Roger Stone, a former campaign advisor for Donald Trump, finally admitted on Friday to having private conversations with a hacker who helped leak information from the Democratic National Committee during last year’s campaign. The release of private emails of John Podesta and Donna Brazile hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and led to the “pizzagate” conspiracy.
Stone told The Washington Times that the conversations were “completely innocuous.”
“It was so perfunctory, brief and banal I had forgotten it,” Stone told The Times of a private Twitter conversation he had with a hacker known as “Guccifer 2.0.”
Guccifer 2.0 is believed by the U.S. intelligence community to be a cover identity for Russian intelligence. The intelligence community concluded that Moscow sought to interfere in last year’s election specifically to help Trump win.
Stone told the Times exchanged a handful of messages with Guccifer 2.0 in the weeks following a hack of the DNC, which was revealed in late July.
In one message from Aug. 14, Stone said he was “delighted” that Guccifer 2.0’s Twitter account had been reinstated after being suspended.
“wow. thank u for writing back, and thank u for an article about me!!! do u find anything interesting in the docs i posted?” Guccifer 2.0 wrote to Stone, referring to an article Stone wrote for Breitbart on Aug. 5 which attributed the DNC breach to Guccifer 2.0.
“i’m pleased to say that u r great man. please tell me if i can help u anyhow. it would be a great pleasure to me,” Guccifer 2.0 wrote in an Aug. 17 message to Stone.
Stone tweeted on Aug. 21, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” Weeks later, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails were leaked to WikiLeaks, leading many to believe Stone was aware in advance of the hack.
Stone denied any connection to the hacks at the time.