Six days before WikiLeaks began releasing Secretary Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, Roger Stone had a text message conversation with a friend about WikiLeaks, according to copies of phone records obtained exclusively by NBC News.
“Big news Wednesday,” the Stone pal, radio host Randy Credico, wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, according to the text messages provided by Stone. “Now pretend u don’t know me.”
“Great,” Credico wrote back. “Hillary’s campaign will die this week.”
Credico turned out to be wrong on one count — nothing incriminating about Clinton came out that Wednesday. But two days later, on Oct. 7, WikiLeaks released its first dump of emails stolen from Podesta, altering the trajectory of the 2016 presidential election.
Stone, a confidante of then-candidate Donald Trump and notorious political trickster, has denied any collusion with WikiLeaks.
But the text messages provided by Stone to NBC News show that Credico appeared to be providing regular updates to Stone on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s plans in the days before the hacked emails were released. In the texts, Credico told Stone he had insights into Assange’s plans through a longtime friend, who was also Assange’s lawyer, according to the text messages.
Reached Wednesday, Credico downplayed the text exchanges. “There’s absolutely nothing there that I had any knowledge of anything that Assange was going to do because I didn’t,” he told NBC News.
“Where’s the smoking gun?” he added.