President Donald Trump denied ever speaking with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks during an Oval Office interview he provided the New York Times published Thursday night.
The wide-ranging interview covered many topics currently in the news: U.S. foreign policy, the current political stalemate over border security and even his potential political rivals vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
NY Times reporters Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman were joined by publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. in the Oval Office, and it appeared to be Haberman who brought up the subject of the recent indictment and arrest of Trump’s long-time friend and fellow South Floridian Stone.
The audio of the interview was published by the NY Times and aired on MSNBC. The transcript of the brief back and forth:
TRUMP: “I like Roger. He’s a character. But I like Roger. For a team of 29 people with AK-27s or whatever they were using, so charge a house like they did at 6:00 in the morning, I think that was a very sad thing for this country.”
HABERMAN: “Did you ever talked to him about Wikileaks?
TRUMP: “No. No. I didn’t. I never did.”
HABERMAN: “Did you ever tell him or other people to get in touch with him?”
TRUMP: “Never did.”
The indictment noted that someone connected to the Trump campaign had directed Stone to seek what sort of information damaging to Hillary Clinton that Wikileaks might possess. Wikileaks is seen by many as a proxy for the very Russian intelligence operations that interfered with the 2016 general election.
Then CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said: “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
So Trump’s denial of ever talking to Stone about Wikileaks is significant. Though it’s worth noting that he also denied knowledge of paying off former paramours Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal on Air Force One.
That denial has proven to be false, evidenced by the testimony of Michael Cohen and the public admission of Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Watch above courtesy of the NY Times via MSNBC.
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