at least six members of Trump’s broader team knew about offers of dirt from Russians during that campaign — and, depending on how that information was shared, as many as 10 may have, including Trump.
.. Torshin-Trump Jr. In May, a former member of the Russian parliament named Aleksandr Torshin made repeated efforts to contact Donald Trump Jr., the candidate’s son. He sent multiple emails hoping to set up a meeting with Trump Jr. when both were at a National Rifle Association convention in Kentucky. The two met briefly at a dinner associated with that event. It is not clear whether Torshin had any information to offer Trump Jr.
.. Agalarov-Veselnitskaya-Trump Jr.-Manafort-Kushner.
.. It is apparent that Agalarov and Trump Jr. almost certainly spoke on the phone multiple times before that meeting and that Trump Jr. informed both Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort of what was being offered.
.. The question is whether any of those three also informed Trump. There is good reason to think he knew. The night that the meeting time was set up, following calls between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner — and the day after Trump Jr. had a call with a blocked number before agreeing to the meeting — Trump told reporters, “I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.”
When that dirt did not materialize, the speech about Clinton the following Monday did not either.
.. This is noteworthy not only because of the connection between Page and a senior government official but because of what other reports suggest about Page’s time in Russia. Specifically, the controversial dossier of reports compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele includes a report from mid-July alleging that Page met with a Russian official who “rais[ed] a dossier of ‘kompromat’ ” — compromising material — “the Kremlin possessed on TRUMP’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary CLINTON, and its possible release to the Republican’s campaign team.”
.. WikiLeaks-Trump Jr. The following month, Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks exchanged private messages on Twitter. None of those messages suggest Trump Jr. and the organization coordinated the released of information damaging to Clinton. But the exchange occurred shortly before WikiLeaks began releasing the emails stolen from Podesta in early October.
.. So we are confident the following people were offered or told about information allegedly incriminating Clinton:
- George Papadopoulos
- Roger Stone
- Michael Caputo
- Donald Trump Jr.
- Jared Kushner
- Paul Manafort
It is possible that the following other people knew about or received similar offers, too:
- Stephen Miller
- Carter Page
- J.D. Gordon (if Page was offered dirt)
- Donald Trump
Trump’s argument has long been that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. That claim increasingly depends on how one defines “collusion.”
.. unlike other previously undisclosed meetings, this one was very, very clearly denied — and repeatedly — by both parties. It was also apparently denied in or at least omitted from their testimonies to congressional investigators.
Although someone like Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have a credible argument that his denials of contact with Russians were the results of misunderstandings, Stone’s and Caputo’s denials were ironclad.
“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. “I very definitely can’t think of anybody who might have been a Russian without my knowledge. It’s a canard.”
.. Stone reasserted this in a March interview with Chuck Todd. “I never had any contact with any Russians,” he said.
.. Caputo went a step further, saying in emphatic and unmistakable terms that he told the House Intelligence Committee that he had no contact with Russians.
.. “I spent my time in front of the committee detailing the fact that I had no contact with Russians, that I never heard of anyone with the Trump campaign talking with Russians, that I was never asked questions about my time in Russia, that I never even spoke to anyone about Russia, that I never heard the word ‘Russia,’ and we did not use Russian dressing,” he said in July.
.. These denials so contradict what we just found out, in fact, that neither man is trying to parse them to square them with the new information. Instead both — rather remarkably — contend that they simply forgot about the Greenberg proffer until special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reminded them last month. And now both are amending their testimony
.. And it’s pretty clear what’s happening here. This is something that, judging by their conversations with Mueller, they knew was going to come out eventually.
.. And now they have a narrative into which they can insert it, thanks to Trump’s baseless claims about the FBI “spying” on his campaignvia an informant.
.. it looks significantly more like there was a coverup than it did 24 hours ago.
Roger Stone, means that at least six members of Trump’s broader team knew about offers of dirt from Russians during that campaign — and, depending on how that information was shared, as many as 10 may have, including Trump.
.. Papadopoulos sent an email to Trump adviser Stephen Miller the day after Mifsud reached out to him, telling Miller he had some “interesting messages” coming in from Moscow.
.. Trump’s argument has long been that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. That claim increasingly depends on how one defines “collusion.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into a meeting between longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone and a Russian national during the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Mr. Stone’s friend Michael Caputo, who is a witness in the probe.
Mr. Stone didn’t disclose the meeting, which he says was prompted by an offer of information detrimental to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in his testimony before congressional investigators in September. He is now alerting House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) about it... Mr. Stone’s attorney said the Republican strategist had a “recently refreshed recollection” of the encounter after Mr. Caputo, a former Trump aide who helped arrange the May 2016 meeting, was questioned by Mr. Mueller’s office last month... the Russian man claimed “access to non-specific, damaging Clinton information which he wanted to sell.” He also added that his client declined to pay the $2 million requested.. he and Mr. Caputo now say they believe it was part of a sting operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation... the Russian went by the name Henry Greenberg and that he has a history of working as an FBI informant. Mr. Caputo cited research about the man’s background and alleged ties to U.S. intelligence. The research was commissioned and paid for by Mr. Caputo’s legal defense fund.. “Few of the Trump team witnesses have proved worthy of being taken at their word,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), who serves on the House Intelligence Committee. The revelation about the meeting between Mr. Stone and the Russian national “proves how irresponsible it was for the House Republicans to wrap up our investigation and say nothing to see here,’” Mr. Swalwell said.