tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 13, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
p.m. eastern on cnn. you can follow me. i'm going to be in finland. you can start watching on sunday morning on state of the union at 8:00 a.m. eastern. meanwhile, we continue with wolf blitzer in the "situation room." happening now, breaking news, bombshell indictment. the justice department charges a dozen russians, military intelligence officers accusing them of meddling in the 2016 presidential election. large scale interference details of the vast hacking conspiracy whose targets include democrats and a state election board where data on half a million voters was stolen. call it off. democrats in a key republican say in light of the new indictments president trump should cancel his meeting with russian president, vladimir
putin. royal royal. he meets the monarch after insulting her, denying it, then apologizing for it. i'll wolf blitzer, you are in the "situation room." announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we are following breaking news. 12 russian military officers indicted into the moscow election meddling. the charges come three days before president trump sits down with the russian president, vladimir putin. we'll talk about that and more with james langford of the senate intelligence committee and our correspondents are standing by. first, details of the new indictments, our justice correspondent, evan perez, sheila are working the story for us. anthony is also joining us. exclusively, he served with the
fbi and in charge of cyber response for the national security counsel. he is one of the first to see the russians hacking into state election systems. the hackers, they hacked into the dnc, the hillary clinton campaign computers and did a lot more. >> that's right, wolf. this indictment lays out in great detail the charges against 12 russian military officers. they are people who work for the gru, the russian military intelligence agency and charged with cyber hacking, identity theft and money laundering. they carried out, according to the government, this extraordinary campaign around the world, useing servers in malaysia and other countries using cryptocurrency and other means to hide their tracks along the fbi and the intelligence community here in the united states was following them. they watched their communications as they targeted 300 democrats, people inside the clinton campaign, dnc, dccc,
looking through the computers for specific language, looking for opposition research, including benghazi and other terms, wolf. this is information the intelligence campaign told us about last year. this was designed to try to help donald trump get elected, to hurt the hillary clinton campaign and here, for the first time, we are seeing a window into this operation by the russian military intelligence. >> decent here in the united states as well. the russian trade, you have been doing some reporting on this. the details on this. including the indictment. >> it is spectacular when you look at the indictment the level of detail they have in terms of how the operation was conducted. as evan said, they targeted 300 people that were associated with the dnc, the dccc and the clinton campaign. a simple method, a spherephishing claiming the
e-mail would be john po decemde where they pretend to be someone who they feel safe to click on. they clicked on some e-mails and that's how they were able to get inside some of this system. they also used malware to get into the dnc and dccc. they sat there quite some time and were able, in realtime, to watch as people access files, access e-mails and different information on the servers. the russians, all along, were able to monitor this, grab some of that information. the other thing that is interesting in the indictment, it talks about how they were planned stage releases. as they were getting some of this information, it's clear they were deciding when part of their trade or part of their use of some of the information when was best to publish it and put it out. >> what does it tell us about
the russian intelligence officers and how they operated? it's pretty amazing. >> it's quite spectacular, wolf. you have a commander, a major of the russian intelligence, the military arm of russia, very coordinated. you have 12 people working together, creating these accounts. there was social media accounts. they used fictitious names to build servers outside of the u.s. in one case, the fbi tracked a server to malaysia. this is clearly a sophisticated operation, well coordinated operation, that ties into the highest levels of the russian government. >> beyond the democratic national committee, the dccc, the hillary clinton for president election committee. they went after state election systems including various state secretaries of states. >> that's the things we have been hearing about for over a
year, the way the russians were trying to target specific states. in one instance, according to this indictment, they were able to get into the systems of one particular state. they stole the information, about a half million voters, their drivers license numbers, date of birth. it doesn't say, it doesn't allege what they did with this. it says there is no information to indicate they are changing the vote counts. obviously, this is the big concern as you watch an operation like this, for an intelligence service to hack into the state systems. really the nuts and bolts of the american election system. that's what scares people who did the job, as anthony did. >> you were there, you were investigating when you served in the government. walk us through what you learned at the time. >> wolf, it starts with one digital fingerprint and an investigation ensues.
