Roger Stone. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Emails obtained by the New York Times show Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon communicated with political operative Roger Stone in October 2016 about Julian Assange's publicly announced plan to release information related to the 2016 presidential election.

Why it matters: Stone is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller over allegations he knew about WikiLeaks' plans to release Russian-hacked emails intended to damage the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Per CNN, Bannon was interviewed by Mueller's team last week for at least the third time and was reportedly asked about comments Stone had made about WikiLeaks in 2016.

Details about the emails:

  • The day before a scheduled Assange press conference, Matthew Boyle, the Washington editor of right-wing news site Breitbart News, emailed Stone, who stated that Assange's information would be good and complained that Bannon often failed to call him back.
  • Boyle then emailed Bannon, who co-founded Breitbart, to get in touch with Stone, suggesting he "clearly he knows what Assange has." Bannon responded that he's "got important stuff to worry about."
  • The next day, after Assange's press conference during which he announced his plans to release information related to the 2016 election, Bannon emailed Stone. Stone said Assange feared for his safety, but that he would be releasing "a load" of documents every week going forward.
  • In the final emails, Stone states that he doesn't know if the Clintons cut a deal with Assange and asked Bannon to have billionaire Republican donor Rebekah Mercer send money to his 501(c)(4) group — a type of political organization structured to conceal the identity of its donors, per the Times.

P.S. ... In an op-ed in the Daily Caller published today, Stone wrote that his claim that Assange would release documents every week was based on publicly available information and alleged that Bannon had leaked the emails out of personal "animus."

  • "What I am guilty of is using publicly available information and a solid tip to bluff, posture, hype and punk Democrats on Twitter. This is called 'politics.' It’s not illegal."

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 18,710,668 — Total deaths: 704,869 — Total recoveries — 11,284,150Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 4,818,228 — Total deaths: 157,930 — Total recoveries: 1,576,425 — Total tests: 58,903,657Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.
Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook, Twitter take down Trump post saying kids are immune to coronavirus

Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Facebook removed a video post from President Trump Wednesday in which he claimed in an interview with Fox News that children are "almost immune" to COVID-19.

Why it matters: It’s the first time that Facebook has removed content from Trump's account for violating policies on coronavirus-related misinformation.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign outraises Biden's by $20 million in July

Combination images of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images/Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee announced on Wednesday they collectively raised $165 million in July.

Why it matters: With 90 days until the election, Trump and the RNC outpaced the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees, who announced earlier Wednesday that they raised $140 million last month.