By Roger Stone
The Washington Post published one of the shoddiest pieces of reporting — SPECIAL COUNSEL EXAMINES CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS AS SCRUTINY OF ROGER STONE AND WIKILEAKS DEEPENS that I have seen in my 40 years in American Politics. The story, by Carol D. Leoning, Manual Roig-Franzia and Rosalind S. Helderman, is rife with inaccuracies and material omissions, I have dissected it line-by-line to expose its dishonesty.
The Posts report is in regular type and my comments will follow in bold.
WP: In recent weeks, a grand jury in Washington has listened to more than a dozen hours of testimony and FBI technicians have pored over gigabytes of electronic messages as part of the special counsel’s quest to solve one burning mystery: Did longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone — or any other associate of the president — have advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked Democratic emails in 2016?
RS: It would be hard for me and other Trump associates not to have known that Wikileaks amassed substantial information on Hillary Clinton and planned to release it. Wikileaks Publisher Julian Assange himself announced it in an Interview on CNN in June 2016 – a fact known to the New York Times but omitted from this report.
WP: While outwardly quiet for the last month, Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have been aggressively pursuing leads behind the scenes about whether Stone was in communication with the online group, whose disclosures of emails believed to have been hacked by Russian operatives disrupted the 2016 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the special counsel probe.
Stone, who boasted during the race that he was in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has said since that his past comments were exaggerated or misunderstood.
RS: I said communicated with, not “in touch with” What I said was that, although my claims were dramatized for effect before a partisan audience, they were not fabricated and I clarified in a dozed subsequent interviews that my “communication” was not directly with Assange but had been through a third party.
WP: Both he and WikiLeaks have adamantly denied they were in contact. However, prosecutors are closely examining both public comments and alleged private assertions that Stone made in 2016 suggesting he had a way to reach Assange, the people said.
Last month, Randy Credico, a onetime Stone friend, told the grand jury that the Trump loyalist confided during the 2016 campaign that he had a secret back channel to WikiLeaks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
RS: What I said was that Credico himself was the confirming source who told me in late July or early August that Assange did indeed have material on the Democrats and would release it in October. I did tell Credico I had an additional source who also told me the material was coming and that the revelations would address the Clinton Foundation.
WP: In a series of interviews with The Washington Post, Stone said his only connection to the group was through Credico, a liberal comedian who had hosted Assange on his New York radio program in 2016.
RS: No, what I said was that Credico was my principle source.
WP: The special counsel’s prosecutors have also zeroed in on Stone’s relationship with conservative journalist and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, examining whether he served as a conduit between Stone and Assange, according to another person familiar with their interest. Corsi appeared before Mueller’s grand jury last month, and FBI agents have recently been seeking to interview Corsi’s associates, according to the person.
RS: Dr. Corsi told me he was never in communication with Wikileaks or Assange, I believe him and know of no evidence to the contrary.
WP: In addition, investigators have scrutinized Stone’s communications with Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks, according to people familiar with the probe.
RS: That will be a short scrutiny as there are none.
WP: One apparent line of inquiry: whether Stone lied to Congress about his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks during the presidential race, according to the people.
RS: My testimony before the house Intelligence Committee was truthful and there is no credible evidence to the contrary.
WP: The question of whether Trump associates were in contact with WikiLeaks is at the heart of Mueller’s inquiry. According to charges filed by the special counsel in July, Russian military intelligence officers used an online persona called Guccifer 2.0 to distribute hacked Democratic emails through WikiLeaks. The Russian operatives also used Guccifer 2.0’s Twitter account to send messages to Stone, who has said the exchanges were benign.
RS: No, what I said was that the 24 word exchange with the persona of Guccifer 2.0 over twitter Direct Messages came weeks after Wikileaks had already published the DNC material and therefore could not have chronologically constituted collaboration in the hacking of the DNC or dissemination of the material. The full text of the exchange is available to the Washington Post who elected not to include it because it includes no discussion of the DNC material and is irrelevant to this entire issue, indeed benign.
