Acting AG Whitaker: 'Deeply concerning' how CNN found out about Stone raid

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said it was "deeply concerning" to him how CNN was present during a raid on the home of political operative Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneBannon asked Trump DOJ to reimburse his legal fees from Russia probe: report Feds charge members of Three Percenters militia group over Jan. 6 attack Biden's anti-corruption memo is good news — and essential to US national security MORE.

"It was deeply concerning to me as to how CNN found out about that,” Whitaker stated during an oversight hearing to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday morning. 


CNN said on Jan. 25 that it was in position to capture the dramatic raid by the FBI as a result of "good instincts, some key clues, more than a year of observing comings at the DC federal courthouse and the special counsel's office — and a little luck on the timing." 

“Stone's possible indictment has been looming for months now, as Mueller has interviewed many of his associates and others connected to the longtime Trump confidante, whose political career dates back to President Richard Nixon,” CNN added. 

CNN's justice correspondent Evan Perez responded to Whitaker on "CNN Newsroom" on Friday morning.

"He knows exactly what’s happening here," Perez said. "There’s a bit of a conspiracy being hatched and Matt WhitakerMatthew G WhitakerEx-federal prosecutor: 'Thank God' Whitaker is gone, Barr will bring 'integrity' back to DOJ GOP pollster says Dems are relitigating 2016 election with investigations of Trump Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ MORE knows the answer to this. He could simply pick up the phone and get an answer to this, but he’s choosing to kinda play along with this conspiracy, which is frankly just false.”  

Whitaker did not share if the Department of Justice (DOJ) has proof that CNN was told about the Stone raid in advance. 

“The court had a sealed indictment that, after Mr. Stone’s arrest, was unsealed. Consistent with all its prior indictments, the DOJ’s basic policy for transparency in criminal cases is that the indictment is posted on the DOJ website, probably after it is unsealed, and then media outlets were notified,” said Whitaker.

“I do not know of any other special counsel’s office notice or DOJ notice to media outlets regarding Mr. Stone’s indictment or his arrest,” he said.

President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE and Stone, along with many in conservative media, have openly asked if CNN was tipped off about the raid. 

“Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better,” Trump tweeted. “Who alerted CNN to be there?”

"CNN’s ability to capture the arrest of Roger Stone was the result of determined reporting and interpreting clues revealed in the course of events. That’s called journalism," the network wrote in response.