Nov 1, 2018

Revealed: October 2016 emails between Steve Bannon and Roger Stone

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

O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Iranian state TV: Hardliners win landslide victory in low-turnout election

Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iranian state TV announced Sunday that hardliners won a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary elections two days ago, including all 30 seats in Tehran, AP reports.

Why it matters: Voter turnout in the election only reached 42.57%, according to Iran's interior ministry, the first time turnout dipped below 50% since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The low turnout may signal dissatisfaction with the Iranian government and the election system.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World