Bannon mentioned that throughout the Trump 2016 marketing campaign, Stone “implied” that WikiLeaks had supplies that will assist Donald Trump and presumably damage Hillary Clinton’s likelihood on the presidency.
Along with his 40-minute testimony, Bannon grew to become probably the most high-profile witness to testify at Stone’s trial. He made clear in his testimony and to reporters as he left the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, that he was solely showing as a result of he had been compelled to by a subpoena. Bannon’s testimony marks the beginning within the case of federal prosecutors starting to tie Trump and his marketing campaign to making an attempt to make use of WikiLeaks to their benefit.
Bannon mentioned he spoke to Stone as much as a dozen instances within the time period that he led the Trump marketing campaign, via election day, in addition to each few weeks earlier than coming onto the marketing campaign.
Bannon mentioned the Trump marketing campaign seen Stone as an “entry level” to WikiLeaks.
“The marketing campaign had no official entry to WikiLeaks or to Julian Assange, however Roger could be thought of, if we wanted, an entry level — an entry level as a result of he had implied or advised me that he had a relationship with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange,” Bannon mentioned.
He additionally mentioned that he believed that Stone had the connection with WikiLeaks, and that an middleman by no means got here up.
Bannon testified that Stone “by no means instantly” advised him he may get hold of data from WikiLeaks, however implied it.
Referring to the timeframe earlier than he joined the Trump marketing campaign, Bannon mentioned Stone would “not often” point out his relationship with Assange, however he would point out it “quite a bit” within the media.
When requested about how Stone would speak about his relationship with WikiLeaks and Assange, Bannon mentioned, “I would not name it bragging however possibly boasting. … He would point out it.”
In the future after Bannon was publicly introduced as the brand new head of the Trump marketing campaign, Stone despatched Bannon an electronic mail providing his recommendation on how you can make up the key polling deficit Trump was going through.
I might help, nevertheless it “ain’t fairly,” Stone wrote.
Bannon mentioned he interpreted that electronic mail as Stone simply dwelling as much as his fame as a grasp of soiled political methods.
“Roger is an agent provocateur. He is an skilled in opposition analysis, he is an skilled within the harder facet of politics and while you’re this far behind you are going to have to make use of each instrument within the instrument field… opposition analysis, soiled methods, the kind of issues that campaigns use once they need to make up some floor,” Bannon mentioned.
In one other alternate mentioned at trial, Bannon requested Stone in an October 4, 2016, electronic mail a few press convention by Julian Assange in London that turned out to be “a dud.” Bannon mentioned he despatched the e-mail partially “to search out out why there isn’t any announcement and one other is a bit of little bit of a heckle … that nothing got here out.”
Stone responded to Bannon that there have been safety issues over the press convention.
Bannon took that to imply that Stone had inside details about WikiLeaks.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Devan Cole and Olanma Mang contributed to this report.