A March 8 report alleges that Roger Stone, longtime GOP operative and confidante/adviser to President Donald Trump, was in communication with Russian-backed hackers in 2016 before the Nov. 8 presidential election.
An unidentified source says Stone exchanged private direct messages on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0, an online persona representing one or more hackers, The Smoking Gun reports.
The U.S. Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security stated in a October press release: "The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts."
The illegal efforts targeted the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the personal email account of John Podesta -- a top adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- and others.
Stone famously tweeted in August: "Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary," and in October: "Wednesday [Hillary Clinton] is done. #Wikileaks."
In October and November, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of Podesta's emails, triggering the aforementioned DHS/ODNI press release.
The Smoking Gun asked Stone if he exchanged private direct messages with Guccifer 2.0, and Stone replied via text message, "don't recall."
The investigate website also asked Stone if other people could access his Twitter account, and Stone answered: "Numerous people who work for me have access to my twitter feed."
Stone did tell The Smoking Gun that he believed his "entire communication" with Guccifer 2.0 was "on twitter for the world to see." Stone added that their "brief exchange was public."
The [GUCCIFER_2] Twitter account was used to hype the hacked emails of the above mentioned Democrats when the content was released on WikiLeaks.
The Smoking Gun asked the [GUCCIFER_2] Twitter account and its several e-mail accounts in August about contacts with Stone.
Guccifer 2.0 replied: "why r u asking?" and, "the fbi’s tracing me, reading my [direct messages] and giving u hints. no?" and, "i won’t comment on my conversations with other ppl."
Guccifer 2.0 asked The Smoking Gun: "why r u so interested in stone? he’s just a person who wrote a story about me. or i don’t know some important stuff?"
In June, Guccifer 2.0 reportedly sent an email to The Smoking Gun, stating: "Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee."
Guccifer 2.0 reportedly said the DNC hack was "easy, very easy."
The Smoking Gun said Guccifer 2.0 attached several stolen DNC documents to that email.
"I took all the measures so that they won't track me!" Guccifer 2.0 told The Smoking Gun in another email.
The Smoking Gun notes that Guccifer 2.0 sent emails from three accounts.
The website also notes a detailed history of Stone's political dirty tricks dating back to President Richard Nixon, and Stone's long relationship with Trump.
In a nutshell, The Smoking Gun reports that Guccifer 2.0 hacked the Democrats (with some sort of Russian involvement and support), passed the stolen content to WikiLeaks for release before the election and tipped off Stone of what was to come and when.
Stone told RT, a Russian-controlled news site, in February 2017 that he did not have contact with Russian intelligence:
It is absolutely categorically untrue. And the New York Times has reported that the FBI or more precisely "intelligence agencies" say they have e-mail transmissions, the transcriptions of the overheard conversations and financial records that prove this. Yet no one in the media, no one in the Senate or house Intelligence Committee and not the President of the United States has seen any of this alleged proof.
So what we have here is an allegation based on the assessment of the intelligence agencies who are holdovers in this case from Barack Obama. I categorically deny this, Paul Manafort the chairman of Trump’s campaign has as well.