OREANDA-NEWSRussian businessman Oleg Deripaska, in an interview with the American media, said that in September 2016, he spoke with FBI agents on the question of possible Russian interference in the US presidential election. According to him, even then he told the Americans that he did not believe in the communication of the election headquarters of Donald Trump with the Kremlin.

“I told them directly then that I am not on friendly terms with Paul Manafort (who headed Trump’s election headquarters), and six months before that I filed a lawsuit against him. And I would be very surprised if someone in Russia decided to communicate with Manafort without consulting me”, said Deripaska. The businessman noted that judging by the experience of Manaforte in Ukraine, already in 2016 there were doubts that he could act in the Russian interests.

The news agency notes that this statement appeared shortly before the speech before the congress of Robert Muller, who had been investigating Trump’s links with Russia for two years. According to the newspaper, Muller had materials about Deripaska’s conversation with the FBI, but didn't publicize them, although the words of the businessman showed that Manafort was innocent. Thus, Muller’s actions fall under the law, which prohibits concealing valuable information from the accused.

Deripaska also said that in 2012 his lawyers hired a former employee of the Mi-6, Christopher Steele, in connection with a conflict situation with a competitor in London. The businessman says that he didn't know that Steele was simultaneously working for the FBI and collecting dirt on Russian President Vladimir Putin, recruiting large-scale business representatives for this purpose. Deripaska argues that the matter eventually came to a meeting with representatives of the US Department of Justice, who expected to receive any information from him. Steele later worked on the election campaign, and he provided compromising evidence of Trump's ties with Russia. As it turned out, the materials he collected were not true.