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Clinton confidant believes he might have been spies' target

By Jason Horowitz
Washington Post staff writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; 6:51 PM

Alan Patricof, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton and a powerhouse Democratic fundraiser, said Tuesday evening that he believed himself to be the mysterious "prominent New York-based financier" allegedly targeted by a Russian spy ring.

Patricof said he was as surprised as everyone else by his involvement, albeit peripherally, with the spies.

"It's just staggering," said Patricof in a telephone interview. "It's off the charts."

Patricof made clear that he and the alleged spy, known as Cynthia Murphy, "never discussed anything but paying the bills and taxes in normal phone calls or meetings." For three years, he has been a client of the Manhattan firm Morea Financial Services, the tax service that employed Murphy.

"She never once asked me about government, politics or anything remotely close to that subject," Patricof said.

The politically connected investor was first identified by the Politico's Ben Smith as the possible mark of the alleged spy.

A shocked Patricof reiterated in the interview that, "We never discussed anything but paying the bills."

According to a federal complaint filed in New York, the alleged spy's superiors apparently saw promise in the connection to the unidentified financier. They suggested that he could supply "remarks re US foreign policy," and "roumors" about White House internal "kitchen."

"This is the most wild story ever," said Patricof.

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