Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone said Tuesday he’s “aware of no evidence whatsoever” that Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election.
Stone spoke to the House intelligence committee for more than three hours as part of the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the election. Afterward, he told reporters that the majority of lawmakers’ questions focused on his communications with Guccifer 2.0, the unnamed hacker who has taken credit for breaking into Democratic National Committee email servers. He said questions also focused on communications he had through an intermediary with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Stone has long denied that he worked with Russian officials to influence the presidential election. In a lengthy and combative statement released Monday night ahead of the interview, Stone said “there is one ‘trick’ that is not in my bag and that is treason.”
Stone, a Republican strategist who has known Trump for many years and informally advised him during the 2016 campaign, has denied that he had advance knowledge of the leak of former Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails and says he never colluded with Assange, who released Podesta’s emails on his website.
“While some may label me a dirty trickster, the members of this committee could not point to any tactic that is outside the accepted norms of what political strategists and consultants do today. I do not engage in any illegal activities on behalf of my clients or the causes in which I support,” he wrote in the statement.
He also released a series of supporting documents Monday evening, including direct messages he exchanged with Guccifer that he calls “innocuous.”
The direct messages on Twitter, exchanged over a monthlong period, show Stone first congratulating Guccifer for being reinstated on Twitter after he was kicked off, and asking that the account retweet a tweet about how the election could be rigged against Trump. Guccifer writes, “I’m pleased to say that u r great man …. please tell me if I can help u anyhow.”
Stone doesn’t respond again until several weeks later, when Guccifer asks him about an article on a Democratic turnout model. Stone replies “pretty standard.”
On WikiLeaks, Stone said he was kept apprised of Assange’s plans to release the Podesta emails by a journalist he said served as an “intermediary.”
He said after the interview that he wouldn’t release the…