Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

2018-06-18 09:06

Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between long-time 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 on 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.

'Political information'

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 café, where Greenberg asked for $2m 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.

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.

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