Roger Stone claimed contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016, according to two associates

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported a new wrinkle in the murky overlap between the Russian government and Donald Trumps presidential campaign in 2016. Roger Stone, a confidant of Trump, told multiple people during the 2016 campaign that he had directly communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks was the outlet that released thousands of documents believed to have been stolen by Russian actors from the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Hillary Clintons campaign chairman.

Our report indicates that Stone spoke with an unnamed contact during spring 2016 and told them that he had been in contact with Assange. From that contact, Stone learned that WikiLeaks had obtained emails that would torment senior Democrats such as John Podesta, then campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Roger Stone, at the Womens Republican Club of Miami. CREDIT: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Whether or not Trump, his campaign or his allies colluded with Russia in the country’s effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential election depends on who knew what. One key piece of information is whether anyone in the Trump orbit knew about Democratic emails which, according to U.S. intelligence, were hacked by Russia and later released by Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Advanced knowledge would have allowed Trump or his associates to coordinate the release of the emails for maximum effect.

Roger Stone denies report that he had contact with Assange in 2016

The timing on this is interesting. The hack of Podestas emails itself began only in mid-March 2016. Russian hackers were allegedly still breaking into the DNCs network that April. The suggestion, then, is that Stone may have known about the hacked information shortly after it was hacked — which would raise questions about how rapidly the information was transferred from the hackers to WikiLeaks.

Ultimately, the emails of former Hillary Clinton chair John Podesta began to be released on the same day the infamous Access Hollywood tape was published, raising suspicions that the timing was not accidental.

To clarify the matter, we built out a timeline of Stones interactions with WikiLeaks and another online persona calling himself Guccifer 2.0. There are indications later in the year that Stone had no direct contact with WikiLeaks or Assange, including denials made privately by the group.

June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Sam Nunberg, who worked for Trump after being connected to him through Stone, told the newspaper that he had described the matter to investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Nunberg also said that Stone boasted to him about traveling to London to meet with Assange in 2016. 

Roger Stone admits to 2016 phone conversation with Julian Assange: Report

Summer 2015. Hackers believed to be linked to Russian intelligence agencies gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee.

Roger Stone reportedly told two people he was in contact with Julian Assange during the campaign

March 19, 2016. Podesta is sent an email that encourages him to change his email password, probably precipitating the hack of his account.

Private messages reported by The Atlantic last month showed Stone telling WikiLeaks via Twitter in October 2016 that it should not attack him, though both the adviser and Assange say that the tense exchanges are evidence that they were collaborating together.

March 28, 2016. Apparently at the recommendation of Stone, Manafort is hired to lead the Trump campaigns efforts to secure delegates for the convention.

Contact was also denied by WikiLeaks and Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for years over fears of extradition to Sweden for a sexual assault case or the U.S. for charges related to leaking government secrets.

Trump advisor Roger Stone claimed contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016, two associates say

April 2016. The DNC network is again compromised by hackers believed to be connected to Russian intelligence agencies.

April 26, 2016. Papadopoulos is informed by his contact that the Russians have dirt on Clinton in the form of emails. Its not clear whether he conveys this information to the campaign, although he later emails a senior campaign staffer to inform him of interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.

Spring 2016. Stone tells a confidant that he had spoken with Assange and learned about emails WikiLeaks possessed that would be problematic for Democrats, including Podesta.

According to the two Stone associates—one of whom was former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg—who told the Post about the conversation, Stone said Assange had told him he had emails in his possession that would embarrass John Podesta, who was the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton. These emails, from Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, were obtained by hackers working from Russia, the U.S. intelligence community would later conclude.

Video: Roger Stone Reportedly Said He Was In Contact With Assange In 2016

June 3, 2016. Trump Jr. is informed over email that the Russian government has incriminating information on Clinton that it wants to share with the Trump campaign. He helps facilitate a meeting for the information to be shared.

Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser to Donald Trump, said in 2016 that he had had a conversation with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about senior Democrats emails, according to a new report from the Washington Post. Since the 2016 campaign, Stone has categorically denied he had contact with Assange or prior knowledge of the WikiLeaks documents.

