Longtime Trump consigliere Roger Stone likes to give slippery answers when grilled by lawmakers or reporters about the specifics of his contacts with Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who are more or less one and the same. The Washington Post finds that their contact dates back to at least 2016.
In the spring of 2016, longtime political operative Roger Stone had a phone conversation that would later seem prophetic, according to the person on the other end of the line.
Stone, an informal adviser 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.
The conversation occurred before it was publicly known that hackers had obtained the emails of Podesta and of the Democratic National Committee, documents that WikiLeaks released in late July and October. The U.S. intelligence community later concluded the hackers were working for Russia.
The person, who spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation into Russian campaign interference, is one of two Stone associates who say Stone claimed to have had contact with Assange in 2016.
The second, former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, said in an interview Monday that Stone told him that he had met with Assange — a conversation Nunberg said investigators for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III recently asked him to describe.
Last week, Fox Business Network reported that Nunberg intended to seek treatment for alcoholism following his grand jury appearance.
Nunberg, 36, is an associate of Trump ally and longtime political consultant Roger Stone. Mueller wants to determine if Stone played any role in the publication of Democratic emails hacked by Russian intelligence operatives, according to sources familiar with the investigation.