Steve Bannon: Roger Stone was our unused WikiLeaks ‘access point’

Source: Politico | November 8, 2019 | Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein

At Stone’s trial for lying to Congress, Bannon was careful to note that the Trump campaign never asked Stone to contact WikiLeaks.

Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign thought primarily of one person when it wanted to find out what was going on with WikiLeaks: Roger Stone.

That’s the readout Steve Bannon, the former Trump campaign CEO, delivered during a much-anticipated appearance Friday at Stone’s federal trial on charges that he lied to Congress and intimidated a witness.

“I think we did, yes,” said Bannon, when asked whether the Trump campaign viewed Stone as its “access point” to WikiLeaks and founder, Julian Assange.

But Bannon — clad in his trademark, tieless all-black outfit complete with layered shirts — was careful to note that the campaign never really tapped that access point.

“The campaign had no official access to WikiLeaks or to Julian Assange,” Bannon said. “But Roger would be considered if we needed an access point, because he had implied or told me he had a relationship with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.”

Still, Bannon said, Trump’s campaign was pleased with what WikiLeaks was up to in 2016 — dumping an embarrassing onslaught of stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee. The Trump team saw it as helping resurrect their man’s long-shot GOP presidential bid.

“I’d view that as hurting Hillary Clinton and helping the Trump campaign,” he said.

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