President Donald Trump denied that his longtime fixer Roger Stone told him about the WikiLeaks email dump ahead of time and that he knew about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in his formal answers to special counsel Bob Mueller, CNN reported.
According to the report, Trump denied that Stone, who is accused of knowing about the WikiLeaks email dump in advance, told him about what was coming. Stone has been questioned in the probe and denied knowing about the emails.
Trump also denied knowing about a meeting between his son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chief Paul Manafort’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised to hand over “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Don Jr. Has denied telling his father about the meeting in advance.
The news comes as Stone’s role in the alleged contacts with WikiLeaks comes under heavy scrutiny. WikiLeaks is said to have obtained the stolen Democratic emails from Russian operatives.
Right-wing writer Jerome Corsi, an associate of Stone, released a draft plea document that Mueller supposedly offered him in which Corsi is reported to have sent an email to Stone on August 2, 2016, telling him that WikiLeaks was about to release “very damaging” information on Clinton.
The Washington Post reported that Stone spoke with Trump on the phone a day after learning the news. Stone denied to the Post that he discussed WikiLeaks with Trump.
Trump’s attorneys reportedly added a caveat in his answers were to the best of his “recollection.” They said that the answers match his public statements.
Attorney warns Trump may be liable if his answers are untrue: "It's well-documented how frequently he says or tweets false things, and there's no criminal exposure for that," CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero said. "The difference is, if he lies in his statement to federal investigators, he is potentially exposing himself to criminal liability, assuming he attested to the accuracy of the information."
News comes amid report that Manafort met WikiLeaks founder: Trump’s answers to Mueller come at the same time as The Guardian reported that Trump’s former campaign chief met with WIkiLeaks founder Julian Assange multiple times ahead of the 2016 election, including in 2016. Both Manafort and Assange denied the report. That report came after federal prosecutors let slip that Assange may be under a sealed indictment in the United States.
Corsi emails contradict claims: According to the draft document in Corsi’s case, Corsi wrote to Stone on August 2, "Word is friend in embassy [Wikileaks founder Julian Assange] plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."
The email came one week after Stone asked him to get in touch with Assange, which Corsi apparently did through an intermediary. Corsi now claims he did not have a backchannel to Assange as he faces prosecution in the Mueller probe.
In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday, Corsi claimed that he did not learn about the coming WikiLeaks dump from an intermediary but rather “figured it out” on a plane trip.
Corsi was asked if he was given the information through “divine intervention.”
“That's what I'm saying,” he replied.