National Security

Mueller team questions Bannon over Roger Stone’s WikiLeaks remarks: report

Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon reportedly met Friday with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in an interview connected to Roger Stone’s ties to the Trump campaign.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Bannon was asked about comments Stone made privately related to whether he knew that WikiLeaks planned to release hacked emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller’s team was reportedly interested in what interactions Stone had with the Trump campaign, and whether Stone made private comments that matched or diverged from his public accounting that he had no knowledge of WikiLeaks releasing the hacked materials.

{mosads}In a statement to The Post, Bannon said he would not discuss the interview “out of respect for the process.”

“Mueller’s team has been very professional and courteous,” he said. “Out of respect for the process, I will not discuss my interviews with them, but people shouldn’t believe everything they read.”

“I had no communications with Mr. Bannon or anyone else in the Trump campaign including the candidate himself regarding the Wikileaks disclosures,” Stone told The Hill in a statement.

Stone has not yet been contacted by Mueller’s office, he told The Hill earlier Tuesday. 

The Washington Post story was published around the same time that Stone confirmed to The Hill that he expanded his legal team and taken two polygraph tests in preparation for a potential showdown with Mueller’s team.

ABC News first reported that Stone hired a Florida-based lawyer who previously represented Trump in civil matters related to his golf course. That lawyer, Bruce Rogow, said he suggested Stone take a polygraph.

Stone answered questions about whether he communicated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 presidential election, and whether he ever discussed any stolen information from WikiLeaks with Trump during the same timeframe. He answered “no” to both questions, but The Hill is not able to independently verify the accuracy of the polygraph test.

Speculation has grown in recent months that Mueller has narrowed his focus on Stone as a possible criminal target as the special counsel’s team gathered testimony from a number of individuals linked to the informal Trump adviser.

Stone has long been the subject of public scrutiny because of his connections to WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, the hacking persona that Mueller’s team now alleges was a front for Russian intelligence officers.

Stone said in August that he may be willing to work with Mueller’s team, but ruled out the possibility of testifying against Trump.

Tags Robert Mueller Roger Stone

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