After President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney said during congressional testimony on Wednesday that Roger Stone told Trump during the campaign that he had spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Stone could not resist reaching out to the media claiming Cohen’s statement was false.
But Stone could have a problem: he is currently under a gag order and barred from speaking publicly about his own case, the special counsel investigation in general, or any “participants” in his case or the investigation.
According to Buzzfeed News, Stone contacted the outlet via text message to dispute Cohen’s testimony.
Making clear his text was a “statement,” Stone told Buzzfeed: "Mr. Cohen's statement is not true.”
Cohen told members of the House Oversight Committee that Trump knew in advance of WikiLeaks’ planned release of emails that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Cohen said he knew this because he was in Trump’s office when Stone called with the information.
"Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone," Cohen said in his prepared remarks. "Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign."
Trump’s response was "to the effect of, 'wouldn't that be great,'" Cohen said.
The indictment against Stone does not allege that he was personally in contact with Assange or anyone else at WikiLeaks, but it accuses the self-described “dirty trickster” with lying to Congress about “directing associates to contact the group, and about telling Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks and ‘intended future releases.’”
As for Stone’s potential violation of the gag order, Buzzfeed said the special counsel’s office would not comment on whether his statement was in compliance.