Conservative operative Roger Stone’s claim that he believed WikiLeaks would be releasing documents related to the Clinton Foundation was based in part on an email from a Fox News reporter, rather than information directly from Julian Assange, emails provided to The Daily Caller reveal.
Stone has come under scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller over his claim during an August 2016 speech that he was in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. During the speech Stone professed foreknowledge of an upcoming release of emails regarding the Clinton Foundation.
“I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be,” he said at the time.
Stone later clarified that what he meant by “communicated” with someone at WikiLeaks was via radio host and friend Randy Credico. Credico has been interviewed by Mueller’s team and maintains that he never passed any information from WikiLeaks to Stone. Two Stone associates later told The Washington Post that Credico told them in separate conversations the was a source for Stone regarding his claims about WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has also consistently maintained that it had no contact with Stone throughout the 2016 presidential campaign regarding upcoming releases of hacked emails.
Stone also told The Post he had a “second source” regarding his claims about WikiLeaks the Clinton Foundation. Emails provided to The Daily Caller show the “second source” referenced is an email Stone was Bcc’d on from July 25, 2016. Stone was Bcc’d on the email by Clinton Foundation expert Charles Ortel, who was conducting a conversation with then-Fox News journalist James Rosen and Judge Andrew Napolitano.
The email included a previous exchange between Ortel and Rosen in which the Fox News journalist wrote “am told Wikileaks will be doing a massive dump of HRC emails relating to the CF in September” to Ortel. There is no evidence to suggest Rosen was aware of Stone’s visibility on the email chain.
Ortel confirmed the authenticity of the email exchanges to TheDC while Rosen declined to comment.
Stone explained to TheDC the information he learned from the email was part of the basis for his August 2016 claim of impending information from WikiLeaks about the Clinton Foundation.
Stone has also sought to distance himself from scrutiny over a tweet he sent saying “trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.” The tweet is seen by critics as possible foreknowledge of WikiLeaks later release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails.
Stone, however, says that the tweet was based on “an August 14th article in Breitbart News by Peter Schweitzer that reported that Tony Podesta was working for the same Ukrainian Political Party that Paul Manafort was being excoriated for,” and that “the Podesta brothers extensive business dealings with the Oligarchs around Putin pertaining to gas, banking and uranium had been detailed in the Panama Papers in April of 2016.”