A top adviser to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that a close aide of Clinton’s rival Donald Trump received an “advance warning” regarding WikiLeaks’ plans to hack and publish thousands of emails. Clinton adviser John Podesta also accused Trump of helping Russian hackers interfere in the presidential elections.
Speaking aboard the campaign plane Tuesday night, Podesta told reporters there was a “reasonable” chance that Trump aide Roger Stone probably knew about the latest hack that exposed thousands of Podesta’s emails.
The latest leak exposes the workings of the Clinton campaign in addition to personal exchanges like the one where a confidant of Bill Clinton, Doug Band, called Chelsea Clinton a spoiled brat.
Podesta told reporters that Stone made it evident in August that he was in touch with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
“A couple of months ago, Roger Stone confirmed that he was in touch with Julian Assange,” he reportedly said. “Around the same time, Stone pointed his finger at me and said that I could expect some treatment that would expose me and ultimately sent out a tweet that said it would be my time in the barrel.”
Podesta was referring to this tweet posted by Stone late August.
“So I think it’s a reasonable assumption to -- or at least a reasonable conclusion -- that Mr. Stone had advanced warning and the Trump campaign had advanced warning about what Assange was going to do,” Podesta said.
He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into the “criminal hack” of his emails. The leaks, believed to be the work of Russian hackers, are “circumstantial,” Podesta said. He added that the driving force behind the hack could be “Mr. Trump’s deep engagement and ties with Russian interests in his business affairs.”
However, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak denied these accusations Tuesday saying, “We don’t interfere (in) the internal affairs of the United States, neither by my statements nor by electronic or other means.”
WikiLeaks, which promised to publish classified information every week for the next nine weeks, leaked the first batch of Podesta’s emails shortly after the Washington Post released a video of Trump passing lewd comments about women. Podesta said Tuesday that the timing of the leaks was an “awfully curious coincidence.”
“Mr. Assange wanted to change the subject,” he said. “He didn’t succeed in doing that.”
Clinton campaign's press secretary Brian Fallon hit back at WikiLeaks Monday, accusing the organization of helping the Trump campaign.