WP: “The online organization has said it had no contact with Stone. WikiLeaks & Assange have repeatedly confirmed that they have never communicated with Stone,” the organization tweeted in March 2017.”
Stone told The Post that Credico “was my principal source regarding the allegedly hacked emails published by WikiLeaks,” a claim Credico has denied. Stone added that one of his remarks in 2016 predicting that WikiLeaks was about to release information related to Clinton – was informed by an another journalist’s tip that he was forwarded by an associate.
RS: An e-mail provided by a source from a prominent journalist that made this claim and predated my remarks was supplied to the Post who elected not to include it in their story. By the way, I predicted that WikiLeaks was about to release information related to the Clinton Foundation not Hillary Clinton.
WP Stone called Mueller’s investigation illegitimate and said the special counsel, who has interviewed at least seven of his associates, is trying to pressure him to flip on President Trump.
“The special counsel pokes into every aspect of my social, family, personal, business and political life, seeking something — anything — he can use to pressure me, to silence me and to try to induce me to testify against my friend Donald Trump,” Stone said in a recent videotaped fundraising appeal. “This I will not do. When I say I won’t roll on the president, what I mean is I will not be forced to make up lies to bring him down.”
A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.
“Questions about Stone’s possible connection to WikiLeaks were stoked by encouraging comments he made after the group released thousands of hacked emails from key Democratic figures, beginning on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.”
The following month, Stone began predicting that WikiLeaks would strike again before the election. In a widely reported speech to a Republican group in South Florida in early August 2016, Stone boasted: “I actually have communicated with Assange.”
RS: I clarified for the Post that my communication was through an intermediary, Randy Credico and that a second source told me the revelations would center around the Clinton Foundation which I mentioned in the same speech, the source for which was known to the Post but omitted.
WP: Then, on Aug. 21, he tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
RS: The Post misquoted my tweet omitting the word ‘”the” and then restored it later after a complaint was made to the Post by my lawyers. A screen shot of the first edition of the story proves this. What I wrote was , “Trust me, it will soon THE Podesta’s time in the barrel”. I was referring to two people, John and Tony Podesta.
WP: Six weeks later, WikiLeaks began posting online emails stolen from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Stone now says his tweet was a reference to opposition research he got from Corsi about the business dealings of Podesta and his brother, Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta.
RS: Actually what I told the Post was that Corsi had brought my attention to an August 14th article in Breitbart News by Peter Schweitzer that reported that Tony Podesta was working for the same Ukrainian Political Party that Paul Manafort was being excoriated for and that the Podesta brothers extensive business dealings with the Oligarchs around Putin pertaining to gas, banking and uranium had been detailed in the Panama Papers in April of 2016, a matter of public record. I later asked Corsi to memorialize this in a memo which he did. The Post omitted these details to make my claim look less credible.
WP: Two days after his Podesta tweet, Stone appeared on Credico’s radio program. Credico asked whether an ‘October surprise’ was coming and stated that Stone had “been in touch and indirectly with Julian Assange, according to a clip obtained by CNN.
RS: Note the word “indirectly “.Credico repeatedly said the material would be released in October. He was right
WP: “I don’t want to intimate in any way that I control or have influence with the Assange because I do not,” Stone responded on the show. “We have a mutual friend, somebody we both trust and therefore I am a recipient of pretty good information.”
RS: This refers not to Credico but to the source of the tip from the aforementioned journalist who is known to Randy, whose identity the Post declined to include in this report.
WP: Stone now says he was referring to Credico. “I certainly couldn’t out Randy on his own radio show, but the person I refer to is of course him,” he told The Post. “He is in on the joke from the beginning.”
RS: Credico was adamant that his role not be disclosed From the beginning, I wanted to protect the identity of Credico, because I knew that his support for Julian Assange and the journalistic independence of WikiLeaks would not be popular in the progressive left circles where he made a living. I turned over Randy Credico’s name to the House Intelligence Committee only reluctantly. I feared that there would be professional and economic repercussions to him if his name leaked, and, as I thought, he was indeed terminated from his job at a progressive radio station when his name became public.
