Speed Reads

russia probe

Roger Stone defends his exchanges with Guccifer 2.0 before the House Intelligence Committee

President Trump's former adviser and longtime friend Roger Stone characterized his conversations with a Russian government-linked hacker as being "limited" and "benign" after appearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

As part of his defense, Stone also released screenshots of his August and September 2016 conversations with the entity Guccifer 2.0, an alias that took credit for hacking the Democratic National Committee. U.S. officials have linked Guccifer 2.0's materials to Russian government hackers. In August 2016, Stone argued for Breitbart News that Guccifer 2.0 acted alone and was not working with the Russian government.

[…] Mr. Stone sent a private Twitter message to the Guccifer 2.0 account, saying he was "delighted" the entity was back on Twitter, according to the material he released. Twitter had briefly suspended the account.

"F--- the state and their MSM lackeys," Mr. Stone added, using a common disparaging term for the mainstream media.

According to Mr. Stone's release, Guccifer 2.0 responded: "thank u for writing back, and thank u for an article about me!!!" The entity then asked if Mr. Stone found anything interesting in the documents posted — a question to which Mr. Stone’s release suggests he didn’t reply. [The Wall Street Journal ]

The screenshots indicate that Guccifer 2.0 attempted several more times to talk to Stone although Stone offered limited replies.

"[Stone's] significance starts and ends with the question as to whether he worked with Russians while they were interfering in our election," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told Mother Jones on Monday before the hearing. "He demonstrated at least a willingness to work with the Russians. Was this just willingness or was this an active working relationship? That is still unresolved."