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MARCH 8--In the months before Election Day, a longtime confidante and political consultant for Donald Trump was in contact with the Russian hacking group that U. intelligence officials have accused of illegally breaching the Democratic National Committee’s computer system and the e-mail accounts of Hillary Clinton campaign officials in a bid to aid Trump, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The contact between Roger Stone, the Trump associate, and the Russian influence operation came via private messages exchanged on Twitter, according to a source.
Though no longer on the campaign payroll, Stone eventually resumed contact with Trump, according to numerous media reports describing Stone as an informal advisor to the Republican candidate (whose campaign was briefly chaired by Paul Manafort, a former partner of Stone’s in a Washington, D. During that notorious December 2015 Skype conversation--broadcast live on Jones’s Infowars program--Trump told the loony host, “Your reputation’s amazing” and pledged, “I will not let you down.
You will be very, very impressed, I hope.” Sitting at his Trump Tower desk, Trump also saluted Stone as a “patriot” and “tough cookie” who “has been so loyal and so wonderful.” In light of Stone’s relationship with Trump (whom Stone paid a congratulatory Trump Tower visit in December), some of the operative’s campaign pronouncements have come under close scrutiny by federal investigators.
The 64-year-old Stone, who revels in his reputation as a dirty trickster, added he was unsure that the “Guccifer 2.0” on Twitter “is really him.” With the exception of “Guccifer 2.0” replying to one Stone tweet and directing a second tweet at the Republican operative, their Twitter accounts reflect no public back-and-forth communication.
Two months after Trump’s announcement, Stone--who had clashed with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski--was gone.
Stone told reporters he quit, while Trump said he fired the veteran consultant, who was paid a total of ,000 for his campaign work, Federal Election Commission records show. Four months after Stone quit/was fired, he got Trump to agree to an interview with Alex Jones, the crackpot conspiracy theorist.
Stone has mocked assertions that Democrats were targeted by Vladimir Putin’s government, saying that Clinton and her supporters could not admit being hacked by “one person” because that “didn’t look sinister enough.” The “@GUCCIFER_2” Twitter account was used by the hackers to publicize material stolen in the DNC, DCCC, and Gmail incursions.
The account also hyped the publication of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails on Wikileaks and retweeted calls for support for Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.