Tags: donald trump | vladimir putin | russia | robert mueller

NYT: Failed Attempt to Flip 'Putin's Oligarch' Has Fueled Trump

NYT: Failed Attempt to Flip 'Putin's Oligarch' Has Fueled Trump
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By    |   Sunday, 02 September 2018 09:58 AM

American officials' backfired attempts to flip Russian Oleg V. Deripaska – an aluminum company billionaire known as "Putin's oligarch" – into an informant have merely fueled President Donald Trump's campaign to discredit the FBI's long-running investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S., according to The New York Times. 

"The attempt to flip Mr. Deripaska was part of a broader, clandestine American effort to gauge the possibility of gaining cooperation from roughly a half-dozen of Russia's richest men, nearly all of whom, like Mr. Deripaska, depend on President Vladimir V. Putin to maintain their wealth, the officials said," the Times reported.

". . . The systematic effort to win the cooperation of the oligarchs, which has not previously been revealed, does not appear to have scored any successes. And in Mr. Deripaska's case, he told the American investigators that he disagreed with their theories about Russian organized crime and Kremlin collusion in the campaign, a person familiar with the exchanges said.

"The person added that Mr. Deripaska even notified the Kremlin about the American efforts to cultivate him."

Both the Justice Department's Bruce Ohr and informant Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Trump dossier, were involved in the efforts to use Deripaska's ties to the Kremlin to become a U.S. informant between 2014 and 2016, according to the report.

"The revelation that Mr. Ohr engaged with Mr. Steele has provided the president's allies with fresh fodder to attack the investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, casting it as part of a vast, long-running conspiracy by a 'deep state' bent on undermining Mr. Trump," the Times wrote. "In their telling, Mr. Ohr and his wife — who worked as a contractor at the same research firm that produced the dossier — are villainous central players in a cabal out to destroy the president."

U.S. officials sought to capitalize on Deripaska's troubles in getting visas in the U.S. or "credible accusations of extortion, bribery, and even murder," and Deripaska had cooperated with the U.S. government before, attempting to help rescue an FBI agent captured in Iran, according to the report.

Deripaska's interest in working with the U.S. government fizzled over attempts to link former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to Russia and were ultimately killed after "the Treasury Department imposed potentially crippling sanctions against Mr. Deripaska and his mammoth aluminum company, saying he had profited from the 'malign activities' of Russia around the world," per the Times.

"Mr. Deripaska, though, told the FBI agents that while he had no love for Mr. Manafort, with whom he was in a bitter business dispute, he found their theories about his role on the campaign 'preposterous,'" the Times reported. "He also disputed that there were any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to the person familiar with the exchange."

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American officials' backfired attempts to flip Russian Oleg V. Deripaska - an aluminum company billionaire known as "Putin's oligarch" - into an informant have merely fueled President Donald Trump's campaign to discredit the FBI's long-running investigation into Russian...
donald trump, vladimir putin, russia, robert mueller
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2018-58-02
Sunday, 02 September 2018 09:58 AM
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