Is Roger Stone telling the truth? That’s among the biggest questions at the heart of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Despite bragging at the time about being in contact with Julian Assange, Stone has insisted he had no warning that WikiLeaks would be releasing hacked Democratic National Committee emails and said he didn’t relay that information to his longtime confidante, Donald Trump.
Mueller has yet to tip his hand on whether he believes Stone, though he’s devoted significant resources to the question.
On Monday, though, Stone admitted that he used his platform on Infowars, the far-right conspiracy website founded by Alex Jones, to spread false information in another case.
To settle a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages from Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese businessman, Stone admitted that he “failed to do proper research” before accusing Guo of violating U.S. election law by donating money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Stone also falsely accused Guo, who is also known as Miles Kwok, of funding a presidential run by Stephen K. Bannon and being convicted of financial crimes.
In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Stone blamed the falsehoods on Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide who has now testified before a special counsel’s grand jury.
“I made the error of relying on the representations of Sam Nunberg in my report on this matter and for that I apologized,” Stone said.
Nunberg, who didn’t respond to messages from The Post, declined to comment on the claims to the Wall Street Journal.
Stone’s admission is sure to give fuel to critics who accuse the infamous political dirty trickster of being less than forthright about his role in the DNC email dump, which has since been linked by U.S. intelligence agencies to Russian hackers seeking to swing the election to Trump.
Guo sued Stone in federal court in Florida in March over the false claims on Infowars. The businessman fled China in 2014 and has since become a loud critic of the Chinese government, which has tried to have him arrested and returned to Beijing.
Stone accused him of breaking U.S. election law, which forbids foreign nationals from donating to political campaigns. But in Stone’s new settlement, he admits that “all of these statements are not true,” and claims that Nunberg fed him false information that came from Bruno Wu, a Chinese American businessman whom Guo has accused of being a Chinese spy. Wu is suing Guo for defamation over those claims, the Wall Street Journal reports. A spokesperson for Wu’s company didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Post about Stone’s allegations; Wu declined to comment to the Journal.
In addition to admitting in court documents that he spread falsehoods, Stone agreed to share his statement via Facebook and Instagram and to take out ads in The Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.
As of Monday night, Stone hadn’t yet shared the statement with his more than 28,000 Instagram followers. But he did post an advertisement for the “perfect gift for patriots”: A Roger “stone,” a small rock autographed by the political operative himself that he’s selling for $8 each, on sale from the original $10 sticker price.