The confusing timeline on Roger Stones communications with WikiLeaks

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.

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. 

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

Two people who spoke to Stone, a longtime conservative political operative and Trump friend who parted ways with the future Presidents campaign in 2015, told the Washington Post that he claimed during the election to be talking to the radical transparency advocate.

Report: Roger Stone Spoke With Julian Assange in 2016 About the Podesta Emails

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.

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

A person familiar with the matter said Nunberg lost all loyalty to Stone and Trump after getting fired from the campaign, and instead became an "acolyte" of Stephen Bannon, Trumps one-time chief strategist.

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.

Stone, who worked briefly for the Trump campaign and who was once so vulgar and misogynistic on Twitter that the platform permanently banned him, publicly claimed during the campaign that he had communicated with Assange and knew about an upcoming document leak. Since then, however, he has denied the conversation, as have WikiLeaks and Assange. He also told the Post he once made a joke to Nunberg when he called Stone on a Friday to ask about his weekend plans:

Roger Stone had contact with Wikileaks Julian Assange in 2016: WaPo

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.

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.

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.

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

Stone, an informal advisor to then-candidate Donald Trump, said he had learned from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that his organization had obtained emails that would torment senior Democrats such as John Podesta, then campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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.

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.)

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

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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