Mueller Reveals Link Between Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks’ Efforts to Damage Clinton

Mr. Stone has said publicly that he was in contact with WikiLeaks and suggested on Twitter that additional damaging information would be coming.

But the special counsel’s investigators spent months encircling Mr. Stone, renewing scrutiny about his role during the 2016 presidential race. Investigators interviewed former Trump campaign advisers and several of his associates about Mr. Stone’s fund-raising during the campaign and his contacts with WikiLeaks.

Three senior Trump campaign officials have told Mr. Mueller’s team that Mr. Stone created the impression that he was a conduit for inside information from WikiLeaks, according to people familiar with their witness interviews. One of them told investigators that Mr. Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’ actions, but also that he took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

In October, Mr. Stone exchanged emails with Stephen K. Bannon, then the chief executive of Mr. Trump’s campaign. In one exchange, Mr. Stone wrote that more WikiLeaks disclosures were forthcoming, “a load every week going forward,” according to the indictment. Mr. Bannon appears to be the official described in the court document as “the high-ranking Trump Campaign official,” based on previous disclosures about the email exchange.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
FROM: Steve Bannon
TO: Roger Stone
EMAIL:
What was that this morning???

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
FROM: Roger Stone
TO: Steve Bannon
EMAIL:
Fear. Serious security concern. He thinks they are going to kill him and the London police are standing done.
However —a load every week going forward.
Roger stone

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
FROM: Steve Bannon
TO: Roger Stone
EMAIL:
He didn’t cut deal w/ clintons???

A day before Mr. Stone and Mr. Bannon emailed about WikiLeaks, Donald Trump Jr. exchanged Twitter messages with the WikiLeaks Twitter account and asked, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about.”

At the end of that week, on Oct. 7, WikiLeaks released more than 6,000 emails related to John D. Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign. The release came 30 minutes after The Washington Post published a recording of Mr. Trump bragging on the set of “Access Hollywood” about assaulting women. The timing has raised questions about whether the WikiLeaks release was an attempt to distract the public from the tape and redirect negative attention from Mr. Trump to the Clinton campaign.

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