Roger Stone, Under Reported Scrutiny from Robert Mueller, Changes Story on 2016 Election Again

Roger Stone CNN
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone claims any information he had in 2016 about Wikileaks or Julian Assange he learned by reading the news. Screenshot: CNN

Republican strategist and Trump friend Roger Stone said 2016 emails showing himself, Steve Bannon and Breitbart News' Matthew Boyle salivating over potential Wikileaks dirt on Hillary Clinton was just politics and not collusion.

The longtime Trump confidant once again changed his story about his connection to Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the 2016 presidential election, telling CNN Saturday he was simply following the apparently not fake news very closely. Stone said he had "no advance notice" of any Wikileaks information regarding Russian hackers or anyone stealing from the personal account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Stone said he believes he won't be indicted by Robert Mueller's investigation unless it's a targeted political attack and that the information he tweeted and emailed about came from comedian and radio host Randy Credico or mainstream news outlets.

In October 2016, Stone tweeted several ominous messages claiming Clinton's campaign "is done" and that he has "total confidence" Wikileaks founder and "hero" Julian Assange will help "lock her up."

Stone appeared on CNN Saturday saying he "testified truthfully" to the House Intelligence Committee, passed two polygraph tests and said he's "never had any direct contact with Julian Assange or Wikileaks. "I had no advance notice of the actual content or source of their material," he claimed, despite the New York Times revealing several emails last week showing Stone and Breitbart's political editor discussing potential Wikileaks "bombshells" in 2016.

"What I have done here is perfectly legal," Stone said Saturday. "I took a solid tip and entirely public information that could be gleaned from the Wikileaks' Twitter feed and by setting a Google News alert on Julian Assange and reading every interview to hype and punk and promote and posture and bluff the Democrats. That's politics, but it's not collusion."

CNN host Michael Smerconish challenged Stone's simplistic assertion, replying, "your explanation is essentialy one of you were paying very, very close attention to what was being reported on Assange and you were only reflecting that in your own tweets. Were you BS'ing?"

Stone chuckled and went on to claim reports at the time from the Washington Post were a "perfect example of fake news." He reiterated the information he was seemingly revealing was already in the public domain. "This was in the press."

Roger Stone
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone claims any information he had in 2016 about Wikileaks or Julian Assange he learned by reading the news. CNN YouTube | Screenshot

Although Stone told news outlets in May he was "prepared" for a Mueller indictment, he now says he won't face charges unless the investigation is a "political vendetta."

"I am prepared should that be the case," Stone told "Meet The Press" earlier this year. "But I think it just demonstrates, again, this was supposed to be about Russian collusion, and it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president's supporters and his advocates."

Stone noted Assange had "security concerns" in 2016 and said if he held anything back it was likely due to fears about retribution from Clinton.

"Remember, Hillary Clinton actually advocated the use of a drone strike to kill Assange in London, in order to prevent the disclosure of what she knew he had," Stone wrote on his blog, Stone Cold Truth, in March 2018.