"Rabbi" Warren Buffett advised ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne

The controversial founder of online retail outlet, Overstock.com, credits his “rabbi” – legendary investor Warren Buffett – with pushing him to come forward to discuss his involvement in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election through a romantic relationship with a Russian agent Maria Butina.

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Patrick Byrne, who resigned as Overstock CEO Thursday following several explosive comments including that he helped with various investigations of government officials, told David Asman of FOX Business' “Bulls & Bears” that he “went to see my rabbi   . . .  this guy in Omaha and he said Patrick, ‘You come forward.’ He said ‘You can't let this sit with the feds, let the feds do their job. You have to come forward to the American people’.”  

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OSTKOVERSTOCK COM68.60-0.73-1.05%

Referring to his “rabbi” several times, but not identifying him, Asman asked, “You worked with Warren Buffett. He acted as a mentor for you. Have you been taking advice from him on a regular basis now about all that's happened to you?”

Byrne responded, “Just once on this,” although he did go on to say he has known the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway since he was 13. He stated that “rabbi” was “probably the right way to describe our relationship, although neither of us (are) Jewish.”

Fox Business contacted representatives for Berkshire Hathaway for comment but did not receive a response. 

Earlier on Thursday, in an interview on FOX Business’ “Varney & Co.,” Byrne said the federal investigation is "all about political espionage" and that he thinks “we are about to see the biggest scandal in American history.”

Byrne wrote a letter to Overstock shareholders informing them of his resignation and offered this explanation:  “While I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday, August 22.”