Trump pal Roger Stone on Friday brushed off the interactions he had with Russian intelligence officers posing as a hacker during the 2016 election, which were detailed in a newly filed indictment brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller’s indictment, which lays out charges against 12 Russian operatives who hacked Democratic targets, does not mention Stone by name. But it quotes conversations he has previously admitted to having with “Guccifer 2.0.” – a fake identity created by Russian intelligence.
“As I testified before the House intelligence committee under oath, my 24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign based on its content, context, and timing,” Stone said in a statement to the Daily Beast. “This exchange is entirely public and provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Guccifer 2.0 or anyone else in the alleged hacking of the DNC emails, as well as taking place many weeks after the events described in today’s indictment.”
The indictment notes that “Guccifer 2.0” interacted with an individual “who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump” in August 2016, offering assistance.
Stone posted his private Twitter exchange with Guccifer on his personal website last March, after their communications were revealed by the website The Smoking Gun.
According to the new indictment, Stone was one of several U.S. persons to solicit or receive information from this front for Russian intelligence during the election.