WP: As Election Day neared in 2016, Stone continued his predictions. On Sunday, Oct. 2, he tweeted, “Wednesday @HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.” As I explained to the Post when Assange did not release documents on Oct 1st, Randy told me it was because the Publisher’s lawyers, including Daniel Ellsberg had advised Assange that his life might be in danger if he released the material but that Credico was confident Assange would release the material anyway. “When there was no release on Wednesday, Oct. 5, he tweeted, “Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming #Lockthemup.”
RS: This reflects Credico’s insistence the material would be published.
WP: Two days after Stone’s “payload” tweet, WikiLeaks published the first tranche of Podesta’s emails — and then dropped new batches nearly daily before the November vote”.
RS: In other words, Credico was right.
WP: When Stone came under scrutiny for his comments about WikiLeaks after the election, he said he had no advance knowledge of the hacking and was just conveying information he had received from Credico.
RS: Actually what I said was I had no advance knowledge of the source or content of the material Wikileaks would ultimately release. The substance of all my tweets on the matter reflect this.
WP: In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017, Stone also identified Credico as his source on WikiLeaks, according to a person familiar with the communication.
Credico has repeatedly denied passing any information from WikiLeaks to Stone. Rather, he said he may have speculated about the group’s tactics when he was with Stone. Credico has told allies that he believes Stone used him as a “decoy” to try to explain his claims of having a back channel to Assange.
RS: Credico has contradicted this in multiple e-mails and text messages as well as in direct conversations with third parties who will swear as to those conversations.
WP: Mueller’s efforts to unentangle the conflicting accounts of Stone and Credico are complicated by the fact that both men are voluble showmen. They became friends in the early 2000s through a shared interest in liberalizing New York drug laws but have split bitterly amid scrutiny from the special counsel.
RS: I still think Credico’s impression of Richard Nixon is superior to Rich Little or David Fry.
WP: Stone said he believes Credico had sources connected to WikiLeaks and said Credico offered to get information from Assange’s circle for him.
RS: The first part of this sentence is true, the second part is a fabrication by the Post. Credico, a supporter of Bernie Sanders and later Jill Stein, volunteered that the information Wikileaks had on Clinton would be devastating.
WP: Two Stone associates, filmmaker David Lugo and attorney Tyler Nixon, also told The Post that Credico acknowledged in conversations last year being the source of material for Stone’s statements and tweets about WikiLeaks.
RS: In other words there are credible witnesses who heard Credico acknowledge he was my source,
WP: Nixon said he would be willing to testify before the grand jury about a dinner at which Credico fretted that his liberal friends would be displeased that he was a source for the arch-conservative Stone. Lugo provided The Post with text messages in which Credico said: “I knew Rodger [sic] was going to name me sooner or later and so I told you that I’m the so-called back Channel.”
An attorney for Credico declined to comment on Lugo and Nixon’s claims.”
For his part, Credico said he recalls that Stone claimed in a September 2016 conversation that he had a mystery WikiLeaks contact. Credico said that he wasn’t sure at the time whether to believe him.
RS: I never described this limited source as a mystery. Again a reference to the source who forwarded me an e-mail that purported (incorrectly as it turns out) that the Wikileaks disclosures would center around the Clinton Foundation.
WP: “I remember saying, ‘Roger, I thought you had a back channel,’” Credico said. “He said something to the effect of, ‘Yes, but I can’t use him all the time.’”
RS: What I said was I cannot go back to him”
WP: Credico relayed that account to the grand jury last month, according to a person familiar with his testimony.
RS: This again refers to the Journalist who told me the Wikileaks disclosure would center around the Clinton Foundation whose name is known to the Post but whose e-mail was omitted from this story.