evan put it best, the russians were definitely into our democratic systems and i think the term evan used is they were watching us. it's fair to say the united states was watching them as well. >> the u.s. couldn't stop it because they did hack into the dnc, they did hack into the hillary clinton campaign, they did hack into the dccc and exposed a half million american voters very sensitive, private information. >> they did. unfortunately, the operations happen very quickly. it's clear by reading this indictment these 12 individuals were part of two sophisticated teams. if you read the indictment carefully, officers through generals. then read what each person did. it is clear they were two very so fist -- sophisticated hacking teams. >> the russian military intelligence officers authorized, or directed by putin to take this mission against the
united states? >> it's not clear in the indictment. one would have to assume so. two units ranking through generals. you have the head of a department and clearly, their actions were part of a much larger coordinated campaign to affect some sort of influence on the 2016 election. >> you served in the government a long time. hold on a second, any danger in the u.s. releasing all this information? if you read the indictment, there is amazing, specific inside information about how the russians operated and information they are going to learn to try to fix it. >> clearly, yes. there is a lot of information in this indictment. it's definitely an unprecedented peek behind the curtain and how the government conducts these investigations. this is indication the u.s. government is taking this extremely seriously and they are not going to hold back punches. >> you were going to say? >> as anthony was saying, the
previous assessment released make it clear the united states believes it has information and intelligence to indicate this was ordered from the highest levels of the russian government from vladimir putin himself. look, the framing of all this, we are talking three days, as you pointed out, three days away from the president being in finland, sitting across from the russian leader. if the president is interested, there's plenty of information to use to confront vladimir putin and tell him exactly what the united states knows, despite his denials the russians were doing this operation. >> they say it's ongoing. the russians are continuing to do this, looking ahead to november, the midterm elections. based on what you know, is it ongoing right now? >> i would say that's a fair assessment. in my current role, i meet with dozens of state officials regularly and they tell me, repeatedly, they continue to see
activit activity. >> they extradite these 12 russian military intelligence officers, even though we suspect the russians will never do it. should he demand that they be sent here? >> i would love to see an act like that. we'll see extensive pushback from the russians. i believe they have issued a statement, they call this indictment slander and fake news. >> they have already issued a statement. we'll have more details. they are echoing what the president said about a rigged witch hunt, fake news. they put out a statement along those lines. so, where does this go from here, from your perspective? >> from my perspective, it just highlights what we have been saying all along. not only in u.s. government, but the cyber security industry that our electoral infrastructure is weak and we need assistance,
state and electoral officials certainly need not only support with respect to financial assistance, but technical assistance. this indicates, this indictment shows the u.s. government is taking this seriously. there's been an extensive investigation taking place over the years. i think we are getting closer and closer to the truth to understand. >> what happens with mueller next? what is he going to do as a result of this? >> that's a great question. >> what do you think? >> what do i think? i think we are going to see, we are going to see this indictment flushed out more. there's indication of some u.s. entities and further digging into what they have uncovered in this. i think you are going to see more people raise their hand -- >> including u.s. citizens. u.s. citizens were not indicted in this operation. could you see roger stone or wikileaks named in a future
indictment? >> i could see other prominent folks that have been discussed in the past named in the future, sure. >> what do you think? >> i think there's a lot more to say. in terms of where this goes, we know roger stone is one of the people mueller has been asking questions about. h he's not named in the indictment, lucifer 2.0 lines up. the intelligence the u.s. has been able to gather, so much that we have been able to gather reporting that they captured some of the people, the russians named in this indictment celebrating this and trump's victory and celebrating the success of the hacking operation. that is how good the u.s. intelligence got in this case, in this investigation. that's remarkable. when you read this, you can see they are all over some of their, perhaps their e-mail, phones,
