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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
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(THREAD) BREAKING NEWS from the NYT gives us October 2016 emails from Trump friend and adviser Roger Stone to Steve Bannon, the CEO of the Trump campaign. I'll briefly note some key facts not contained in the NYT article. I hope you'll read on and retweet.…
1/ Note how crafty Bannon is. He tells Matt Boyle, of BREITBART—his former and future media outlet—that he doesn't have any time or interest in communicating with Stone about the stolen documents WikiLeaks acquired from Russia. But guess what? He ends up emailing Stone privately.
2/ We know Stone lied to Boyle about his level of interest in Stone's intel. How? Because in the preceding months—July, August, and September—Bannon had signed on to a Peter W. Smith-led effort to get Clinton emails from the Russians on the Dark Web. So Bannon *definitely* cared.
3/ We know also that Bannon was *not* Stone's only contact at the Trump campaign, and in fact was one of his *worse* contacts. Why? Because Stone was in touch with Trump himself, directly, in both September and October 2016. So any notion Stone only had access to Bannon is wrong.
4/ If Stone wasn't getting the response from Bannon he wanted, he'd have had no qualms about going to Trump. This is why Trump *continues using his private phone* despite knowing that China and Russia are *listening in*. He has conversations he doesn't want people to know about.
5/ In October 2016, Trump was *obsessively* talking about WikiLeaks in his public addresses and rallies, so *no one*—not Stone, not Bannon—would have doubted for a *second* how badly Trump wanted the intel Stone had. Keep in mind Don Jr. had already been in touch with WikiLeaks.
6/ But it's more than that. In November 2016, 96 hours *before* the election, Bannon—presumably using Boyle as a conduit—orchestrated BREITBART interviewing Erik Prince for radio and digital publication about the *completely made up intel Prince said he had* about Clinton emails.
7/ Prince's Pizzagate-based domestic disinformation was spread shamelessly by BREITBART in the hours before the election despite being in large part of Russian derivation. So yes—Bannon *really* cared, in October 2016 and thereafter, about "leaking" information on Clinton emails.
8/ October 3, the day Stone emailed Boyle, was around the time (within a day) of NYPD—which was filled with Trump and Giuliani allies—having to give up to the FBI the computer of Anthony Weiner, which NYPD believed (or wanted to believe) was full of incriminating Clinton emails.
9/ The Trump campaign—per Giuliani, diGenova, and others—knew their NYPD allies were livid about not being able to review the Clinton emails on Weiner's computer, and were concerned the FBI would sit on the computer pre-election and do nothing. This was *all happening* October 3.
10/ When Bannon orchestrated Prince going on Breitbart to spread Russia-derived domestic disinformation on Clinton's emails, much of what Prince said was about NYPD's anger over Clinton's emails—an anger that developed the very day Stone was emailing to get in touch with Bannon.
11/ The upshot: these emails are a very, *very* small part of the flurry of Trump campaign activity surrounding Clinton's emails—the first week of October 2016—between Stone, Bannon, and close Bannon allies like Prince (who was in regular contact with Bannon during the campaign).
12/ The NEW YORK TIMES did a good job to get these emails—but we must *ignore* any reaction to the story that says "Look how disinterested Bannon was!" or "This is it?" It's *not* it. There's virtually no way Prince and others weren't involved in relevant emails during this time.
13/ Bannon was (alongside Flynn, Trump Jr., Clovis, and Prince) Trump's rep in the effort to track down Clinton's emails—even fake ones if need be—which began in April 2016 (yes, that early) and lasted though Election Day. He was *never* "disinterested in engaging" on this topic.
14/ Don't forget the *key* point, though—on August 17, 2016, Trump and Flynn went into a room and were informed by US IC briefers that Russia was committing crimes against America. *All* Trump campaign efforts to coordinate with Russia directly *or* indirectly *had* to stop then.
15/ Legally speaking, *any* U.S. person with knowledge of what Trump and Flynn were told had to *cease* direct *or* indirect efforts to coordinate getting Clinton emails from Russia. That includes: Bannon, Prince, Jr., and quite possibly (given how close he was with Trump) Stone.
16/ So I appreciate the NEW YORK TIMES having a section of its article titled "The Context," but the context it then provides doesn't really give us enough information to fully appreciate a) how incomplete this email record is, and b) how criminal the intent of these actors were.
17/ Nor does the context the NYT provides give readers *nearly* enough of an understanding of how close these actors were to Trump in 2016, and how *obsessed* he was with the sort of intel they were discussing—meaning, he would have been *livid* to be out of the loop on all this.
18/ I've said before that Bannon is closer to indictment than many realize, and Stone—we all know—is on the doorstep of indictment. So the idea that all of these men will keep claiming that Trump knew *nothing* about any of this is preposterous. He knew, and we will find he knew.
19/ It was even said—at the time Trump "fired" Stone—that the "firing" had been *staged* so Stone could get up to his dirty tricks outside the context of the Trump campaign without being traceably linked to the campaign. The problem? He and Trump *kept talking secretly by phone*.
20/ Legally speaking—as a matter of *evidence* and *how cases are tried*—we *already* have "smoking guns" on collusion (evidence that'd blow any juror's hair back). *Politics* requires an obscenely fantastical movie-style smoking gun—and we're now on the cusp of *that*, too. /end
PS/ I began writing for THE HUFFINGTON POST on the Trump campaign's October 2016 domestic disinformation campaign—all of it focused on supposed Clinton "emails" that didn't really exist—in December 2016. So many people wondered about the Russia connection. *Now* you're seeing it.
NOTE/ Mueller has now spoken to 11 Stone associates and, days ago, with Bannon, who's acting like a cooperating witness—a confirmation of how deep his legal jeopardy runs. But Mueller wouldn't save Bannon to get Stone—he'd only do it for Stone *and* Trump.…
NOTE2/ My research strongly suggests the key witness Mueller already has is *Flynn*, who was in a position to give up Kushner, Prince and Bannon—all of whom are unindicted. I believe we'll find Bannon long ago learned cooperation with Mueller wasn't going to be an optional thing.
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