Two associates of President Trump claim the whole thing was an FBI setup. Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone admits he met a man with a thick Russian accent in Florida in 2016, and the man—who went by the name Henry Greenberg—wanted $2 million for political dirt on Hillary Clinton. Stone says he refused and texted Trump communications official Michael Caputo that the meeting was a "waste of time." Now, talking to the Washington Post, Stone and Caputo have produced records showing that Greenberg is a Russian national who claims to have worked for the FBI. "I didn't realize it was an FBI sting operation at the time, but it sure looks like one now," says Stone. Greenberg denies Stone's account, saying he brought a Ukrainian friend to the meeting who did the talking.
Greenberg has a colorful history, having lived in Moscow with Hollywood film producer John Daly, frequented the city's club scene, and battled charges that he had defrauded a firm out of $2.7 million. "He is strikingly good-looking—tall with graying dark hair—and oozes self-confidence," the Moscow Times wrote in 2002. Greenberg also claimed in a US court filing to have worked as an FBI informant for years, but says he stopped after 2013. For their part, Caputo and Stone failed to reveal the Greenberg meeting to Congressional investigators but say their memories were recently jogged by text messages. "How crazy is the Russian?" texted Caputo after the meeting. Stone replied, "Wants big &$ for the info- waste of time." Caputo: "The Russian way. Anything at all interesting?" Stone: "No." (An FBI agent texted that "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president.)