Russiagate Open Thread: Roger Stone, Back in the Spotlight

Happy Father’s Day, ya mutha– !

MIAMI — One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a “Make America Great Again” hat and a viscous Russian accent.

The man, who called himself Henry Greenberg, offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election, according to Stone, who spoke about the previously unreported incident in interviews with The Washington Post. Greenberg, who did not reveal the information he claimed to possess, wanted Trump to pay $2 million for the political dirt, Stone said.

“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, Stone got a text message from Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official who’d arranged the meeting after Greenberg had approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner.

“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.”

Two years later, the brief sit-down in Florida has resurfaced as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s sprawling investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Caputo. Caputo said he was asked about the meeting by prosecutors during a sometimes-heated questioning session last month.

Stone and Caputo, who did not previously disclose the meeting to congressional investigators, now say they believe they were the targets of a setup by U.S. law enforcement officials hostile to Trump.

They cite records — independently examined by The Post — showing that the man who approached Stone is actually a Russian national who has claimed to work as an FBI informant.

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 he had stopped his FBI cooperation sometime after 2013.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Mueller’s office.

The meeting took place two months earlier than federal officials have said a counterintelligence operation was officially opened and before WikiLeaks began releasing hacked Democratic emails…

There were so many Russian assets falling out of the trees, looking to help us! Who can remember every single dodgy contact among them?!?

Yes, I’m looking forward to Adam’s thoughts on this revelation, too.

At least Rudy isn’t far enough gone that he tries to claim Stone was just some short-term volunteer who’d barely even met the candidate… yet:

“Righteous” Monsters Russiagate Open Thread: No Violin Tiny Enough, Mr. Comey

I’m sure he really, honestly believes he was acting in good faith, there was nothing else he could do, just following orders, ma’am. Small consolation: His reputation seems to be “everything” to Mr. Comey — and history has never been kind to the “just following orders” defense.

Russiagate Open Thread: “But — But — He’s A Wealthy White Man!”

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Russiagate Open Thread: Alas, Poor Manafort, We Hardly Knew Him…

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Russiagate Open Thread: Waiting for the OIG Report to Drop

This Friday’s Trump-Dump Open Thread: Sucking Up to His Master, Putin… and #Failing

I will not stoop to being a member of any club that would have me as a member, you loser!
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A Bargain at Twice the Price

We may never know exactly how much Putin spent on troll farms, etc., to sleaze Donald Trump into office. Likely a lot of the work was done with government assets (Fancy Bear) and volunteer ratfuckers (Stone, Assange, etc.). But even if it was billions, the ROI has got to be off the charts. Via

The trade relations between the U.S. and the European Union took a turn for the worse last week, after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the EU.

While these trade tariffs are deteriorating the relations between the United States and its European allies, trade in one particular energy commodity—natural gas—between the EU and Russia is strong, and Vladimir Putin and Russia’s gas giant Gazprom aim to boost (even more) energy trade with the EU.

The U.S. alienation of EU allies on trade is a welcome boost for Russia-EU energy ties, some analysts say.

“Trump is forcing the Europeans closer to the Russians,” Stefan Meister, Russia expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “This is playing right into Putin’s hands.”

Putin is laughing all the way to the bank. The Post:

MOSCOW — As he watches Europe’s confrontation with President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be enjoying an “I told you so” moment.

European leaders long ignored his warnings about the dangers of a world dominated by the United States, Putin said Thursday during his nationally broadcast annual call-in show . With Trump’s new metals tariffs, Putin said, Europeans are now finally getting their comeuppance for showing excessive deference to Washington — and getting a taste of the way the United States had long treated Russia…

There were no questions about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but Putin brought up the subject. One of the hosts asked him to tell a joke. Putin mentioned seeing a German news headline declaring, “Donald Trump pushes Europe into Putin’s arms.”

“So, we influenced the U.S. elections, and he gifted us Europe in return?” he asked. “Utter idiocy. You can’t describe this as anything other than a joke.”

Seconds later, Putin was asked what piece of advice from his father would he like to pass on to his grandchildren.

“Don’t lie,” the Russian president said.

So much winning! And no matter how obvious it becomes that Trump has been had — and in turn that his monumental stupidity has screwed not only the citizens of the United States but the entire Western world — he and his cult followers will go to their graves denying it.