Trump Hotel where Rep. Adam Schiff and FBI Strzok Tried To Lure Teneo Emails To Trump
Former Trump operative Roger Stone met with Russian who wanted $2M for Clinton dirt By Maegan Vazquez, Sarah Westwood and Boris Sanchez, CNN Updated 5:28 PM ET, Sun June 17, 2018 Washington (CNN)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 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. CNN’s Clare Foran, Manu Raju and Eli Watkins contributed to this report.