The White House’s first and only response to the indictments of 12 Russian hackers involved in illegally hacking information from DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign servers was to say that it proves no American citizen has committed a crime, which is consistent with their earlier statements about the investigation.
NEW: White House responds to Russian hacking indictments. pic.twitter.com/rtj16iq7yR
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 13, 2018
However, it seems it’s not clear yet exactly whether or not no American citizen committed a crime. The indictment specifically mentioned a “person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” and the identity of that person seems to obviously be longtime Trump friend and former unofficial advisor to the campaign, Roger Stone.
I'm remembering when Roger Stone and Breitbart claimed Guccifer 2.0 was a lone Romanian hacker. In other words, they were doing the bidding of Putin and covering for his attack. Good work, guys.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) July 13, 2018
Stone told CNN
‘[Messages between Stone and Guccifer 2.0] don’t provide any evidence of collaboration or collusion…I don’t think it is me because I wasn’t in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign.’
"Roger Stone said he never communicated with any Russian intelligence official. This indictment suggests that that is not the case. He may not have known it but clearly he was communicating with Russian intelligence here…" – @KenDilanianNBC w/ @KatyTurNBC pic.twitter.com/YGZ0Cjh5wA
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) July 13, 2018
The political provocateur posted screenshots of the messages between himself and the group of hackers who targeted the DNC and the Clinton campaign on his Twitter account in March. In a text message with The Hill, Stone also said:
‘[My] 24 word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign based on its content context and timing.’
6. The indictment describes, without naming him, the Russian hackers direct correspondence with Trump's oldest political adviser, Roger Stone pic.twitter.com/jFGLa8v7Zp
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 13, 2018
Stone worked as an informal advisor to the campaign from the beginning and says he’s tried to convince Trump to run for years. Trump’s friend left the campaign, however, in August 2018. Trump says he fired Stone; Stone says he quit. Stone says they kept in contact with one another previously; the Trump campaign said that wasn’t true.
6/ The indictments confirm "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0" were GRU front operations, meaning top Trump aide Roger Stone was in communication with Russian intelligence (and praised them) during the presidential campaign. One wonders if Stone is one of the unindicted co-conspirators.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 13, 2018
More and more, it seems that the most involved Trump campaign member in the alleged collusion with Russian government operatives is Roger Stone.
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong