May 25, 2017

THE TIES THAT BIND:

Florida GOP consultant admits he worked with Guccifer 2.0, analyzing hacked data (SEAN GALLAGHER - 5/25/2017, Ars Technica)

A Florida GOP campaign consultant who runs a blog under a pseudonym directly contacted the hackers behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he solicited material from them. The Wall Street Journal reports that Aaron Nevins set up a Dropbox account specifically for "Guccifer 2.0" to drop files into, and he received 2.5 GB of data from the Democratic Party breaches--including "get out the vote" strategy for congressional candidates in Florida.

Nevins analyzed the data and posted his analysis on his blog, HelloFLA.com. Guccifer 2.0 sent a link to the blog to Trump backer Roger Stone, who was also in communication with the hackers, according to Stone.

Roger Stone helped Donald Trump get elected president - now he's helping himself (Manuel Roig-Franzia, April 19, 2017, Washington Post)

Stone worked briefly for the Trump campaign in its early days and was either fired (Trump's version) or quit (Stone's version), but stayed in contact as an informal adviser and energetic promoter, including connecting Trump with the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars.com. When he left, Stone says, the campaign tried unsuccessfully to get him to sign a confidentiality agreement that would have prevented him from talking to reporters.

"I would have had to agree to not breathe any air," he says.

Trump confidant Roger Stone gets the president he's wanted since 1988 (Rick Jervis, 5/21/17, USA TODAY)

In 1987, Stone began urging Trump to run for president. In the film, Trump praises Stone repeatedly, calling him "tough" and a "quality guy." In one sequence, the film shows how Stone helped sabotage the Reform Party's chances in the 2000 presidential election by urging Pat Buchanan to run as a Reform candidate, then backing Trump to run against Buchanan. In part because of Trump's brash attacks on his rival ("He's a Hitler lover," Trump repeatedly says about Buchanan), the Reform Party imploded, paving the way for Bush's contentious win that year.

Stone's fingerprints, according to the film, were again all over Trump's victory last year: the "Make America Great Again" slogan (borrowed from a Reagan campaign Stone worked on); questioning President Obama's birth certificate; spreading unfounded allegations that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist. Stone's name has also been mentioned in connection to the widening FBI inquiry into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

"Roger's relationship with Trump has been so interconnected that it's hard to define what's Roger and what's Donald," Paul Manafort, Stone's ex-partner and Trump's former campaign manager, says in the film.

Posted by at May 25, 2017 6:42 PM

  

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