Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime adviser, has admitted to exchanging what he claims are “completely innocuous” messages with the hacker or hackers who claim to have infiltrated the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign. He told the Washington Times that he corresponded on Twitter with “Guccifer 2.0,” the self-described “hacktivist” from Romania who claims responsibility for the breach of the DNC’s email servers last summer.
Stone wrote an article about the hacks for Breitbart in August of last year. On Saturday, Stone dismissed his contact with the hacker as “cursory,” and having taken place “after he releases the D.N.C. stuff.” Stone is under investigation for his connections to the Russians.
Innocuous or not, Stone’s disclosure adds to an ever-growing list of Trump campaign officials and allies linked to Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Michael Flynn: The retired Army lieutenant general and early Trump campaign surrogate resigned as national security adviser on Feb. 13, just 24 days after taking the job, after it was revealed that he spoke to Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about sanctions before taking office.
Jared Kushner: The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser joined Flynn in an undisclosed meeting he held with Kislyak at Trump Tower in the run-up to Inauguration Day, according to the New York Times.
Paul Manafort: Last August, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was named in an investigation by Ukrainian authorities looking into the $12.7 million he received between 2007 and 2012 from Ukraine’s pro-Russian former president, Viktor Yanukovych. He’s also under investigation by the FBI for his ties to Russia.
Carter Page: Page, a low-level Trump campaign adviser, is among the many Trump advisers to have met with Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. “I’m not going to deny that I talked with him,” said on “All In With Chris Hayes.” “I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland, let’s just say that much.”
J.D. Gordon: Gordon, another Trump campaign adviser, was in the meeting with Page and Kislyak in Cleveland, where he served as national security policy representative for the Republican National Convention. He later admitted that he pushed to water down the language in the GOP’s draft policy on Ukraine from calling for “providing lethal defense weapons” to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian-backed separatists, to “providing appropriate assistance.”
Michael Cohen: Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is accused of hand-delivering a “peace plan for Russia and Ukraine” to then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, which included the lifting of sanctions against the Kremlin. Cohen was also named in the controversial, and unsubstantiated, dossier that was leaked in January.
Jeff Sessions: President Trump’s attorney general withheld information about at least two meetings wtih Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during last year’s election campaign, during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Though Sessions says the meetings were taken in his capacity as a U.S. senator, financial records uncovered by the Wall Street Journal and ABC News show he used campaign funds for his visit with Kislyak.