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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

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over Biden deportations

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Airbnb co-founders double Afghan refugee program to 40,000

Afghan refugees arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in August 2021. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and co-founder Joe Gebbia said during a visit to Washington on Wednesday that they're offering temporary housing to 40,000 Afghan refugees worldwide, doubling a previous commitment.

The big picture: The housing typically lasts several weeks, and Airbnb and Airbnb.org provide subsidies to hosts. Hosts and donors also help pay.