WASHINGTON, D.C. – A clear sign the Deep State’s “Russia collusion” narrative against Trump rapidly collapsing is the last gasp effort the mainstream media is making to claim Roger Stone was Trump’s direct line to Moscow.

The alleged evidence for this specious claim rests in large part on claims Stone was in touch with Julian Assange to arrange the WikiLeaks publication of the stolen DNC and John Podesta emails.

The left-leaning Atlantic made the most recent attempt to stir this old pot by publishing a story claiming the publication had obtained “secret correspondence” between Assange and Stone that showed Stone was in email communication with WikiLeaks in October 2016 and that WikiLeaks wanted to keep the email exchange going in November 2016, after the election.

The problem, as pointed out by Saagar Enjeti, White House correspondent for the Daily Caller, is that a full record of the conversation partially published by the Atlantic fails to provide evidence that Stone “collaborated” with Russia or had any information beyond what Assange had already said publically by the time Stone was communicating with WikiLeaks.

“The incomplete and carefully edited DM exchanges between me and a spokesman for WikiLeaks cited by the Atlantic prove conclusively that I had no advance knowledge of the content or source of WikiLeaks disclosures regarding Hillary Clinton. I had merely confirmed Julian Assange’s public claim that he had information on Hillary Clinton and he would publish it,” Stone responded in self-defense.

“The exchange provided to the Atlantic is incomplete and ridiculously out of context,” Stone continued. “The true copy of this exchange provided many months ago to the House Intelligence Committee demonstrates I had no ‘collaboration’ with WikiLeaks. Assange himself said in an interview with Amy Goodman that I never tweeted anything he or WikiLeaks hadn’t said or written publicly. I have never claimed otherwise.”

I will affirm again in print that Stone’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee was correct in that his tweet of Aug. 21, 2016, in which he said it would soon be John Podesta’s “time in barrel” was based not on advance knowledge of WikiLeaks posts, but on research I had been conducting into then published evidence provided in the Panama Papers of Podesta’s clandestine off-shore dealings with Russia.

In an important analysis published on March 2, retired U.S. Navy Admiral James A. Lyons made a convincing case that the theft of the DNC and Podesta emails had nothing to do with the Russians, but was an inside job perpetrated by DNC IT employee Seth Rich.

“Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was paid by Wikileaks for that information,” Lyons wrote.

“While Wikileaks doesn’t expose sources, Julian Assange gave a clear clue during an Aug. 9, 2016, interview on Dutch television when he implied that Mr. Rich was killed because he was the Wikileaks source of the DNC emails,” Lyons continued. “Mr. Assange offered a $20,000 reward leading to the arrest of Mr. Rich’s killers. Also, why hasn’t Aaron Rich been interviewed, and where is he?”

An analysis by former NSA experts published in the left-leaning publication The Nation on Aug. 9, 2017, provided convincing  hard technical evidence that the theft of emails from the DNC on July 5, 2016, had nothing to do with the Russians, but was an inside job done by someone with access to the DNC’s system – in other words, a “leak” from the inside, not a “hack” from the outside.

To date, Special Counselor Robert Mueller has produced no evidence to the contrary.

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