June 9, 2016. A meeting is held at Trump Tower predicated on sharing negative information about Clinton with the Trump campaign. Those who attended deny that any such information existed.

Stone communicated directly with WikiLeaks over private Twitter messages, the Atlantic reported in February. Stone described himself as a defender of WikiLeaks and told the organization to figure out who your friends are when WikiLeaks complained that Democrats were using false claims of association between them to undermine the organization.

June 12, 2016. In an interview with ITV, Assange says the organization has more emails from Clinton.

According to Nunberg, investigators working for Robert Mueller asked him to describe the conversation Stone had with Assange. Federal investigators have during the course of their probe examined any potential contacts between Trump allies and WikiLeaks as possible evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Russians.

June 14, 2016. The Post reports that hackers linked to Russia had accessed the DNC network.

I said, I think I will go to London for the weekend and meet with Julian Assange. It was a joke, a throwaway line to get him off the phone. The idea that I would meet with Assange undetected is ridiculous on its face.

Did Roger Stone Collude?

June 15, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 releases the DNCs research file on Donald Trump. He claims to be a lone hacker.

July 22, 2016. Shortly before Democratic National Convention begins, WikiLeaks begins releasing documents stolen from the DNC.

Aug. 5, 2016. Stone writes an essay for Breitbart blaming the DNC hacks on Guccifer 2.0 — and not on Russian actors.

Report: Roger Stone Spoke To WikiLeaks Julian Assange About The DNC Email Hack Before It Was Made Public

Aug. 8, 2016. Stone tells a Republican group that he has been in contact with Assange and that the next documents to be released were related to the Clinton Foundation.

Aug. 9, 2016. WikiLeaks obliquely denies in a tweet having had contact with Stone.

In private messages obtained by the Intercept, the group refers to Stone as a bulls—— who is trying to imply that he knows anything.

Aug. 12, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 releases more information purportedly stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The hacker thanks Stone on Twitter for his defense.

Aug. 14, 2016. Stone and Guccifer 2.0 begin having a conversation over Twitter direct messages.

Aug. 19, 2016. Manafort is fired from the campaign after questions arise about his work in Ukraine.

Aug. 21, 2016. Stone tweets, Trust me, it will soon [be] Podestas time in the barrel. (Stones Twitter account is later suspended.)

Sam Nunberg and another witness told Mueller that Roger Stone met with Julian Assange in 2016

Sep. 9, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 asks Stone his opinion on a Democratic Party document over Twitter direct message; he offers a curt reply.

Report: Roger Stone Spoke of WikiLeaks Trove of Podesta, DNC Emails in Spring 2016

Oct. 2, 2016. Stone tweets, Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.

Oct. 3, 2016. Stone tweets, I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. #LockHerUp

Oct. 5, 2016. Stone tweets, Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming #Lockthemup

Oct. 6, 2016. With Wednesday having come and gone, Stone again tweets about WikiLeaks: Julian Assange will deliver a devastating expose on Hillary at a time of his choosing. I stand by my prediction.

Oct. 7, 2016. WikiLeaks begins releasing documents stolen from Podesta.

Oct. 11, 2016. Podesta tells reporters that he thinks Trumps campaign was warned about the release of his emails, pointing the finger at Stone.

Oct. 12, 2016. Stone tells a local news station in Miami that he has a mutual friend with Assange who has been giving him a heads-up about upcoming releases. Its later revealed that the friend is New York radio host Randy Credico.

Oct. 13, 2016. WikiLeaks releases another statement denying contact with Stone. Shortly afterward, he contacts the organization over Twitter direct message in an exchange reported by the Atlantic.

Stone wrote: Since I was all over national TV, cable and print defending wikileaks and assange against the claim that you are Russian agents and debunking the false charges of sexual assault as trumped up bs, you may want to rexamine the strategy of attacking me- cordially R

WikiLeaks responds by asking him to stop drawing a connection between himself and their organization.

The false claims of association are being used by the democrats to undermine the impact of our publications, the group writes.

Happy? the group wrote, referring to the election results. We are now more free to communicate.

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