New Roger Stone Russia Collusion Info May Have Paul Manafort Link — Mystery Ukrainian Met With Stone: Report
Donald Trump’s longtime adviser and associate Roger Stone made a surprising confession on Sunday, revealing that he met with a Russian national who was offering “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton, and that the meeting took place on May 29 of 2016, less than two weeks before Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Campaign Chair Paul Manafort met in Trump Tower with a group of Russians, including one who turned out to be an “informant” for the Russian government, as The Inquisitr reported.
But the new evidence that Stone had a previously undisclosed meeting with a Russian may also have a link to Manafort, who before being hired to run Trump’s campaign was the top political consultant who molded the career of pro-Russian Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovych, as The Washington Post reported, who was deposed by a popular uprising in 2014 and is now hiding under Russian government protection.
Stone’s meeting also took place about a month after Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos met with Russia-linked academic Joseph Mifsud who offered the campaign “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands” of emails in the possession of the Russian government, as The Inquisitr also reported earlier.
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 to the Post report.
Another Trump aide and Stone associate, Michael Caputo, arranged the meeting with the Russian, who used the alias “Henry Greenberg.” Caputo also “forgot” to mention the suspicious meeting in his own congressional testimony, the Post reported. 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. In a now-deleted Twitter message, Caputo said that when he was in Russia he “worked for the Kremlin.
But according to what the Russian calling himself Henry Greenberg — who the Moscow Times has described as a “con man” whose real name is Gennady Vostretsov — told The Post, there was a third man at the meeting, a Ukranian national he identified only as “Alexei.” In fact, Greenberg said, it was the mysterious Alexei who actually met with Stone and made the offer of Clinton dirt in exchange for a $2 million payoff while he, Greenberg, sat at a nearby table by himself.
On Sunday, independent journalist Seth Abramson suggested that the presence of the mysterious Ukrainian indicates a link to former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort, who as The Inquisitr has reported has been indicted by Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller on numerous counts, including conspiracy against the United States, and who was jailed on Friday in connection with a witness tampering charge. The Post gave details on Manafort’s jailing in a Saturday report.
“Everything we know about the Trump campaign suggests that the chances Paul Manafort (who had such a long history with the Ukrainians) was never told that a Ukrainian was offering the Trump campaign Hillary dirt are zero,” Abramson wrote on his Twitter account Sunday. “The two events investigators will be tying together are the Stone-Caputo-Ukraine ‘clandestine-Hillary-dirt-meeting conspiracy’ and Manafort (whose right-hand man was Caputo pal Gates) offering an oligarch he met via Ukraine work ‘private campaign briefings just weeks later.”
That Russian oligarch was steel and aluminum manufacturing tycoon Oleg Deripaska, according to a Post report. No evidence has yet been made public to show that Manafort actually provided the “briefings” to Deripaska.
The “Gates” mentioned by Abramson is longtime Manafort business partner Rick Gates, who was also a top Trump campaign aide and who was indicted last year alongside Manafort. But unlike Manafort, Gates has already accepted a plea deal and is now providing information to Mueller, as The Inquisitr reported in March.
Stone and Manafort in the 1970s started a political consulting firm together, as The Post has also reported, which specialized in representing dictators such as the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, and other notorious human rights violators including African guerilla warlord Jonas Savimbi.
Mueller is reportedly, as noted by CNBC, now investigating possible communication between Stone and Gates, and Abramson has raised the possibility that Stone or Caputo may have told Gates about the meeting with “Greenberg.” And if so, Gates may have already informed Mueller’s investigators about the meeting — which took place more than two months before the FBI opened its investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. That investigation opened on July 31, 2016, according to The New York Times.
Caputo now claims that Greenberg was sent by the FBI to infiltrate the Trump campaign, according to a statement he issued on Sunday, even though the FBI investigation had not yet commenced. The new admissions from Stone and Caputo bring to 11 the number of Trump campaign aides, officials, and associates who have now admitted communications with Russians during the 2016 campaign.