Stephen Bannon along with two other former top Trump campaign staffers have informed members of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team that Roger Stone, who is an informal adviser to Donald Trump, cast himself as being a way for the Trump campaign to get information from WikiLeaks, New York Times reported on Thursday.
Bannon spoke with members of Robert Mueller’s team Friday.
Bannon and other former Trump campaign officials got questioned about Stone’s statements involving WikiLeaks, and told investigators that are working for Mueller that Roger Stone gave them the impression that he could directly talk to the group.
Roger Stone had claimed to have knowledge beforehand that WikiLeaks would release documents that were damaging to Hillary Clinton before the 2016 presidential election, and a former Trump campaign official informed Mueller’s team that he seemed to take credit for the specific timing of the document’s release.
WikiLeaks published emails that were hacked from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta during the weeks before the election. The emails were later shown to have been stolen by Russian operatives, and Robert Mueller earlier in 2018 indicted 12 Russian military officers for charges related to the Democratic National Committee hacking.
Stone also seemed to want to share some information regarding the hacked emails with Steve Bannon before they got publicly shared, according to emails that were obtained and then published by the New York Times on Thursday.
On October 3, 2016, Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News’s Washington editor, emailed Stone regarding a press conference that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was going to hold the following day, during which Julian Assange promised to publicly release a new trove of classified documents.
Stone replied to Matthew Boyle that same day, saying he would tell Steve Bannon — then head of Breitbart — about what the contents of the documents were but complained that “he doesn’t call me back.”
Matthew Boyle then forwarded that correspondence to Steve Bannon, telling him he “should call Roger” and he didn’t get the stolen information “from me.”
“I’ve got important stuff to worry about,” Steve Bannon replied.
“Well clearly he knows what Assange has,” Matthew Boyle replied. “I’d say that’s important.”
Julian Assange held his conference the very next morning, announcing that he would release “significant material” every week for the next few months, much of which involved the U.S. presidential election. He did so, and this was a major part of how the Russians rigged the election for Donald Trump.