President Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone told The Washington Post this week that he had zero communications with the Trump campaign about a trove of hacked emails belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, or WikiLeaks’ plan to publish them online.
A series of emails between the two parties now proves that was a lie.
The New York Times on Thursday reported on the existence of the emails, which were sent between Stone, former Trump campaign chairman and Breitbart co-founder Steve Bannon, and Matthew Boyle, Breitbart’s Washington editor, on October 3 and 4, 2016.
In them, Boyle and Stone — who has long suggested he knew ahead of time that Wikileaks was in possession of and planned to release damaging information on Clinton — volleyed missives back and forth, with Boyle asking Stone whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has “anything good” on Clinton.
Days earlier, Stone had “predicted” on his now-suspended Twitter account that Assange — who was scheduled to release a cache of new documents that week — planned to make public materials that would hurt Clinton’s shot at the presidency.
“Assange — what’s he got?” Boyle wrote to Stone, in an email dated October 3. “Hope it’s good.”
“It is,” Stone replied. “I’d tell Bannon but he doesn’t call me back.”
Stone then wrote that his book on “the TRUMP campaign” was due out in January 2017 and that “many scores [would] be settled.”
Shortly thereafter, Boyle reached out to Bannon directly, suggesting he contact Stone himself.
“I’ve got important stuff to worry about,” Bannon replied.
Boyle was persistent, telling Bannon that Stone “clearly…knows what Assange has.”
“I’d say that’s important,” he added.
The Times summarizes what happened next:
The next morning, Mr. Assange told reporters in Berlin, by teleconference, that he planned to release “significant material” in the coming weeks, including some related to the American presidential election. He said WikiLeaks hoped to publish a trove of documents each week in the coming months. Mr. Assange’s comments were reported extensively in the United States.
Following that news conference, Bannon, apparently convinced of the legitimacy of Stone’s claims by that point, reached out to Stone, asking for more details.
“What was that this morning???” he wrote in an email dated October 4, 2016.
“Fear. Serious security concern. He thinks they are going to kill him and the London police are standing done,” Stone wrote, referencing Assange’s earlier comments that he was worried about his safety.
He added, “However —a load every week going forward.”
At that point, Bannon inquired as to whether Assange may have “cut [a] deal” with the Clintons that would’ve stopped him from making the Podesta emails public.
“Don’t think so BUT his lawyer Fishbein is a big democrat,” Stone responded.
WikiLeaks published the first round of Podesta emails days later, on October 7, 2016.
The Times report notes that most, if not all, of the information Stone gave to Bannon about Assange or WikiLeaks — at least in this particular round of emails — had been made public previously, by Assange himself. However, the emails directly contradict Stone’s previous claim that he had no communications with any Trump campaign officials about the WikiLeaks drop.
“There are no such communications,” Stone said, in a statement to The Washington Post Tuesday, when asked about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to probe “private interactions” between Stone and “senior campaign officials” about his foreknowledge of the Podesta emails, as part of the larger, ongoing Russia investigation.
“[…] If Bannon says there are [communications] he would be dissembling,” Stone added.
For his part, Stone claims that his prescient tweets were simply hype.
“I deserve credit for hyping public attention, but not coordinating,” he said.