Roger Stone, the longtime Trump consultant and Republican political operative, once boasted to two associates that he knew of the Clinton campaign email hacks before they happened, according to the Washington Post.
The Post reports that Stone told confidantes that he spoke directly to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in spring 2016, when Assange told him of the emails he’d obtained of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. The emails, however, weren’t leaked until October, almost immediately after Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape revealed that the presidential candidate once boasted of committing sexual assault.
A similar claim about Stone was made Monday by former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg, who said Stone told him he had spoken with Assange in advance of the email dumps. When reached by the Post, Stone claimed whatever he may have said to Nunberg was a “joke.”
Last month, it was also revealed Stone had been in contact with Wikileaks in the fall of 2016, despite denying to congressional investigators that he had ever spoken with the organization.
Although Stone has repeatedly denied having direct contact with Wikileaks, in the runup to the email dumps, he repeatedly tweeted that surprises were coming. He once said, “Trust me— it will soon be the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.”
Wikileaks is widely believed to have been used by Russia to launder the emails. Ironically, this news comes on the heels of House Republicans issuing a report claiming they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Stone advised President Donald Trump in 2015, when the then-reality TV star began his campaign and was an on-again-off-again consultant for the president after he officially left the campaign.