other information. this also, wolf we shouldn't forget this, approaching the election, this could be a way for our government, the fbi, the department of justice to say, russia, if you are planning anything come november, we are all over you and know what you are doing. >> amazing if you read this indictment, it reads like a novel. thank you. appreciate it very, very much. the deputy attorney general says president trump was briefed on the new indictments this week. he threatened to overshadow the uk visit, marked by a lot of controversy. our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta is joining us now. jim, you are there traveling with the president. has his team reacted to the new indictments? >> reporter: they have. the white house released a carefully worded statement on the charges against the russians in the 2016 election, there's no allegation of knowing involvement in the trump
campaign. the president is calling the russian investigation a witch hunt. he told cnn, he will tell vladimir putin to stay out of u.s. elections when they meet on monday, a summit that is still on. as the president was greeted by queen elizabeth and holding talks with theresa may, he was met with the unwelcome guest that never leaves his side. >> we are being hurt very badly by the witch hunt, the rigged witch hunt. >> reporter: at a news conference, he slammed the russia probe. the justice department preparing an indictment of 12 russians accused in hacking in the 2016 election. >> the president is fully aware of the department's actions today. >> reporter: on the defensive, the white house released a statement, noting the charges include no allegations of involvement by anyone on the trump campaign and no allegations the hacking affected
the election result. this is consistent with what we have been saying all along. the president said he would raise the issue of meddling when he meets with vladimir putin on monday. >> i know, you will ask, will we talk about meddling. i will bring that up. i don't think you will have any gee, i did it, i did it, you got me. there won't be a perry mason, i don't think. >> reporter: still, the russian investigation complicates his relationship with moscow. >> we have a political problem where in the united states we have this stupidity going on, pure stupidity, but it is hard to do something with russia. anything you do, it's always going to be russia, he loves russia. i love the united states. >> reporter: as the president said at the nato summit, he wants to be friends with putin. >> he's not my enemy and, hopefully, some say, maybe he'll be a friend. it could happen. >> reporter: the president told cnn, he will insist the russians
cease their attacks on american democracy. following the nato summit, where he outraged u.s. allies, mr. trump irritated hosts in britain, criticizing the prime minister's handling of brexit to "the sun" tabloid. >> i would have done it differently. i told her how to do it. she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me. she wanted to go a different route. >> reporter: the president said he was sorry. >> i said i want to apologize because i said such good things to you. >> reporter: there were no apologies on the immigration after saying he believes imgrani immigrants are changing the fabric of europe. >> it's not politically, necessarily correct to say that, but i will say it and say it loud. i think they better watch themselves because you are changing culture. it's a very sad situation. it's very unfortunate. i do not think it is good for europe and i don't think it's good for our country.
>> reporter: now, as for russian meddling, all eyes will be on the president to see if he will, in fact, tell vladimir putin to stay out of u.s. elections as he told us earlier today. now, mr. trump faces a critical question, will he demand putin turn over the russians who have been indicted to the u.s.? it will only make the hopes of a friendship with vladimir putin much more complicated. the white house had not referred to this as an attack on our democracy, which it was. >> jim acosta in london for us, thank you. t the breaking news continues next. we'll talk about it with james langford with the senate intelligence in homeland security committees. we'll be right back. etty much t. but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does.
