UPDATED 6:15 PM PT — Friday, November 8, 2019
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is revealing new details about Roger Stone’s work on the 2016 Trump campaign.
Speaking at Stone’s trial on Friday, Bannon described him as the campaign’s access point to WikiLeaks. In 2016, WikiLeaks released damaging stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Although Stone had a relationship with the nonprofit, Bannon said the Trump team itself never had direct access to the organization or its founder, Julian Assange.
Bannon noted he only appeared at the trial because he was subpoenaed.
“I was compelled to testify under subpoena by (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller,” stated Bannon. “I was forced to go to the grand jury and I’m forced to come here today.”
Stone is facing several charges, including obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress. He could spend decades in prison if convicted.
He has been critical of the Special Counsel investigation and the president’s legal team, who he said never fully understood the magnitude of the efforts against him.
“I’m not sure they understood the political ramifications and political nature of this case,” said Stone. “The idea of waving executive privilege and…relying on the good instincts of Bob Mueller was a naive strategy.”