Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.