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calling it major breaking news, the special counsel, robert mueller indicts senior military officers for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. that comes days before president trump's meeting with vladimir putin. i'll be there for the special coverage of the summit on monday. there's a lot we need to discuss. let's get to jeffrey jeffrey to. what stands out in your mind? >> certainly the extent and duration and intensity of the russian effort, the russian government's effort to make sure donald trump and not hillary clinton became president of the
united states. i mean, this effort was really extraordinary and it answers a lot of questions, but it raises one and doesn't resolve it, which is whether there was any come poli complicity or collusion with the trump campaign. it doesn't accuse them, but doesn't exonerate them, either. that is still open. >> the 12 officers that clearly worked for the russian government, everybody believes they would not have done this unless putin, himself, authorized them to do it. how significant is the detail we learned? >> this really isn't new information. the obama administration said the highest levels of the russian government directed this. the intelligence community assessment is really clear on the point. they say with high confidence, they were involved. i don't think there's good faith
reason to doubt. to the extent there's question, this is robert mueller saying, i am prepared to prove in court, beyond a reasonable doubt. he is speaking to the quality and quantity of the evidence they have. at the end of the day, this is academic. these are not individual that is are going to see the inside of the u.s. >> they are not going to be extradited to the united states. no one believes they will. the details, one thing for the u.s. government and the intelligence community to say somebody did it, it's another to name names and say how they did it. the timing of this indictment a few days before the summit between the president of the united states and the president of russia. >> well, you have to assume the justice department knew this was going to be controversial so close to the summit. that's why rosenstein said i informed the president this was coming. if the president had said, you know, wait, i don't know what they would have done. i'm presuming that they did this
with the president knowing they were going to do it. if donald trump were anybody else, he could walk into the meeting or cancel it or decide not to do it because of this. he could say chapter and verse, here it is. you did it. why don't you extradite these people to the united states? we don't have an extradition treaty with russia. what are you going to do? we are going to slap more sanctions on you. this is not donald trump. we are not sure. we know they are not going to cancel the summit. we are not sure what he's going to do with this. i mean, what rosenstein, what mueller has done and would have given any other president is an armorment to throw at vladimir putin, with details that read like a novel. with incredible depth of cyber
security, whatever they do. i don't have any idea, but it's amazing what we have accomplished. the question is, what is donald trump going to do with it. >> the optics, in finland, assuming it goes forward and all indications are, it will go forward. the white house said it will go forward and the russians saying it will. the optics of the indictment will have a tremendous impact. >> there are people questioning the optics going into the summit when you think of the context where it's been the widespread of the intelligence community where they meddled in the 2016 election in the united states and undermining the democratic process with damage on hillary clinton's campaign. why was president trump, after all that, willing to reward vladimir putin with this high profile summit. if you look at the tone, going into the summit where he called vladimir putin a competitor, not an enemy, he shrugged off the
meddling, it doesn't provide reassurances he plans to take seriously, holding russia accountable for actions. it was like pulling teeth last year to get the administration to sign off on the sanctions that congress overwhelmingly passed that were in part to hold russia accountable for the interference. >> the president's reaction was remarkable, stunning and in a way, depressing. the white house statement was narcissistic and said, well, this proves that there was no collusion, you know, the campaign wasn't involved because they used the line from rod rosenstein saying there was no allegation in this indictment that any american citizen committed a crime. it was all about donald trump and him, his organization but it wasn't about congratulating the justice department for their incredible forensics in doing this or saying vladimir putin has a lot of explaining to do and is going to have to pay for this and this cannot stand in
the future. none of that from the president of the united states, only that from john mccain. >> we put together, jeffrey, some clips of the president, what he said about wikileaks, what he said about russian interference during the campaign. listen to this. >> this just came out, wikileaks, i love wikileaks. this wikileaks stuff is unbelievable. it tells you the inner heart. you have to read it. amaze whag is coming out on wikileaks. wikileaks is fascinating. the wikileaks is like a treasure trove. they were announcing wikileaks. i love reading those wikileaks. >> jeffrey, you want to weigh in? >> well, just remember, now we know that according to donald trump's department of justice, wikileaks was part of a criminal conspiracy against american law. the organization that he is
celebrating in all of those comments are a part of a criminal enterprise to undermine the most important election in the united states. they have done it with complete impunity. this summit is going forward. they are going to meet, just the two of them, putin and trump. no one knows why the summit is taking place. no one knows, really, what's going to happen between the two of them because no one else is going to be present. this is like a spy novel, except it's real life. you have the president of the united states encouraging unlawful activity. the unlawful activity is caught and the president is like, well, whatever. >> in this indictment, no americans were indicted, no u.s. citizens, just 12 russian military personnel. they were indicted. could this lead to further indictments down the road, involving u.s. citizens? >> we want to be careful when
talking about that. look, this indictment shows there was an ongoing conspiracy in the summer of 2016 that american citizens were in contact with the charged conspirators including individu individuals that were part of the campaign. the hacking and dissemination of the e-mails. that doesn't get us to the federal aiding and abetting, but it raises significant questions. we don't have enough information of who might be indicted next. i think it's a safe bet, this is not the last person who is going to be charged in the investigation. >> everyone stand by. i want to bring in republican senator james langford of oklahoma. senator, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> these individuals, high ranking russian officials, working for the military intelligence operation, directly, clearly for the russian government.
