A quip by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his conference in Helsinki with President Donald Trump that 'business associates" sent $400 million to Hillary Clinton's campaign has sparked a long list of questions.
Advertisement - story continues below
Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge discussed the comment.
"Vladimir Putin made a bombshell claim during Monday's joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, when the Russian president said some $400 million in illegally earned profits was funneled to the Clinton campaign by associates of American-born British financier Bill Browder – at one time the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. The scheme involved members of the U.S. intelligence community, said Putin, who he said 'accompanied and guided these transactions.'"
The report explained the situation developed after an offer from Russia to allow special counsel Robert Mueller's team to come to Russia for their investigation – as long as there was a reciprocal arrangement for Russian intelligence to investigate in the U.S.
Putin said, "For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder, in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia and never paid any taxes neither in Russia or the United States and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent [a] huge amount of money, $400,000,000, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Well that's their personal case."
Putin continued, "It might have been legal, the contribution itself but the way the money was earned was illegal. So we have solid reason to believe that some [U.S.] intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions. So we have an interest in questioning them."
Advertisement - story continues below
The report cited comments from Philip Giraldi of the Strategic Culture Foundation that ascribed to Browder fault for the new Cold War. He's described there as "a hedge fund operator who made his fortune in the corrupt 1990s world of Russian commodities trading."
Continued the ZeroHedge report, "Browder made billions in Russia during the 90s. In December, a Moscow court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax fraud, while he was also found guilty of tax evasion in a separate 2013 case. Putin accused Browder's associates of illegally earning over than $1.5 billion without paying Russian taxes, before sending $400 million to Clinton."
The report continued, "Browder is also symptomatic of why the United States government is so poorly informed about international developments as he is the source of much of the congressional 'expert testimony' contributing to the current impasse. He has somehow emerged as a trusted source in spite of the fact that he has self-interest in cultivating a certain outcome. Also ignored is his renunciation of American citizenship in 1998, reportedly to avoid taxes. He is now a British citizen."
He also allegedly was behind the 2012 Magnitsky Act, "which exploited congressional willingness to demonize Russia and has done so much to poison relations between Washington and Moscow. The act sanctioned individual Russian officials, which Moscow has rightly seen as unwarranted interference in the operation of its judicial system," the report said.
It continued, "William Browder is again in the news recently in connection with testimony related to Russiagate. On December 16th Sen. Diane Feinstein of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript of the testimony provided by Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS. According to James Carden, Browder was mentioned 50 times, but the repeated citations apparently did not merit inclusion in media coverage of the story by the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico."