Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta claimed Tuesday that Wikileaks’ Julian Assange coordinated the release of his hacked private emails with Donald Trump confidante Roger Stone in order to maximize the leaks’ impact on the election.
Podesta told reporters his evidence was “circumstantial,” according to the Associated Press, but he nonetheless asserted that Stone had “advanced warning” of the leaked emails, which were published very shortly after the Washington Post and NBC published video of Trump on a hot mic claiming he could kiss and grope women without their permission due to his celebrity status. Podesta called that timing “awfully curious evidence.”
“Mr. Assange wanted to change the subject,” he told reporters, as quoted by the AP. “He didn’t succeed in doing that.”
Podesta also pointed to a tweet from Stone in August which claimed “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) August 21, 2016
Stone told the AP Podesta’s allegations were “categorically false” and “without foundation.”
In the past, Stone has said that he maintains contact with Assange.
The Russian ambassador to the United States said at a recent discussion at Johns Hopkins that Russia doesn’t interfere in the United States’ affairs, “either by my statements nor by electronic or other means.”
But last week, a joint letter from the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security formally accused the Russian government of directing hacks against U.S. political organizations, including Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The letter said publishing hacked documents on Wikileaks and one other website, DCLeaks.com, was “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”