Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone plans to fiercely deny to the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he had any contact, much less colluded, with Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election, according to a prepared opening statement he shared with The Washington Post.
Stone also plans to deny that he had any advance knowledge that emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta would be hacked or that his emails would then be released by WikiLeaks — despite tweeting just days before that Podesta’s “time in the barrel” would soon be coming.
In his prepared opening statement, Stone decries the nation’s intelligence agencies as “politicized,” and questions the findings of the intelligence community regarding Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, including the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Podesta.
“Mantra-like repetition of the claim by our vaunted 17 intelligence agencies that the ‘Russians’ colluded with the Trump campaign about Russia’s efforts to sway the election, does not make it so,” he wrote — voicing doubts similar to those President Trump has expressed.
Stone’s prepared comments are lengthy, and include several addendums, including images of private communications he had with hacker Guccifer 2.0 on Twitter in August and September of last year. Stone has publicly questioned the assertion that Guccifer 2.0 is connected to the Russian-directed hacking operation, but insists the newly disclosed messages show his contact with them began only after he made that claim.
Stone also stresses several times that he had hoped to deliver his remarks publicly — accusing the committee of “cowardice” for not letting him speak in an open forum.
But though Stone’s interview is slated to take place behind closed doors, it is not expected to be a quiet affair.
Stone has already taken to Twitter to herald his appearance, giving interviews to Alex Jones’s Info Wars on Monday and tweeting a photo of himself “preparing” for testimony before the committee by reading a well-known tome about life in socialist Russia that was published in the mid-1970s.
He has also said that he planned to record his testimony in advance and release the recording to Info Wars for broadcast during the time of the closed-door session.
Stone also takes direct aim at several committee Democrats in his prepared remarks, reserving the most pointed vitriol for the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.)
During his appearance on Jones’s program Monday, Stone vowed to “be on offense and to expose Congressman Adam B. Schiff as the demagogic charlatan that he is.” He also referred to the intel committee meeting as “The Romp in the Swamp.”
Just before the hearing started, Schiff responded to Stone’s criticism telling reporters: “It’s consistent with his motto: deny deny deny.”