Roger Stone, longtime adviser to President Trump, said Sunday that he had never been in touch with Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks anti-secret group, who had released pirated Democrat emails during of the 2016 presidential campaign.
"It's all right," Stone told ABC News's "This Week" when asked if it was true that he had never spoken to Assange. "I sent a direct message to the House Intelligence Committee between the flack for WikiLeaks and me, in which he basically escaped me. This immediately filtered into Atlantic magazine, which then edited the background and published it. No, I had no contact with Assange. "
Stone also said that he had no contact with special advocate Robert S. Mueller III, who was investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign.
"Again, where is the crime?" Said Stone, when host George Stephanopoulos asked him if the fact that he was not contacted by the team of Mueller suggests that he could be the target of the investigation. "I engaged in politics. My goal was to take a tip that I thought was solid, then follow the WikiLeaks Twitter feed and set a Google Alert for Julian Assange and use Twitter to attract as many voters and attention to the revelations when they arrived. like politics. "
"You were in this business once," he told Stephanopoulos, former assistant to Bill Clinton. "This is called politics."
A draft special council document revealed last month indicates prosecutors are closely examining Trump's interactions with Stone, apparently seeking information on WikiLeaks' plan to release pirated Democrat emails. Trump's ally, Jerome Corsi, reportedly told Stone about WikiLeaks' intentions to publish e-mails in October 2016, knowing that Stone was "in regular contact" with Trump.
In his interview Sunday, Stone said he had no discussion with Trump about a favor given to himself or to former Trump campaign president Paul Manafort. He added that there was "no circumstance" in which he would testify against Trump, "because I should bear false testimony against him".
Stone also challenged his reputation as a "trickster".
"The qualification of me as a" trickster "is on the part of the Democrats.It will probably be on my epitaph," he said, "I have never done anything in politics that exceeds the standards of my colleagues and from my contemporaries, and I have always made it clear that so-called sleight-of-hand tricks go to – but do not cross – the line that leads to illegality. "
Asked later on "This Week" if he found Stone's statements credible, the representative of the new Speaker of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Responded: "No, I do not I did not do it. Not at all."
Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the state of CNN Union that the news of the potential links between WikiLeaks and Stone is "a chapter where in my opinion, Mueller has a lot to reveal. "
Facilitator Jake Tapper asked Stone if he had evidence that Stone or other Trump associates had coordinated their activities with Wikileaks. He added that "I think most Americans want to hear the results of these talks" that Mueller has made.
Paige Winfield Cunningham, Carol D. Leonnig, and Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.