On Tuesday evening, Trey Yingst of One America News published an August 4, 2016 email exchange between Roger Stone and then-Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg suggesting the Trump campaign was aware WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was in possession of information that could help them overcome the commanding lead Hillary Clinton then enjoyed over Trump in the polls.
The subject line of the email is “McClatchty/Marist Poll : Clinton Up By 15 | Daily Wire.”
“enjoy it while u can. I dined with my new pal Julian Assange last nite,” Stone wrote.
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 4, 2018
While the focus of conversation surrounding the newly released emails has been on whether or not Stone was in London — Stone says he was not — a broader point is being largely ignored. When presented in August with a poll that showed Hillary Clinton holding a substantial lead of Trump, Stone indicated that would soon change because of Julian Assange.
The contents of the email were first disclosed on Monday by the Wall Street Journal. Stone told the Journal that he never actually in fact had dinner with Assange and that his comment about doing so was “in jest.” He’s since made a convoluted argument that timestamps on the email prove he couldn’t have been in London on August 3 to dine with Assange.
Stone, to me, just now: "Because I was in California and the email system was clearly using GMT or UTC setoff (see “+0000”) which I believe is 4 hours different from California. Sam sent at 1am UTC on the 5th, you received at 9pm Pacific on the 4th. That is not even remotely odd" https://t.co/nhHdRyc3Sn
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 4, 2018
Stone has a history of making inconsistent statements about his contacts with Assange. Two weeks after telling Nunberg that he’d dined with Assange, Stone posted a tweet in which he seemed to predict WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary” Stone tweeted on August 21.
Then, less than a week before WikiLeaks published the first tranche of Podesta emails on October 7, Stone tweeted, “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.”
Those tweets suggest that one of Trump’s most longtime advisers was aware in advance that Assange possessed stolen emails he intended to use against Clinton. Indeed, during the campaign, Stone claimed he was in direct contact with the WikiLeaks founder. But the Journal reports that in a text message, Stone now says he “never communicated with Mr. Assange.”
During testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last September, Stone refused to answer questions about his contacts with WikiLeaks. The US intelligence community has publicly accused Russian intelligence agencies of being responsible for hacking Democratic targets, then using WikiLeaks to launder stolen emails for publication.
In addition to claiming that his comment about dining was Assange was made in jest, Stone has been trying to discredit Nunberg, who testified last month before special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury.
In an Instagram video posted Friday, Stone — who has been banned from Twitter — accuses Nunberg of being “a cocaine addict,” adding that “any news organization that takes anything he says seriously is courting a serious lawsuit.”
Emails stolen from the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee were at the center of Trump’s closing message. As ThinkProgress previously detailed, Trump mentioned WikiLeaks 164 times during the month of October 2016 alone. But after the intelligence committee publicly accused Russia of using the stolen emails and WikiLeaks as part of a propaganda campaign to swing the election for Trump, then then-president-elect claimed that WikiLeaks had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”
UPDATE: (4/4, 1:30 p.m.): On Wednesday, CNN reported that on the same day Stone sent the email to Nunberg claiming he had dined with Assange, he went on Alex Jones’ radio show and predicted “devastating” disclosures about the Clinton Foundation.
“The Clinton campaign narrative that the Russians favor Donald Trump and the Russians are leaking this information, this is inoculation because as you said earlier, they know what is coming and it is devastating,” Stone said in the August 4, 2016 InfoWars interview. “Let’s remember that their defense to all the Clinton Foundation scandals is not that ‘we didn’t do,’ but ‘you have no proof, yes but you have no proof’… I think Julian Assange has that proof and I think he is going to furnish it for the American people.”
During the interview with Jones, Stone mentioned that he had talked the day before with Trump.