could this have been authorized by anyone other than president vladimir putin? >> it could have been, but most likely it was authorized by him. i can't imagine putin not being engaged. again, we lose track of things. he's a former kgb agent. they say there's no former kgb agent. i can't imagine he wasn't directly involved in this. >> no americans were indicted today. you expect that to change? >> i'm not sure it will change. they were clear in the indictment today to say there were americans involved. we have known that from previous indictments. it was clear there were americans they reached out to. they were russians, it was mentioned today, that pretended to be americans interacting with other americans. it's a jump to say they were colluded with or cooperating with or may be indicted. they were americans that were reached out to through social media platforms by russians that
p pretended to be americans talking about the campaign. they seem to be unwitting with a foreign entity. >> in addition to going after the democratic national committee, the democratic committee, they make it clear the russians went after specific voting systems throughout the united states that are clearly vulnerable to hacking. they say that half a million, 500,000 american citizens have very sensitive voter data information stolen. what is congress doing to fix that? >> well, that's actually a bill i worked on, it's a bipartisan bill we released months and months ago. we had a meeting last week. it's something we have worked on for months and months with multiple others. we believe we should cooperate with the federal governments and states in their election systems to stay secure. elections are a state responsibility and part of the
strength of our system. there's a diversity of systems. if any one entity is vulnerable, the entire election system is. >> go ahead, finish your thought. >> we have to have more communication, better security and make sure when we find out a threat is happening, we are working with those states to work with that threat. >> you released a statement today, i read it completely. it says in part, with each passing month, our russian investigation continues to confirm russian officials attempted to interfere in our 2016 election. now, the russians, clearly, according to this indictment, they hacked the dnc server, the hillary clinton campaign chairman. isn't that more than an attempt? >> well, when you talk they interfered in our election, i think a lot of people take the next jump and say they clanged votes and the outcome.
