A key confidante of Donald Trump has provided new details about the “mutual friend” of Julian Assange who served as a back channel to give him broad tips in advance about WikiLeaks’ releases of emails to and from key allies of Hillary Clinton.
Roger Stone, a longtime unofficial adviser to the Republican presidential nominee, was briefed in general terms in advance about the sensitive and embarrassing leaked Democratic emails by an American libertarian who works in the media on the “opinion side”, he told the Guardian in an interview.
Stone claims his American source, whom he declined to identify, has met with Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, in London and is a “mutual friend” of Stone and Assange. The WikiLeaks source, Stone said, is not tied in any way to the Trump campaign but has served as a back channel for Stone, who is an outside adviser to the Republican presidential candidate, allowing the adviser to tweet and comment very broadly prior to some key WikiLeaks disclosures.
A source close to Trump Tower also told the Guardian that Stone once boasted to him of meeting with Assange himself and told the source, who is active in GOP political circles, that WikiLeaks would be “coming down like a ton of bricks” on Clinton. Stone adamantly denied meeting with Assange (“Your source is bullshitting u” he wrote in an email) or having any direct contact with Assange or anyone with WikiLeaks.
Despite Stone’s advance tweets and comments about some major WikiLeaks disclosures – including recent ones in October relating to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and the Clinton Foundation – the self-styled “rabble rouser” and onetime Watergate dirty tricks operative said the FBI had not contacted him in its investigation into the illegal computer hacking of private Democratic emails, and he was not worried.
“There is nothing to investigate,” Stone said. The Obama administration has accused Russia of being the source of the hack.
But Stone’s tweets and comments about forthcoming WikiLeaks releases have put him in the media spotlight and is just one of the controversial ways he has played a role as an outside Trump booster and adviser, after a several-month stint last year as a key campaign insider.
In August, well before WikiLeaks released Podesta’s emails, Stone tweeted: “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
After thousands of Podesta’s emails were published last month, Podesta told reporters: “It’s a reasonable conclusion that Mr Stone had advanced warning and the Trump campaign had advanced warning about what Assange was going to do.”
In response to Podesta’s comments, Stone told the conservative Daily Caller: “I’ve admitted I’ve been in communication with Assange through an intermediary,” adding: “They don’t tell me what they’re going to release.”
Likewise in August, Stone told a Florida audience: “I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”
Last month, WikiLeaks released thousands of internal emails about the Clinton Foundation, including ones alleging a gender pay gap.
But Stone dismissed suggestions by Podesta and some congressional Democrats that he may have played a role in WikiLeaks releases or the hacking, stressing that he has no financial or client ties to Russia.
Stone, who said he talked to Trump about once a week on average, is a regular on Infowars and other conservative talk radio shows, pushing conspiracy theories and espousing the unsubstantiated view, as Trump does, that the elections are rigged. “The entire election has been rigged, including the debates,” Stone told the Guardian.
Given that premise, Stone has been leading a controversial exit poll project in nine cities that has been attacked as potential “voter suppression” by independent experts, spawned a lawsuit from Democrats, and prompted one GOP operative who knows Stone to exclaim: “It’s right out of a Roger playbook as an example of voter suppression.”
Moreover, Stone said he “totally supports” Trump’s position of waiting until after the election to say whether he will accept the results if he loses. “It will depend solely on whether the election has been fairly conducted.”
“Roger operates by a different set of rules, and his object is to disrupt,” Peter Kelly, a former lobbying partner and a Democrat, told the Guardian. “He traffics in the unusual.”
Stone was a junior figure in Richard Nixon’s dirty tricks operation during the president’s re-election campaign in 1972 when, aged only 19, he pulled off two political scams, according to the 1973 congressional hearings on Watergate, hiring a GOP operative to infiltrate the campaign of Democrat George McGovern and making contributions to Republican Pete McCloskey in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance. After Stone’s covert operations were revealed, he was sacked from his job on Senator Bob Dole’s staff. He has a tattoo of Nixon’s face on his back.
Several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Assange for comment on any direct or indirect contact with Stone he may have had.
Dick Morris gives a very good explanation of what is happening to our Democracy. We are in a Constitutional Crisis. The Clinton’s are trying to take over the U.S. There is a civil war between the Rank and file of the FBI and the Justice Department, State Department, and the White House.
The next video explains what is happening. This is shocking to say the least.