Media labels Roger Stone tweets to Guccifer 2.0 as 'contact'

 Sinister "contact" between former Trump aide Roger Stone and the hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" has unleashed the paranoid conspiracy mongers in the media, conflating what a more neutral observer might label "innocent" chatter with "proof" that Stone knew of the hacking before it happened.

There's only one problem with that; the Twitter conversation took place after the DNC hack occurred.

The Hill:

Stone insisted to The Washington Times that the conversations were "completely innocuous."

“It was so perfunctory, brief and banal I had forgotten it,” Stone told The Times of a private Twitter conversation he had with a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0.

Guccifer 2.0 is believed by the U.S. intelligence community to be a cover identity for Russian intelligence operatives. The intelligence community concluded that Moscow sought to interfere in last year's election to help Trump win.

Stone told the Times he exchanged a handful of messages with Guccifer 2.0 in the weeks following a hack of the DNC, which was revealed in late July.

In one message from Aug. 14, Stone said he was "delighted" that Guccifer 2.0's Twitter account had been reinstated after being suspended. 

“wow. thank u for writing back, and thank u for an article about me!!! do u find anything interesting in the docs i posted?” Guccifer 2.0 wrote to Stone, referring to an article Stone wrote for Breitbart News on Aug. 5 which attributed the DNC breach to Guccifer 2.0.

“i’m pleased to say that u r great man. please tell me if i can help u anyhow. it would be a great pleasure to me,” Guccifer 2.0 wrote in an Aug. 17 message to Stone.

Stone tweeted on Aug. 21, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” Weeks later, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails were leaked to WikiLeaks, leading many to believe Stone was aware in advance of the hack.

Stone denied any connection to the hacks at the time.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last December released a joint report detailing how federal investigators linked the Russian government to hacks of Democratic Party organizations. Reports from the intelligence community said Guccifer 2.0 was used to publicly release the data from hacks, but that the hacks themselves were conducted by Russia.

“The content of the exchange is, as you can see completely innocuous and perfunctory,” Stone told The Times. 

“Even if [Guccifer 2.0] is/was a Russian asset, my brief Aug. 14 correspondence with him on twitter comes AFTER I wrote about his role in the DNC hacks (Aug 5) and AFTER Wikileaks released the DNC material,” Stone said. “How does one collaborate on a matter after the fact?”

Stone is an admitted political "trickster," although some of his hijinks have been labeled "dirty politics" by his opponents. If there is a question about his knowledge of the Podesta hack, there's no evidence for it - a vague reference to Podesta's "time in the barrel" is hardly a smoking gun that Stone was in on the scheme.

A Twitter conversation - even a "private" one - is not evidence of "contact and is only being construed that way because the media and the Democrats are desperate to tie the Trump campaign to the Russians.

Stone is an unlovely character - he left an expletive laced message on Elliot Spitzer's 83 year old father's answering machine threatening him with prosecution if he didn't turn on his son, a gubernatorial candidate at the time. But plotting to hack the DNC and John Podesta with Russian computer criminals? That's a stretch even for Democrats.

If you experience technical problems, please write to