In private Twitter messages exchanged in Aug. 2016, Assange referred to Stone as a “bullshitter” who falsely implied in public statements that he was communicating with WikiLeaks, The Intercept reported Wednesday.
“Stone is a bullshitter,” Assange wrote to an associate in a private group chat.
Mr Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, wrote a series of angry Tweets about the accusations made by The Intercept, which is a publication dedicated to “adversarial journalism”.
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“Trying to a) imply that he knows anything b) that he contributed to our hard work,” he added.
Assange was responding to a news article that quoted Stone claiming he was in contact with Assange.
“I actually have communicated with Assange,” Stone told a group of Florida Republicans on Aug. 8.
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Stone, a longtime Republican operative who has known Trump for 40 years, made other cryptic comments suggesting he had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.
WikiLeaks began publishing Podesta’s hacked emails in Oct. 2016. In July, the group dumped 20,000 emails that were stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The U.S. intelligence community believes the Russian government orchestrated the hacks and used WikiLeaks as a cut-out.
Assange also writes about his fear of a whitehouse with [Clintons] bloodlutt and amitions [sic] of empire with hawkish liberal-interventionist appointees like [Anne-Marie] Slaughter and digital expansionists such as Google integrated into the power structure. Then the republicans and trump in opposition constantly saying shes weak and not invading enough.
“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone tweeted on Aug. 21, 2016.
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The release of Podesta’s emails two months later led to allegations that Stone and the Trump campaign cooperated with WikiLeaks and/or Russia.
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“I think theres at least a reasonable belief that Mr. Assange may have passed this information onto Mr. Stone,” Podesta said after his emails were released.
The messages, sent between May 2015 and November 2017, were leaked by a former WikiLeaks volunteer known as Hazelpress who said he considers them of public interest after news came out that Wikileaks had secret contact with Donald Trump Jr., urged Trump to reject the elections results if he lost, and asked him to consider using his connections to get Assange an Australian ambassadorship.
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Stone responded at the time by softening his initial claim that he had direct contact with Assange.
He also said that he was “in communications with Assange through an intermediary.”
Despite Stone’s denials, Democrats have cited his remarks as possible evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Stone has denied the charge but refused for more than a year to identify his intermediary to Assange.
Stone finally revealed to the House Intelligence Committee in November that his contact was Randy Credico, a New York-based radio host and activist who has visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the hacker lives under asylum.
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Stone also recently visited London where he dropped off his business card at the Ecuadorian embassy. He has also called on Trump to free Assange.
Julian Assange addressing supporters outside Ecuadors London embassy in May 2017. AP
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More than 11,000 private Twitter messages between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and some of his closest supporters have just been released.
The messages, which were obtained by The Intercept, were all sent to a group of around 10 individuals that Assange had dubbed the “WikiLeaks Task Force.”
The messages were exchanged over the course of more than two years from May 2015 through November 2017, and while they cover a wide range of issues from Assanges thoughts on Russian politics to his disdain for 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, they do not delve into some of the most pressing questions about WikiLeaks involvement with the campaign of President Donald Trump. The group was in contact with the campaign at various points leading up to the November 2016 election, and was responsible for leaks of the Clinton campaigns internal emails and speech transcripts.
The messages were leaked by a former WikiLeaks volunteer known as Hazelpress. He articulated his reasoning for the disclosure to The Intercept.
“At this point, considering the power exercised by WikiLeaks, [disclosing] literally anything Assange says is in the public interest,” Hazelpress said. “WikiLeaks purports to be a neutral transparency organization.”
The messages paint a picture of a man desperate to portray WikiLeaks as a beleaguered organization existing within a hostile environment, and one who is willing to support a Trump presidency in order to achieve broader socio-political goals. They also reveal Assanges misogyny, as well as hints of anti-Semitism. Behind this though, the messages do reveal that years after WikiLeaks gained notoriety, Assange remains as committed as ever to his anti-state secrecy agenda.
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From June 13, 2015: “It runs an independent foreign policy and its arms sales are the only thing that keep a semblance of independence for smaller states. Russia is absolutely terrified. Kalingrad, Crimea, and its only foreign naval base, Syria are all under threat and are not protected by Russias strategic depth. Meanwhile the US hacks the hell out of it, and attempts to forment an orange revolution in an explicitly states policy of regime change. Consequently the Kremlin in deeply paranoid of everyone, including foreign funded NGOs and invading western cultural practices, like gays and the internet… US next generation weapons are serious advancements. Its play in Ukraine was in Russias sister country. and so the Russian ruling class… are terrified the same thing could happen to them.”
Note: Assange is referring to the 2004-2005 anti-corruption Orange Revolution in Ukraine that shook Eastern Europe.
Note: The parentheses Assange mentions are related to a neo-Nazi campaign to brand Jewish Twitter users. Many people began using the parentheses as a show of solidarity with branded users.
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WikiLeaks rose to international fame when they published a trove of documents in 2010 that had been leaked to them by Chelsea Manning, who was then a US army private.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised the pro-transparency organization, on numerous occasions, and the group made frequent contact with Donald Trump Jr. to ask him to promote leaks they published. At several public events and on Twitter, the older Trump complied.
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“Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks,” he tweeted in October 2016. “So dishonest! Rigged system!”
On one particular occasion, Assange asked the younger Trump to have his father convince the government of Australia to make him their ambassador to the US. Assange, a native Australian, is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and recently received Ecuadorian citizenship after being granted asylum in the embassy. There remains a warrant out for his arrest in the UK for rape allegations levied against him in Sweden.