Roger Stone said that a Russian national approached him in May 2016 with damaging information about Hillary Clinton and wanted $2 million in exchange, the Washington Post reports.
Calling himself Henry Greenberg, the man offered compromising information on Clinton, Donald Trump’s presumptive general election Democratic opponent at the time, but did not detail exactly what that information was.
“You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone recalled saying before rejecting the offer at a restaurant in the Russian-expat magnet of Sunny Isles, Fla. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”
Later that day, Stone got a text message from Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official who set up the meeting after Greenberg approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner, according to the Post.
“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote, according to a text message reviewed by the Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied, “Waste of time.”
Caputo said that the brief meeting between Stone and Greenberg is now a subject of special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Here is more information on Greenberg:
Interviews and additional documents show that Greenberg has at times used the name Henry Oknyansky. Under that name, he claimed in a 2015 court filing related to his immigration status that he had provided information to the FBI for 17 years. He attached records showing that the government had granted him special permission to enter the United States because his presence represented a “significant public benefit.”
There is no evidence that Greenberg was working with the FBI in his interactions with Stone, and in his court filing, Greenberg said that he had stopped his FBI cooperation sometime after 2013.
Greenberg, in text messages with The Post, denied that he had been acting on the FBI’s behalf when he met with Stone.
Greenberg initially told the Post that the meeting with Stone did not happen, but he later admitted that it did, in fact, happen.
Check out the rest of the story for more details—there’s a lot to unpack. But one thing is clear: To paraphrase a tweet from Russian chess master Garry Kasparov, Trump and his associates have more Russia connections than Aeroflot.