Roger Stone looks at Russian indictments and concludes he’s cleared

Whatever you do, don't look at the mountain of evidence that points to the contrary.

Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  CREDIT: John Sciulli/Getty Images.
Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. CREDIT: John Sciulli/Getty Images.

After a federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with the 2016 hacking of Democratic computer networks on Friday, President Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone came to the most obvious conclusion: He’s totally exonerated.

A somewhat incredulous Chris Cuomo on Friday night laid out the case against Stone:

“You can’t read this indictment, in conjunction with the last indictment that we had of almost a dozen people, and the other indictments that have come out, and the intelligence community assessment of what happened, and the Senate Intelligence Committee assessment of what happened and not face the reality that the United States was hacked, by Russia, during the election. Will you accept that as fact?”

“No, I’m sorry I think it is still unproven,” said Stone, pointing to “forensic evidence” he sees as missing, as per an article in the Nation magazine.

Cuomo wasn’t buying it.

“Article? These guys have had subpoena power and the complete tools of the Unites States government. They’ve been looking at it for months. They detailed who did it, how they did it, how they conspired…and they refer to you and how you were approached…they lay it all out,” said Cuomo, asking, “Why fight the conclusion? Because you’re in a very small group now. It’s really you and the president.”


Stone just replied that he didn’t “believe it,” adding that there’s “no evidence in this indictment”  that he received any information from the Russian hackers and passed it along to WikiLeaks or DCLeaks.

But then, he told ABC late on Friday that he was, in fact, the unnamed “U.S. person” named in the indictment.

“As I testified before the House Intelligence Committee under oath, my 24 word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 [a name used by Russian hackers] is benign based on its content, context and timing. This exchange is entirely public and provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Guccifer 2.0 or anyone else in the alleged hacking of the DNC emails, as well as taking place many weeks after the events described in today’s indictment.”

ABC also reported that statements made by Stone in August 2016 seem to indicate that “he knew that Wikileaks was going to leak damaging information on Clinton before it was released,” even as he insisted that he did not know that Guccifer 2.0 was a cover for Russian operatives.

Stone has also claimed that he was not in regular contact with people in Trump’s campaign, only Trump himself.

Indeed, in the face of growing evidence (a mounting tally of indictments and guilty pleas) that Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections had help from people close to the president’s campaign, it’s becoming increasingly  difficult for Stone to deny what is already known:

But like Stone, the president continually points to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the matter and repeats his mantra of “no collusion” — perhaps in hopes of manifesting the such an outcome.


The White House on Friday released a statement to that effect, saying, “Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result.”

From his vacation at his golf course in Scotland, President Trump on Saturday morning fired off a couple of tweets that point the finger of blame every which way except at his own circle.

First, he blame the FBI, essentially accusing them of bungling the investigation:

This paranoid conspiracy theory is one the president often repeats, generally with each new development in the investigation.

He’s also blaming President Barack Obama for Russia’s election meddling:

No, blaming Obama is nothing new for President Trump. He also blames his predecessor for Russia’s illegal 2014 annexation of Crimea from Russia, insisting that this would not happen under his watch.


Trump, who to meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, he has told the media that he will ask the Russian president again if he meddled in the US elections. On Friday he told reporters that he did not expect the exchange to produce a “Perry Mason” type confession from Putin.