined.

Stone told CNN he was disclosing the meeting now because "Mr. Caputo only brought this to my attention recently."

He also said he never discussed the meeting with the Trump campaign, nor anyone else, adding that it was "so ludicrous that I forgot about it."

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Stone's testimony "appears inaccurate or deliberately misleading" and that the offer to Caputo "could not plausibly have escaped his recollection." Schiff called for the committee to provide the special counsel investigation with transcripts of their interviews and knocked the Republicans who control the panel.

"The truthfulness of many of our witnesses has been difficult to ascertain, which is why I have urged the committee to make the transcripts available to special counsel Mueller for a determination whether any witnesses committed perjury before our committee," Schiff said. "The majority's unwillingness to do so demonstrates that protecting the President remains its paramount objective, even when it means shielding witnesses who may have testified before us untruthfully."

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he doubts Trump knew about Stone's meeting.

"I doubt it. I certainly didn't know about it. It's news to me," he said.

Greenberg, who the Post said sometimes went by the name Henry Oknyansky, had difficulties with the American immigration system, and spent two years in the custody of immigration services before returning to Russia. In 2015 court filings related to his immigration status cited by Stone and Caputo, Greenberg claimed that he worked as an FBI informant for 17 years.

However, Greenberg denied he was acting on the FBI's behalf when he met with Stone, according to the Post, and the court filing the newspaper obtained said his work with the FBI halted sometime after 2013.

The letters from the two political operatives' lawyers mention a text exchange after the meeting with Greenberg and say Stone's impression was that the meetup had been a waste of time and he viewed Greenberg as "a nut."

The exchange was obtained and published by the Post.

"How crazy is the Russian?" Caputo asked.

"Wants big &$ for the info- waste of time," Stone replied.

Caputo then texted, "The Russian way. Anything at all interesting?"

"No," Stone said.

An FBI spokeswoman and a spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment to the Post.

The meeting with Stone reportedly took place a few weeks after former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was told about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton and two weeks before senior members of the Trump campaign met with Russian nationals -- including a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin -- in Trump Tower.

Greenberg initially denied Stone's account of the meeting but later changed his story, giving the Post a brief description of the meeting that matched Stone's depiction in part.

While Stone told the Post that Greenberg was alone for the meeting, Greenberg relayed that he was accompanied by a Ukrainian man only identified as Alexei. Greenberg told the Post that Alexei was fired from the Clinton Foundation. He also denied he asked for money, saying played a limited role in the meeting and left it to Alexei to talk with Stone while he sat at a nearby table.

Stone told CNN he had never heard of Alexei, nor was this person present at the meeting.

The Clinton Foundation also told the Post that they had never hired someone with the first name Alexei.

A news release from Caputo following the Post story states that in his meeting with the Special Counsel's Office, he "noted the Mueller team knew far more than he did about the Greenberg approach."

After his meeting with Mueller, Caputo investigated Greenberg, the release said, and he put the information he found into a dossier online.

The disclosure of the meeting comes a month after multiple reports that the FBI dispatched a confidential source to speak with at least two advisers to Trump's presidential campaign after the bureau obtained evidence that the aides had ties to Russia. The revelations have prompted Trump to accuse the FBI of spying on his campaign and trying to frame him.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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