what i what's been very clear from the doj, mueller, the investigation in the house and senate, in a bipartisan agreement, we have not found evidence they changed votes. clearly, they were trying to affect our elections. we have to be clear, because they were trying to attack voting systems, they were probing that information. there are 21 states we know and have evidence they were probing those states to find that information. most of those, they were not able to get into. some, they were able to get the voting rolls, but not the changing votes. they were trying to find ways to engage. again, we found no evidence and have seen nothing from the special counsel they changed votes. >> they released a lot of e-mails throughout the course of that campaign that clearly, potentially could have had a very, very serious effect. they weren't attempting to interfere, they did interfere. >> they were engaged in it. if you realized early on, they were trying to affect every
campaign. the longer it went on and once there were two candidates, they were focused on doing everything they can to hurt hillary clinton. that's a key reason they were going after the dnc to get information there. itis a key reason to attack. they had a clear distan for hillary clinton throughout the process. >> the white house released a statement following the indictment. today's charges include no allegation of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign or the alleged hacking affected the result. this is consistent with what we have been saying all along. the statement did not condemn the russians for their activity. that was surprising. i want you to compare what the white house statement said with what was released by senator john mccain. he said the indictment is a result of the hard work of law enforcement who dedicate their lives to bring justice to those who bring us harm. it adds to a body of evidence
confirming a plot by vladimir putin's government to attack the 2016 election so chaos and disengs. if president trump is not prepared to hold him accountable, the summit in helsinki should not move forward. which statement resinates more with you? >> mccain's statement does. he is very, very clear. i'm proud john mccain put out such a clear statement along those lines as well. there's been actions on russia of late and what we saw previously, when mueller indicted all those with the research agency, sanctions were laid on those individuals whether it's the al guards involved in funding it or the intelligence bureaus within the russian government. i hope and expect they do that again and expand it out after the mueller indictment. the president has been clear
with germany and his frustration of their cooperation with russia that undermines nato and europe to get russian gas and be dependent on russia. the president pushed back on russia and germany and i hope he presses in other ways. >> should the president have said what senator mccain said? >> i would hope the president continues to say those things. he is a firm law enforcement over and over again. he says this is an attack on him. there's evidence the russians were trying to engage. they are not finding anyone on the president's campaign were working with the russians. the allegations the president was colluded is different than the russians trying to attack our system. no question the russians were trying to attack. the president is frus raitted when they make the next jump and there's no evidence for that. >> the investigation, though, that mueller has undertaken and
his team continues. do you believe in light of the indictment the president should cancel his planned summit monday with putin? >> i don't. i think there are a lot of issues that have to be addressed including this one. the president should be frank in what he said about ukraine. we have occupation of eastern ukraine. the president said that's the first thing that is going to come up. we have to deal with that and syria. the russians, i don't think, have much influence there. they have been playing the russians for a very long time and using them as their own personal military for the things iran didn't want to do and iran plans to stay and the russians pull out. the united states and the russians have to talk about what happens in syria and where does this go in the days ahead? it's important to the region. i hope the president is frank and clear to not believe president putin when he says we did not do it. we know the russians and president putin were engaged in
affecting the elections. >> he called it a rigged witch hunt as recently as this afternoon. senator, thank you so much for joining us. >> you bet. thank you. coming up, more details from the bombshell indictment. we'll be right back. have this r. i'm 85 years old in a job where i have to wear a giant hot dog suit. what? where's that coming from? i don't know. i started my 401k early, i diversified... i'm not a big spender. sounds like you're doing a lot. but i still feel like i'm not gonna have enough for retirement. like there's something else i should be doing. with the right conversation, you might find you're doing okay. so, no hot dog suit? not unless you want to. no. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today with td ameritrade®.
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aftershocks from the indictment of robert muellers investigation. it names 12 russian members of the military and comes days before president trump is set to meet with the russian president, vladimir putin. our seen your congressional correspondent is tracking down lawmakers to get their reaction. manu, is it the usual partisan divide? >> reporter: for the most part, yes, wolf. democrats, in particular, seizing on the new allegations to say it is time for the president and his allies to back off the attacks against robert mueller and the criticism, calling it a witch hunt. they are not willing to do that. democrats, also saying, it's time to call off that planned monday meeting between vladimir putin and the president and the republicans don't agree with that. >> what are you concerned about with having the one-on-one meeting between president trump and putin?