WP: Stone at first denied Credico’s claim that he suggested having a conduit to reach WikiLeaks, calling his old friend a “perjurer” and saying he’d relish the opportunity to confront Credico in court.”
RS: False! What I said was if Credico had told the Grand Jury that he did not confirm repeatedly over a 50-day period that Wikileaks had “bombshell” material and that he they would release it in October, he perjured himself.
WP: Later, Stone acknowledged to The Post that he “obliquely” told Credico in an email that he had ‘a second source’ of WikiLeaks information besides the New York comedian.
RS: The aforementioned journalist who told me the Wikileaks disclosures would regard the Clinton Foundation.
WP: He told The Post that person was not a direct conduit to WikiLeaks.
RS: To the contrary, the source who gave me that e-mail had reported extensively on Assange, a fact known to the Post but omitted from this report. Thus I considered him credible.
WP: He said he was referring to information another associate passed to him from a journalist who wrote in a July 2016 email that he had heard WikiLeaks would be releasing information related to the Clinton Foundation.
RS: The documentation was supplied to the Post but omitted from their report.
WP: Stone has also said that he was getting information about the Clintons in 2016 from Corsi. He told the House Intelligence Committee that his Podesta tweet was ‘based on a comprehensive, early August ’ opposition research briefing” from Corsi.
RS: Again, it was Corsi who brought my attention to the August 14 Breitbart News story that detailed Tony Podesta’s work for the same Ukrainian Political party as Paul Manafort and the extensive Russian dealings of the Podesta brothers contained in the Panama Papers which I was able to read online.
“Corsi gave a similar account in a March 2017 Infowars column in which he named himself as Stone’s source for the Podesta tweet and confirmed Stone’s timeline, saying they’d had detailed conversations about Podesta from Aug. 14, 2016, through Aug. 31, 2016.
RS: This story by Corsi is accurate.
WP: Mueller is now examining their exchanges.”
RS: Dr. Corsi told me in our last conversation that he never had any communication with Julian Assange or Wikileaks and he certainly never said he had any advance knowledge of the acquisition or publication of John Podesta’s e-mail in advance.
WP: Corsi’s attorney, David Gray, said in an interview last month that Corsi had been subpoenaed by the special counsel, who indicated he was interested in Corsi’s communications with Stone in 2016 and 2017. Gray declined to comment last week.
Stone said he first encountered Corsi around 2015, when the author was writing about presidential politics for World Net Daily, a conspiracy-theory-oriented website. Later, both contributed to Infowars, where Stone still hosts a program streamed live over the Internet.
In an interview, Stone suggested that the special counsel may actually be interested in Corsi’s relationship with Trump.
RS: Dr. Corsi is a New York Times Bestselling author several times over and knows a thing or two about politics.
WP: Corsi was a leading proponent of birtherism, the false conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. In 2011, he wrote the book “Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President.”
Around that time, Trump took up the conspiracy theory, questioning Obama’s citizenship and demanding that he release his birth certificate.
Stone said that during a conversation with Trump in 2011, “he said to me, ‘Who is this guy, Jerome Corsi?’” Stone recalled.
“Stone said he asked Trump why he was inquiring about Corsi.
“I’ve been talking to him,” Stone recalled Trump saying.
Stone said that Corsi also met with Trump during the 2016 campaign. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow declined to comment.
Mueller, Stone added, may have been “more interested in those meetings than anything to do with me.”
RS: The Post seeks to imply that I am saying Dr. Corsi has done something wrong which is not the case. It is interesting to note that Dr. Corsi’s lawyers and the President’s lawyers have a joint defense agreement.
The left wing conspiracy theory going around Washington is that the Russians hacked the DNC- charged but as yet unproven in a court of law, then gave the information to Wikileaks who then gave it to me and that I then passed it on to Donald Trump and the Trump campaign. This is false.
According to the New York Times this is one of the written questions the President has agreed to answer in writing for Special Counsel Mueller: “What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or WikiLeaks?”
I am quite confident the answer is nothing.