Roger Stone: I Had No Advanced Knowledge About WikiLeaks, Only "Set A Google News Alert For Julian Assange"


Trump adviser and confidant Roger Stone joins 'Meet the Press' host Chuck Todd for an exclusive interview to talk about the Special Counsel's investigation into the 2016 election

CHUCK TODD: And joining me now is a long-time Republican operative, an ally of President Trump, it's Roger Stone. Stone, by the way, is the author of a new book, Stone's Rules. Mr. Stone, welcome to Meet the Press, sir.

ROGER STONE: Thank you for having me, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD: Let me start with this, we learned that two of your associates now have been subpoenaed recently by the special counsel. We know that prosecutors have been asking witnesses about you. The last time we’ve talked you had said you hadn’t been interviewed by the special counsel. Are you preparing to be indicted?

ROGER STONE: Well, Chuck, I don’t know if I’m an interesting person or a person of interest. I think these leaks out of the special counsel’s office are reprehensible. At least eight of my current or former associates, mostly young people, have been terrorized by Mr. Mueller’s investigators. I can guarantee you they have found no evidence whatsoever of Russian collusion, nor trafficking of allegedly hacked emails with WikiLeaks. It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. I would chalk this up to an effort to silence me, Chuck. I’ve been a, I think, effective critic on Infowars,, on programs like this, of the excesses, of the -- and partisanship of the Mueller probe, so I am prepared should that be the case. But I think it just demonstrates, again, this was supposed to be about Russian collusion, and it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president’s supporters and his advocates.

CHUCK TODD: I don’t know how this has silenced you. You’re not somebody that’s been silenced very easily. You came here. Let me ask you this, so to confirm, you have not had any contact with the special counsel’s office, personally?

ROGER STONE: That, that, that is correct. Now should they --

CHUCK TODD: Not your lawyer, either?

ROGER STONE: That is correct. On the other hand -- should they decide to proceed against me for some extraneous crime that I can’t identify, perhaps we can get into the question raised by the New York Times on January 20th, 2017 that says I was the subject of a FISA warrant. Now for a US citizen to be subject to a FISA warrant, they have to be engaged in espionage on behalf of a foreign power. That is certainly not the case as far as I am concerned, so I, I, I am very anxious to find out. The New York Times has never retracted that story by the way -- I am very anxious to find out why I would have been subject to such a FISA warrant.

CHUCK TODD: Well, I think one of the areas of interest, apparently, has to do with your communications with WikiLeaks, various tweets you have said, so let me go down that road with you. I’ve asked you this before, but let me ask you again here. Did you have any advance knowledge of any kind about John Podesta’s hacked emails?

ROGER STONE: No, absolutely not. And Chuck, an honest reading of my tweet, I said “The Podesta's,” apostrophe s, time in the barrel. This isn’t about the placement of the apostrophe, it’s about in -- the fact that in virtually every news account, the word “the” has been omitted. “The” refers to more than one person, meaning, as I have said here before even though you want to revive this chestnut, I was referring to both Podesta brothers, and the revelations in the April 2016 Panama Papers that exposed their shady business dealings in Russia. John and Tony -- the Podestas.

CHUCK TODD: Well, let me --

ROGER STONE: Even the final report of the House Intelligence Committee mistakenly omits the word “the” from my tweet.

CHUCK TODD: Fair enough, but let me ask you about some tweets in the first week of October. They go this way. October 2nd, Roger Stone writes, “Wednesday, @HillaryClinton is done #Wikileaks.” Let’s go to October 3rd, “I have total confidence that Wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp.” Jump two days later, October 5th, “Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming. #Lockthemup.” Finally Thursday, October 6th, “Julian Assange will deliver a devastating expose of Hillary at a time of his choosing. I stand by my prediction. #Handcuffs4Hillary.” Of course the next day is October 7th and then emails come out. A fair reading of that suggests to me that you had some advance warning of something big coming that had to do with John Podesta’s emails. How is it that the special counsel wouldn’t think that too?

ROGER STONE: Well there’s no evidence to that because I had no advance notice of the content, source, or the exact disclosure time of the Wikileaks disclosures. Assange himself has said so. In fact Assange has said in his own tweets and in interviews that Roger Stone never predicted anything that I hadn’t already said in public. Additionally, Assange went on CNN in June and said he had a treasure trove of material on Hillary and I’ve been very forthright and testified completely and honestly before the House Intelligence Committee that I did have a source who told me that Assange really had what he said he would have and that it would be delivered in October, consistent with those tweets. There is no evidence to the contrary, that I had advanced notice. Chuck, we’ve been down this road before and I answered these questions for you previously.

CHUCK TODD: I, I, I understand that but you -- you’ve been very specific with your denial. I had no -- I had no awareness of the content and the source. But you had an awareness, and you seem to have some --.and you seem to be very specific with this denial--

ROGER STONE: My aware-aware-awareness -- this is, this is --

CHUCK TODD: --so explain that specificity.

ROGER STONE: Sure. It’s, it’s very simple. All one has to do is follow Julian Assange’s tweets and set a Google News alert for Julian Assange, read every interview he’s given, and everything that I predicted is contained in his public comments. There is no evidence whatsoever that I had advanced knowledge of the content or source of this material. I received nothing from Wikileaks, or from the Russians. I passed nothing on to Donald Trump or the Trump campaign. We’ve been through this ad nauseum.-It is a wild goose chase.

CHUCK TODD: Are you 100 percent confident that Julian Assange has nothing to do with the Russians or Russian government or any sort of Russian associate?

ROGER STONE: First of all, I don’t even believe the Democratic National Committee was hacked. Based on the article I read in the Nation magazine--

CHUCK TODD: He -- John Podesta’s emails have nothing to do with the DNC, I’m talking -- by the way.


CHUCK TODD: They weren’t part of the DNC hack.

ROGER STONE: Again, I never predicted the disclosures of John Podesta’s emails. There does need to be some context though, Chuck. At a time that the Clinton people were actively promoting among members of, and many of your colleagues, Paul Manafort’s business activities in Eastern Europe, the activities of John and Tony Podesta were already public having been published in the Panama Papers. There is no evidence that I knew about the, the, the accessing by Wikileaks of John Podesta’s emails or their publication in advance. No evidence whatsoever.

CHUCK TODD: Before I let you go, I want to ask you about a comment you gave to the New York Times last month about Michael Cohen. And you said this: “Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage.” Explain what you meant by that.

ROGER STONE: Well, Michael Cohen wanted very much to be in politics, he wanted to be in the campaign, he wanted to be in the administration. He has not achieved any of those things. I don’t think the President regarded him as a political genius or was open to his desires in that area. And he had a tendency to discount any political advice that Michael would give him. What Mr. Cohen has and has not done for the President, I have no way of knowing. Chuck, I’m not an attorney nor was I privy to any of those internal dealings.

CHUCK TODD: Do you, do you think he does - do you think he should have something to fear from Michael Cohen because of the way he treated him?

ROGER STONE: I’ve been in politics for 40 years. I know enough not to answer hypothetical questions.

CHUCK TODD: Roger Stone, I will leave it there. Thank you for coming on. I appreciate it and I will try to find more hypothetical questions for you the next time we talk.

ROGER STONE: Thank you so much.

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