Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone said he’s likely the unnamed individual in the Justice Department’swho communicated with the persona “Guccifer 2.0.” According to the indictment, the Russian intelligence arm GRU posed as the persona of Guccifer 2.0 and used it to leak hacked records belonging to Democrats.
Stone said on CNN Friday night he is “probably” the person referred to in the indictment. The indictment says that on Aug. 15 and Sept. 9 of 2016, Russian intelligence officers posing as Guccifer “wrote a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of the Trump campaign, and included language that matched Twitter direct messages Stone had previously released. Stone has argued in the past that the Russian government was not behind the persona.
“Earlier today before I had a chance to read this extensive document, I wasn’t sure,” Stone said on CNN. “But I certainly acknowledge that I was in touch with Trump campaign officials, and I have testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that I certainly had a 24-word exchange with the persona Guccifer 2.0 over Twitter direct messages. Any objective person who will read that exchange, which is included in the indictment, will see that based on content, context and timing, it’s benign, it’s innocuous. So in retrospect, I think I probably am the person referred to.”
The 29-page indictment says the conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote, “thank u for writing back … do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?”
Earlier Friday, Stone said in a statement to CBS News and other outlets that he has already testified on the Guccifer 2.0 exchange, and the exchange provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion.
“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. “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 charges no Americans with wrongdoing, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein emphasized the indictment doesn’t even accuse Americans of knowingly communicating with Russians.
Stone isn’t the only unnamed individual mentioned in the indictment. It also claims the conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, “received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress. The conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.”
The White House so far has seized on Rosenstein’s statement that no Americans are accused of wrongdoing in the indictment, and that the indictment does not claim Russians altered the vote count.
“As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today: ‘There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians. There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result,'” deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement Friday.
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