NEW YORK — Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing with the author of the controversial, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier, served as senior vice president of a firm that did lobbying work for Tenex, the U.S. subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow.
In 2010, Rosatom infamously purchased a controlling stake in Uranium One, the Canadian uranium mining company with operations in the U.S. The purchase was approved by the Obama administration in a decision that is currently being probed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
In a statement to Breitbart News, APCO Worldwide, where Winer served as senior vice president from 2008 to 2013, denied that the firm’s work for Rosatom’s subsidiary Tenex was related to the purchase of Uranium One or to the acquisition of uranium in general. Instead, APCO said its work for Tenex, which took place in 2010 and 2011, focused on sales of fuel to the U.S. energy market. APCO also denied that Winer did any work related to Tenex.
After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele.
Winer further acknowledged that while he was working at the State Department, he shared with Steele anti-Trump material passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele — originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.
While writing in the Washington Post of his concerns about Russian influence in the U.S., Winer failed to disclose that he worked for a firm that did lobby work for a nuclear company whose parent is owned by the Russian government.
Steele was commissioned to produce the dossier by the Fusion GPS opposition research firm, which was in turn paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The Steele dossier was reportedly utilized by the FBI as part of its probe into Trump and unsubstantiated claims of Russia collusion. According to House Intelligence Committee documents, the questionable dossier was also used by Obama-era federal agencies to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign. The political origins of the dossier and issues relating to Steele’s credibility as a source were kept from the FISA court, a House Intelligence Committee memo documents.
From 2008 to 2013, Winer worked at APCO Worldwide, where he served as senior vice president.
A contract previously obtained by Circa shows that from 2010 to 2011, APCO was paid roughly $3 million by Tenex, the U.S. subsidiary of Rosatom.
Circa reported that it saw the contract between Tenex and APCO, which agreed that the “total fee is comprised of the fixed quarterly fee which shall be $750,000 per each of the four three-month periods of rendering Services here under during the validity period of this contract, including the 18 percent Russian VAT payable in the territory of the Russian Federation.”
Asked to clarify its work for Tenex, APCO sent Breitbart News a statement that “as clearly reported in APCO’s public filings from 2010 and 2011, available to anyone online, APCO’s work for Tenex focused entirely on the company’s interest in continuing sales of fuel to the U.S. energy market.”
“At the time, Tenex provided half of the fuel used by U.S. nuclear energy producers under a Bush administration program,” the APCO statement continued. “Any claim that APCO was involved in the Uranium One transaction or any related CIFIUS matter is completely false.”
As Breitbart News reported, in addition to its work for Tenex, APCO did extensive pro bono work for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) from 2007 until 2016.
APCO Worldwide recently faced controversy when The Hill reported that paid FBI informant Douglas Campbell, who infiltrated the Russian nuclear business world, claimed to three separate congressional committees in a written statement that Russia hired APCO to influence the Obama administration, singling out Hillary Clinton.
Campbell claimed he was told by Russian nuclear executives that there was a connection between APCO’s CGI volunteer efforts and work that APCO did for Tenex.
In a statement to Breitbart News, APCO Worldwide strongly denied that its work for CGI was in any way related to work the firm did for Tenex. The statement added that “Winer had no involvement on any matters related to Tenex or the Clinton Global Initiative. In fact, the four senior staff on the Tenex project included two former Bush administration officials and a former staff member for a Republican member of the Senate.”
“APCO’s pro bono work for the Clinton Global Initiative is a matter of public record as part of our giving commitment reported to the UN Global Compact,” the statement added. “This volunteer work began in 2007, three years before any discussion with Tenex, and continued until 2016, five years after the Tenex engagement ended. These engagements were unrelated and any suggestion that they were connected is a deliberate falsehood. APCO’s work on each of these projects was transparent, publicly documented and entirely proper.”
Campbell, the FBI informant, however, claimed that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”
In a separate statement on the matter to Circa last October, APCO Worldwide Inc. stated, “APCO was not involved in any aspect of Uranium One.”
Winer, meanwhile, served under Bill Clinton’s administration as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement. He wrote in his recent Washington Post oped that he rejoined the State Department in 2013 at the insistence of John Kerry. “In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel,” he said.
In the Post piece, Winer related that while he was at the State Department, he repeatedly passed documents from Steele related to Russia to State officials, including to Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who worked under the Clintons and served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs under Kerry. “Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful,” he wrote.
Winer wrote that in the summer of 2016, Steele “told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.”
Winer says that he met with Steele in September 2016 to discuss details that would later become known as the anti-Trump dossier. Winer wrote that he prepared a two-page summary of Steele’s information and “shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.”
Besides bringing Steele’s dossier information to the State Department, Winer conceded that he also passed information from Blumenthal to Steele, specifically charges about Trump that originated with Shearer.
Winer described what he claimed was the evolution of his contacts with Blumenthal regarding Shearer’s information:
In late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-Contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at the Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails of Blumenthal, who had a long association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been hacked in 2013 through a Russian server.
While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature.
What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources.
Shearer has numerous close personal and family connections to the Clintons and has reportedly been involved in numerous antics tied to them. National Review previously dubbed Shearer a “Creepy Clinton Confidante” and “The Strangest Character in Hillary’s Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.”
In his Washington Post oped, Winer does not say whether he knew at the time that he interfaced with Steele that the ex-British spy was working for Fusion GPS, or that Fusion was being paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign via the Perkins Coie law firm.
In the Post piece, Winer also failed to mention his work for APCO as well as the firm’s ties to the Clinton Global Initiative and to the company whose parent purchased Uranium One.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.