POLITICS

Donald Trump Apparently Thought Roger Stone Had Inside Information On WikiLeaks

Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official, testified that Trump "indicated that more information would be coming” after talking to Roger Stone.

WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump appeared to believe that Roger Stone had inside information on WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, a former Trump campaign official testified at Stone’s trial on Tuesday.

Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign official who took a plea deal with former special counsel Robert Mueller, testified during Stone’s trial that Trump “indicated that more information would be coming” after he got off a phone call with Stone in July 2016. That was after WikiLeaks published stolen Democratic National Committee emails but months before it published emails stolen from former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Gates said he was in communication with Stone, that he “assumed” Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks, and that he believed Stone had access to nonpublic information about what WikiLeaks had planned.

Gates testified that the Trump campaign saw WikiLeaks’ potential disclosures as “gift that we had not sought,” but that it made campaign officials happy. He said the campaign was “in disbelief” about the disclosure of the DNC’s emails, and that a number of Trump administration officials believed it “would give our campaign a leg up.”

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to Donald Trump, arrives with his wife, Nydia, at U.S. district court in Washington for
Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to Donald Trump, arrives with his wife, Nydia, at U.S. district court in Washington for the continuation of his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering.

Trump, in written answers to Mueller, said that he had “no recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr. Stone between June 1, 2016 and November 8, 2016” and that he did “not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Stone], nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign, although I was aware that WikiLeaks was the subject of media reporting and campaign-related discussion at the time.”

Federal prosecutors rested their case against Stone on Tuesday morning. Closing arguments are expected on Wednesday, at which point the jury will begin deliberating.

Stone is accused of lying to congressional investigators who were investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Prosecutors indicted Stone in January and he subsequently pleaded not guilty to five counts of false statements, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding and one count of witness tampering.

Stone’s defense attorneys have suggested that he was inflating his connections to WikiLeaks during the campaign and did not actually possess any insider information.

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