GOP operative Roger Stone “doesn’t recall” any further contacts with Trump campaign chairman Stephen K. Bannon about Wikileaks during the 2016 beyond what was reported by the New York Times last month, he told TPM on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Notably, Stone would not flat-out deny that he had additional communication with Bannon beyond the emails released by the Times showing the two communicating in early October 2016 about an impending release of hacked Clinton campaign emails by Wikileaks.
“So the point would be what?” Stone asked rhetorically as he continued to answer TPM’s question about contact with Bannon.
He insisted that he did not lie to Congress without prompting, telling TPM, “Perjury needs to be material.”
“If the House Intelligence Committee or any member of it has proof that I collaborated with Wikileaks or that I was involved in Russian collusion, prove it!” he added. “Stop playing the shifty word games and the frivolous semantics and the immaterial hair splitting.”
Reports suggest that Stone has come under scrutiny as special counsel Robert Mueller examines potential contacts between Trump allies and Wikileaks. But Stone has pointed to New York comedian Randy Credico as the true “conduit” to Wikileaks, a claim that Credico has denied and which is contradicted by the known timeline of events.
Credico hosted Assange on his radio show on August 25, 2016 — weeks after Stone claimed to have “dined” with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London. Stone later dismissed that claim as a “shtick,” and has dismissed his apparent advance knowledge of the Wikileaks release as an attempt to “punk Democrats on Twitter.”
Stone is reportedly under investigation for attempting to intimidate Credico into providing favorable testimony.
“I encouraged somebody who Credico has told directly that he is my source to write an op-ed piece that is entirely accurate,” Stone told TPM, when asked about the witness intimidation allegation. “So, the point being, how do you intimidate somebody into telling the truth?”
Tierney Sneed contributed reporting to this story