WaPo: Former Trump operative Roger Stone met with Russian who wanted $2M for Clinton dirt
Posted June 17, 2018 8:33 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Conservative political provocateur Roger Stone in 2016 met with a Russian who offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million, Stone told The Washington Post.
Michael Caputo, a former communications official for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, told the Post he arranged the meeting with a man named Henry Greenberg.
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.
Stone and Caputo told the Post that they believe the meeting was part of a larger effort by law enforcement to set up the Trump campaign. Stone and Caputo cited records reviewed by the Post which suggest that Greenberg is a Russian national and has claimed to be an FBI informant.
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, and the court filing the Post obtained said his work with the FBI halted sometime after 2013, according to the Post..
An FBI spokeswoman and a spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment to the Post.
Stone did not immediately return CNN's request for comment.
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.
The Clinton Foundation told the Post that they had never hired someone with the first name Alexei.
Stone, in a text to Caputo reviewed by the Post, appeared to be disinterested in the contents in the meeting.
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.