Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump associate met with Russian

Trump associate met with Russian

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday tore into Michael Caputo, a former aide to then-candidate Donald Trump, for his and his ally Roger Stone's recent revelation that they had previously undisclosed contact with a Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday the president likely didn't know of Trump campaign associate Roger Stone's meeting with a Russian national ahead of the 2016 election.

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 Federal Bureau of Investigation informant.

Caputo claims that Greenberg's Russian accent didn't seem important to him at the time, since links to Russia were not yet a major issue for the Trump campaign.

The FBI informant narrative also does not explain why Caputo and Stone failed to disclose the encounter for nearly two years, and falsely testified before Congress that they had no meetings with Russian nationals during the election. Both men interviewed with the House Intelligence Committee about Russia, under penalty of perjury, and they didn't even do an inventory of their contacts with Russians?

Caputo replied, "The Russian Way".

Caputo said that he was asked during a session with the committee in July whether he'd ever been offered information about the Clinton campaign by a Russian, and he either answered "no" or that he could not recall. Stone met with "Greenberg" but later told Caputo that he had tried to sell information on Clinton, but he declined and thought "Greenberg" was "a nut", according to the letter.

"This whole thing that you're coming out with at this convenient time two years later, the whole thing you're doing smacks of something like John Dean and the Nixon cover-up", Matthews said of the excuses while interviewing Caputo Monday.

Stone and Caputo have also alleged that this incident might have been entrapment.

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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 Russian Federation.

"In multiple respects now, the testimony of Roger Stone appears inaccurate or deliberately misleading", Schiff said.

The Washington Post first reported Stone's new admission of his Russian contact - a contact he failed to mention in his sworn testimony because, he claims, he "forgot", according the Post report.

"I didn't talk to anybody who was identifiably Russian during the two-year run-up to this campaign", Stone told The Post in April 2017.

The Washington Post reports Greenberg wanted $2 million for the information.

Caputo claimed the investigation found Greenberg is a Russian national with more than a decade of experience working with the F.B.I.

"I doubt it. I certainly didn't know about it". Stone told the Post that he attended the meeting to practice "due diligence" on something it would have been "political malpractice" for the Trump team to ignore. Caputo has his own ties to the Russian government, moving to Russia to work for the United States Agency for International Development, but losing his post after taking Russia's side over the U.S. State Department a year later - but then remaining in Russia until 2000, according to CNN. It was arranged by Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official. But Greenberg said he was accompanied by a Ukrainian friend he identified only as Alexei, who he said had been fired from a job with the Clinton Foundation, a global charitable organization founded by Hillary Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Stone said Greenberg came alone.

Caputo met with Mueller's team in May, saying in a statement to CBS News at the time that Mueller's team "knows every single chapter and verse about the Trump campaign". Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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