Donald Trump was in direct communication during the 2016 presidential election with Roger Stone, a longtime adviser, who is likely the “unnamed person” in the indictments issued Friday morning by Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The Department of Justice is charging 12 Russian military intelligence agents with hacking Democratic party servers, and Stone is allegedly the bridge between Trump and the Russian hackers.
The indictments, as the Washington Post reported, do not name any U.S. citizens as taking part in or coordinating with the Russian cyber-attack. But they note that “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of the Trump campaign was also in repeated contact over the internet with an entity known as “Guccifer 2.0.” That entity identified itself as a lone Romanian hacker, but in reality was an alias used by the 12 Russians charged by Mueller with carrying out the hacks, according to the indictment document.
The Inquisitr reported in May of 2017 that Stone was in contact with “Guccifer 2.0,” and may have received stolen materials from the fictional persona, who was actually a collective of Russian intelligence operatives.
The indictments quote messages that were exchanged between the unnamed person, believed to be Roger Stone, and the Russian operatives — messages that match those posted by Stone himself on his Stone Cold Truth site. Stone claims that his communication with “Guccifer 2.0” was “so perfunctory, brief and banal I had forgotten it. Not exactly 007 stuff even if Guccifer 2.0 was working for the Russkies.”
But in an interview with CNN on Friday, Stone denied that he is the unnamed person in the indictment — even though the content of the quoted messages clearly points to him. But in his denial, he made a curious statement that appears to implicate Trump directly.
“My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials,” he said in the CNN interview. “I don’t think it is me because I wasn’t in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign. Look, (Deputy Attorney General Rod) Rosenstein said in his comments that they knew of no crime by U.S. citizens. They included my exchange with Guccifer which is now public, in the indictment. And it’s benign. So I don’t know that it refers to me.”
As several experts, including USA Today columnist Cheri Jacobus, were quick to note, Stone’s claim that he communicated only with Trump himself during the campaign could be seen to draw a direct line from Trump to Stone to the Russian intelligence agents posing as “Guccifer 2.0.”
Stone has said that he fully expects to be indicted by Mueller, as Vox reported. Stone, during the 2016 campaign, was also in touch with WikiLeaks, which published thousands of the stolen Democratic emails online, and is believed to be the “Organization 1” mentioned in Friday’s indictments, as Vox also reported.
Trump showed great enthusiasm for the activities of WikiLeaks in the run-up to the 2016 election, mentioning the document-dumping site 141 times, by MSNBC‘s count, in public statements during the month prior to the November presidential vote.
Trump and Stone have been friends and associates since at least 1980, when, as Inquisitr has reported, Stone and Paul Manafort — who served as Trump’s campaign chief in the 2016 campaign, and has now also been jailed on multiple indictments by Mueller — opened a political consulting firm and signed Trump as their first client.