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Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Trump Advisor Stone Reveals New Meeting06/18 06:03

   Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting 
between longtime Donald Trump confidante Roger Stone and a Russian figure who 
allegedly tried to sell him dirt on Hillary Clinton.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously 
undisclosed meeting between longtime Donald Trump confidante Roger Stone and a 
Russian figure who allegedly tried to sell him dirt on Hillary Clinton.

   The meeting between Stone and a man who identified himself as Henry 
Greenberg was described in a pair of letters sent Friday to the House 
Intelligence Committee and first reported by The Washington Post.

   Stone and Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign aide who arranged the 2016 
meeting, did not disclose the contact in their interviews with the committee. 
But they now believe the man was an FBI informant trying to set them up in a 
bid to undermine Trump's campaign. Greenberg could not immediately be reached 
for comment, but in a text to the Post he denied he was working for the FBI 
when he met with Stone.

   The letters obtained by The Associated Press and written by Stone and 
Caputo's lawyers say that, in late May 2016, Caputo received a call from his 
Russian business partner introducing him to Greenberg, who claimed he had 
information about Clinton that he wanted to share with the campaign.

   Caputo suggested Greenberg meet with Stone, who had left the campaign in 
2015 but remained an informal Trump adviser.

   At Caputo's request, Stone met with Greenberg at a Florida cafe, where 
Greenberg asked for $2 million in exchange for the information, according to 
Stone's lawyer. Stone swiftly rejected the offer, explaining that neither he 
nor Trump would ever pay for "political information," his lawyer wrote.

   Both men say they quickly forgot about the episode, which marks the latest 
in a long list of unusual contacts between Russians and Trump campaign 
officials as well as offers of help.

   The special counsel has spent months investigating Russian meddling in the 
2016 election and whether Trump campaign aides played any role in the foreign 
interference plot. Trump and his lawyer, meanwhile, have tried to discredit the 
investigation, insisting it's unfounded and plagued by misconduct and political 
bias.

   "WITCH HUNT!" Trump tweeted on Sunday, insisting: "There was no Russian 
Collusion. Oh, I see, there was no Russian Collusion, so now they look for 
obstruction on the no Russian Collusion. The phony Russian Collusion was a made 
up Hoax. Too bad they didn't look at Crooked Hillary like this. Double 
Standard!"

   As part of their campaign, Trump and his loyalists have tried to convince 
the public that the FBI violated its usual operating procedures, including 
installing "spies" inside Trump's campaign, though there's no evidence that's 
the case.

   Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump's legal team, on 
Sunday dismissed the significance of the Stone meeting.

   "So, yes, sure, there was contact, as there was in that meeting. But that 
meeting led to nothing. This led to nothing. So, if anything, it's proof there 
was no collusion," he said in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation," adding 
that Mueller's team "can investigate from here to, you know, to Timbuktu, and 
they're not going to find a darn thing."

   Both Stone and Caputo failed to disclose the Greenberg meeting in their 
interviews with the House Intelligence Committee --- an omission their lawyers 
said was accidental.

   Caputo's lawyer, Dennis Vacco, said his client had "simply forgotten about 
this brief encounter in 2016," and only remembered it as he was preparing for 
his interview with Mueller's team.

   Caputo told the AP that Mueller's team asked him at length about the meeting.

   "They knew more than I did, which set off alarms. I thought --- was this a 
setup?" he recalled.

   Caputo said he hired investigators using money from his legal defense fund 
to dig into Greenberg's background and has produced a "dossier" with the 
findings, which Stone endorses.

   "Mr. Stone believes it is likely that Mr. Greenberg was actively working on 
behalf of the FBI at the time of their meeting with the intention of entrapping 
Mr. Stone and to infiltrate and compromise the Trump effort," his lawyer, Grant 
J. Smith, wrote.

   The FBI declined to comment, but has said its counterintelligence 
investigation didn't begin until July 2016, two months after the meeting.

   The Washington Post, citing interviews and documents, reported that 
Greenberg has at times used the name Henry Oknyansky, and claimed in a 2015 
court filing that he had been providing information to the FBI for 17 years.

   The Post notes the meeting happened around the same time that others members 
of the Trump campaign were being approached by people with Russian ties 
offering dirt on Clinton.

   Several members of the campaign were also approached by another U.S. 
government informant in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts 
to sway the race. Several news outlets including the Post, The Wall Street 
Journal and NBC News have identified an FBI confidential source as Cambridge 
University professor Stefan A. Halper.


(KA)

 
 
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