You don’t have to be a political pontificator to see the electoral undertow that’s building up toward a 2020 Red Wave.
We’re still months away from the start of hurricane season, but Governor Ron DeSantis is already taking Florida by storm. A recent Mason-Dixon poll has the governor at a 62 percent approval rating, making him one of the most popular governors in the nation.
As the Fourth Estate continues to wane at the local level, unethical and corrupt public officials will run unchecked compounding the erosion of our democratic republic, which leads to more polarization.
In an INFLUENTIAL exclusive, Patrick Slevin interviews Roger Stone who spoke out against a recent Atlantic article, Roger Stone’s Secret Messages with Wikileaks. The Atlantic story has caused a stir in political circles claiming Mr. Stone had prior knowledge of the Hillary Clinton emails that would eventually be disclosed by Wikileaks. More importantly, Stone said he never discussed the Wikileaks disclosures regarding Hillary with Donald Trump before, during or after the election.
SLEVIN: What is your reaction to the report in The Atlantic that you were communicating with Wikileaks via direct message on Twitter?
STONE: If anything, the exchanges cited by the Atlantic prove conclusively that I had no advance knowledge of the content or source of WikiLeaks disclosures regarding Hillary Clinton. I had merely confirmed Julian Assange’s public claim that he had information on Hillary Clinton and he would publish it.
A true copy of this DM exchange was provided many months ago to the House Intelligence Committee clearly demonstrating I had no ‘collaboration” with WikiLeaks. Assange himself said in an interview with Amy Goodman that I never tweeted anything he or WikiLeaks hadn’t said or written publicly. I have never claimed otherwise.
SLEVIN: What about your public claim of a back channel to Assange?
STONE: To clarify, my mention in a Florida speech of a ‘back channel to Assange” is merely a reference to confirming a source who told me, consistent with Assange’s public statements, that WikiLeaks did indeed have material embarrassing to Hillary and would publish. While I initially declined to identify this confirming source to the Committee, because I feared professional reprisal against him, I ultimately provided his name to the Committee at the strong urging of Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Randy Credico, then of WBAI in New York confirmed that WikiLeaks did have material devastating to Hillary and WikiLeaks would publish it in October. Assange himself had said this publicly. Credico was, as I feared, terminated from his job at the legendary progressive radio station.
SLEVIN: But Credico denied he was a “back-channel?
STONE: Credico’s claim that this predates his first on-air interview with Assange is irrelevant as Credico had other contacts with WikiLeaks. To be clear Credico, with whom I have worked in the struggle for drug law reform, never said who confirmed this at WikiLeaks or indicated he knew the source or content of the material. Perhaps Randy is now embarrassed in front Assange about talking out of school. As I consider Assange to be a journalist and WikiLeaks to be a news organization and a repository of accurate information, I reject unproven claims that they are Russian assets thus, there would be nothing illegal about Credico’s communication with them, however limited. I note that I addressed these issues extensively under oath before the House Intelligence Committee while Mr. Credico elected to assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
Assange himself has said I simply followed his tweets and interviews and re-cycled what he said. I have never claimed otherwise or than my effort to confirm that he really had the motherlode on Hillary and was really going to publish it.
SLEVIN: Where did these direct messages come from?
STONE: The reporter for the Atlantic, Natasha Bertrand said in a text message that she was told I gave a screenshot of this exchange to a friend. This is false, I shared the true exchange only with my lawyers and the Committee. Something here smells like Schiff…….
SLEVIN: The messages seem to show you were not collaborating with Wikileaks?
STONE: The content of the exchange with WikiLeaks shows neither any claim by me to have any information beyond what Assange himself had said publicly and reiterates the statement by WikiLeaks that I had not communicated with them prior to the release of the DNC emails that were both accurate and so damaging to Hillary. My frustration that whomever is manning the WikiLeaks Twitter direct messages is unaware that I had confirmed Assange’s claim to have Clinton material is also reflected. That was what I meant when I said WikiLeaks “leaks.”
SLEVIN: What about questions regarding your contacts with an alleged Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0?
STONE: All of this is evocative of a similar limited exchange I had over Twitter direct message function with someone claiming to be Guccifer 2.0. I once believed his public claim that he had hacked the DNC and provided the hacked material to WikiLeaks. I no longer believe that he did so or that he is, in fact, a Russian asset as I testified for the Committee. More importantly, the complete exchange, which is now public is banal, benign and innocuous and takes place entirely four weeks after WikiLeaks has already published the DNC material proving that charges I colluded with Guccifer 2.0 to obtain those documents and give them to WikiLeaks are false.
SLEVIN: So, how did you know about the hacking of John Podesta’s e-mail?
STONE My prediction on twitter that "John Podesta's time in the barrel" would come is based on the January 2016 Panama Papers exposure of the Podesta brother's Russian business dealings with oligarchs close to Putin in banking, gas and uranium. I never said anything about Podesta’s e-mails and did not predict they would be hacked. There is no evidence that I learned anything about Podesta or his e-mails from Wikileaks. I had also seen a summary memo regarding the Podesta's business dealings by Dr. Jerome Corsi- all culled from public sources.
SLEVIN: Did you tell candidate Trump about what Wikileaks had on Hillary?
STONE: I never discussed Wikileaks, Assange or the stunning disclosures regarding Hillary with Donald Trump before, during or after the election.
SLEVIN: Have you ever met Julian Assange?
STONE: Several reporters have insisted that I visited and met with Assange in London in 2016. This too is false. My passport proves I never left the country in 2016. I did drop my card off at the Ecuadorian Embassy when I was in London to address the Oxford Union in February of this year, to punk the British media and protest the continued persecution of Julian Assange who I believe is an honest journalist with a stunning record for accuracy. I have however never met or spoken to Julian Assange.
SLEVIN: What do you hope this interview will achieve, once-in-for-all, with respect to future claims of prior knowledge as alleged in the Atlantic?
STONE: I have no idea what the President knew about the Wikileaks disclosures, when he learned it and who he learned about them from. This entire discussion is designed to distract attention from the devastating content of the material released by Wikileaks. Hillary is shown to be corrupt, greedy, vain and unhealthy. Her teaming up with Deborah Wasserman Schulz to cheat Bernie Sanders was exposed. The efforts to handle the allegations of sexual assault by Bill Clinton was exposed. Is it surprising that the Democrats, and their handmaidens in the media, want to talk endlessly about where these emails came from rather than what it is.
About THE INFLUENTIAL
Patrick Slevin is the publisher of THE INFLUENTIAL blog and e-newsletter. Sign up for our E-newsletter to begin receiving exclusive information about the People, Politics and Power that influence your bottom line interests. Go to www.PatrickSlevin.com.
Roger Stone is a Trump confidante, seasoned political operative, speaker, pundit, and New York Times Bestselling Author featured in the Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone”.
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