Roger Stone ‘not concerned’ he failed to tell Congress about 2016 Russia contact
Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – Roger Stone says he is not concerned that he neglected to tell to congressional investigators about a meeting he held with a Russian national offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, despite being asked about foreign contacts, the longtime friend of President Donald Trump told ABC News.
Stone said Sunday he forgot, and his lawyer has since sent a letter to amend his testimony.
“I just didn’t remember. 2016 was a pretty busy year,” Stone said. “I don’t think a failure of memory constitutes a perjury.”
Stone served as an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign but left amid controversy in 2015. The contact in May 2016 was between Stone —- a self-described political “dirty trickster” — Michael Caputo, another former Trump campaign aide, and Henry Greenberg, reportedly a Russian citizen who claimed to have damaging material on Hillary Clinton, as first reported by The Washington Post on Sunday.
The new disclosure brought immediate concerns from Democrats overseeing congressional investigations into allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“In multiple respects now, the testimony of Roger Stone appears inaccurate or deliberately misleading,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday.
“The truthfulness of many of our witnesses has been difficult to ascertain, which is why I have urged the committee to make the transcripts available to Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller for a determination whether any witnesses committed perjury before our committee,” Schiff added. “The Majority’s unwillingness to do so demonstrates that protecting the President remains its paramount objective, even when it means shielding witnesses who may have testified before us untruthfully.”
Schiff said he had similar concerns about Caputo’s testimony, which he said also omitted mention of this interaction with a Russian national offering dirt on Clinton, something Schiff said could not plausibly have escaped his recollection.
Attorneys for both men sent letters dated June 15 to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., seeking to revise their prior testimony to the committee to include reference to the interactions with Greenberg. Both letters say the men forgot about the interactions, but have since had their memories refreshed.
Caputo served on the Trump campaign from November 2015 until June 2016 working out of Trump headquarters in New York. Greenberg purportedly reached out about setting up a meeting, which Caputo subsequently arranged. Meeting in Sunny Isle, Florida, for lunch in May 2016, Greenberg reportedly offered Stone damaging material on Clinton for $2 million — a deal Stone and Caputo say they declined.
Speaking shortly after his testimony in May, Caputo told ABC News there was no collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign.
”In fact, there’s nobody in Trump Tower at that time who has closer connections to Moscow to the Kremlin than me. … Nobody ever asked me about Russia. Nobody ever spoke to me about what you know how Russia might help,” Caputo said.
Reached on Sunday, Caputo confirmed investigators asked him about a text message exchange with Stone about the meeting, the content of which was reported by The Washington Post.
“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote, according to the Washington Post.
Stone noted that Greenberg had asked for “big money,” and told Caputo the meeting was a “waste of time,” according to The Post.
Caputo and Stone now allege they were set up by the FBI because they said a private investigation funded by Caputo’s legal defense fund identified Greenberg is an FBI informant.
There is no outside evidence to support the claim that Greenberg was working as an FBI informant when he approached Caputo and Stone.
Calls by ABC News to phone numbers associated with Greenberg were not immediately answered.
Stone says he never told Donald Trump during the campaign about the newly revealed contact with the Russian national who claimed to have damaging material on Clinton.
“I never discussed the matter with Donald Trump or anyone in his campaign,” Stone told ABC News on Sunday. “I flatly rejected this proposal as ludicrous and frankly forgot about it.”
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