what specifically is driving your concern to say they should not meet alone? >> i have been concerned for some time with the president's ad hoc style of going into meetings and winging it, isn't appropriate, particularly with someone like vladimir putin, a former kgb ability, he will come in with facts and maps. the president could be taken advantage of. >> i think the president should cut his losses with this trip to europe and not make it worse by a friendly meeting with vladimir putin on the heels of yet another indictment of russia. >> reporter: now, on the republican side, it's been mostly quiet. john mccain, one of the most notable exceptions saying it is time to call off the meeting. if not, the president, if he's meeting with putin needs to take a firm and aggressive stand toward vladimir putin. others, even the republican leadership have not responded to
questions on this. paul ryan would not say. mitch mcconnell's office would not comment. i have been outside a meeting room with several house republicans. none of them agree it is time to call off the meeting. again, despite these serious allegations that came forward against the russian nationals, the usual partisan divide. >> manu, thank you very much. coming up, one of the most intriguing questions raised by today's indictment. who is the unnamed person who did have contact with the conspirators, as well as senior members of the trump campaign. it's single-origin kenyan coffee from the nyeri highlands, 6,000 feet above sea level. but how do you really know that the beans journeyed to the port of mombasa and across the pacific? that you can trust they're 100% authentic? ibm blockchain. a smart way to track every step,
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confidant, the legendary republican operative and conspiracy theorist with a nixon tattoo on his back tonight claims he's not a key unnamed person in robert mueller's indictment, despite strong indications otherwise. >> who says that lucifer is a russian? >> reporter: today, robert mueller did. the indictment says that in the heat of the 2016 campaign, around august 15th of that year, hackers working for russian military intelligence, posing as an intent called guccifer 2.0, quote, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of donald j. trump. stone tells cnn tonight, i don't think it is me, because i wasn't in regular contact with members of the trump campaign. but the language, which mueller's indictment says was used by guccifer to communicate to that person matches an exchange, which stone himself acknowledged he had with guccifer. the indictment says the russian hackers asked that person, do you find anything interesting in the docs i posted? that's exactly what's in twitter screen shots, which stone released on his own website.
screen shots of exchanges stone said he had with guccifer. a day after getting that message from guccifer, according to messages confirmed by stone, stone where back, asking guccifer to retweet an article stone had written about how the election could be rigged against trump. the indictment says that later, the guccifer hackers wrote to the unnamed person, please tell me if i can help you anyhow. it would be a great pleasure to me. again, a match with a message stone admitted he got from guccifer. tonight, even in denying he's tun na the you unnamed person with guccifer, he said, those prove no collusion or cooperation. >> my exchange with someone claiming to be guccifer 2.0 when viewed through the contact, content, and timing was benign and inknock lounocuouk content, and timing was benign and inknock lounocuounock louse.
there were other head-scratching moves by roger stone during 2018, even though he'd left the trump campaign the previous year. twice in 2016, stone claimed to have had back channel communications with julian assange, founder of wikileaks, which published some of the damaging democratic e-mails. stone this to snowtime. >> -- that you have a back channel to assange, correct? >> mm-hmm. we just happen to have a mutual friend -- >> you happened to have a mutual friend? >> yes, who has supported assange and has some connection to him. >> reporter: stone has since explained that he got his information from a friend who spoke with assange, but it was not a communication directly with assange. now, there very other curious communications which roger stone has explained away. more than a month before clinton campaign chair john podesta's e-mails were published by wikileaks, stone seemed to predict that would happen in a tweet, saying podesta would be, quote, in the barrel. stone later told cnn that prediction was based on his own
research on podesta, and not on any communications with wikileaks. speaking with cnn today, stone reiterated what deputy attorney general rod rosenstein said, that there's no allegation in today's indictment that any american citizen committed a crime. wolf? >> all right, brian, thank you. brian todd reporting. roger stone, by the way, will be among chris cuomo's guests later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern on "cuomo prime time." there's breaking news coming up. new details of the justice department's indictment of a dozen senior russian military intelligence officers, accused of meddling in the u.s. presidential election.
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happening now, breaking news. 12 russians indicted. the justice department reveals the most detailed evidence yet of moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election as stunning new criminal charges are announced in the mueller probe. vast kremlin conspiracy. prosecutors allege an extensive scheme within vladimir putin's own military to break into clinton campaign computers, spy on democrats, and steal e-mails and voter data. tonight, president trump is under enormous pressure to confront putin or call off their summit next week. perry mason moment. mr. trump says he'll bring up election meddling, but doesn't expect putin to suddenly con