Trump says he never asked Stone about WikiLeaks

Trump says he never asked Stone about WikiLeaks
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE maintains that he is not responsible for Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Mueller probe figures use fame to pay bills New filing suggests Mueller has evidence Stone communicated with WikiLeaks MORE's alleged efforts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 election to learn about damaging information the site planned to release about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump was questioned by Times reporters as to whether he is the unnamed Trump campaign official accused in court documents of directing Stone to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Trump denied that he had directed such an action.

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“No, I didn’t. I never did,” he said when asked if he had spoken with Stone about the stolen emails. “Never did,” he added, when asked if he had instructed another campaign official to talk to Stone.

The remarks are some of Trump's first public comments on the arrest of Stone, a longtime adviser who was hit with multiple charges last week related to the Russia investigation.

Stone pleaded not guilty to witness tampering, obstruction and other charges on Tuesday, while blasting the large FBI presence that arrived at his Florida residence in the early hours of last Friday morning to arrest him.

“The idea that a 29-member SWAT team in full tactical gear with assault weapons would surround my house, 17 vehicles in my front yard, including two armored vehicles, a helicopter overhead … and that I would open the door looking down the barrel of assault weapons, that I would be frog-marched out front barefooted, handcuffed when they simply could have contacted me,” he said, calling the move "Gestapo tactics" in later interviews.

In the same interview Thursday with the Times, Trump maintained that Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's team has informed him and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Warren: Officials have duty ‘to invoke 25th amendment’ if they think Trump is unfit McCabe: Trump 'may have' committed a crime in blocking Russia probe MORE that he is not a target of the probe.

“He told the attorneys that I’m not a subject, I’m not a target,” Trump said.