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‘In the middle of the conspiracy’: MSNBC panel calls out Roger Stone contacts with Russian intel as like ‘a spy thriller’

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Longtime Donald Trump associate and infamous GOP dirty tricks operative Roger Stone may be the critical link between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, Joy Reid explained on MSNBC Friday night.

Guest hosting All In with Chris Hayes, Reid brought on two guests with the last name of Ackerman to dissect the Daily Beast scoop that the hacker who released emails from the Democratic National Committee was a Russian Intelligence Agent. Despite Stone promising he wasn’t working with any Russians.

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“So Roger Stone was wrong. We know, in fact, he was in contact with not only a Russian, but a Russian intelligence agent,” Reid explained. “And not just any Russian intelligence agent. The Russian intelligence agent who claimed credit for hacking the DNC.”

“How was it discovered the person that Roger Stone was communicating with, this Guccifer 2.0, was a Russian intelligence agent?” Reid asked Spencer Ackerman, who co-wrote The Beast bombshell with Kevin Poulsen.

“Joy, it’s basically out of a spy thriller,” Spencer Ackerman replied. “The Russian operative in question, an officer for Russia’s largest intelligence agency, known as the GRU, slipped up in a crucial bit of trade craft.”

“Usually, when Guccifer 2.0 went online and connected to his Twitter account, connected to his WordPress blog, he secured his IP address, his originating location, so to speak, digitally, through a VPN. Basically something that would prevent an outside observer figuring out where his location is,” he explained. “In one occasion he did not that meant that on the servers of an American social media company was this person’s real IP address and that address traced back to the Moscow headquarters of the GRU.”

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Reid then interviewed former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman about the legal consequences of Spencer Ackerman’s reporting.

“So that brings me to the other, Mr. Ackerman, Nick. How much would it take to go from Roger Stone admitting he communicates with Guccifer 2.0 to Guccifer 2.0 being revealed to being a Russian intelligence officer to collusion?” Reid asked.

“It puts Roger Stone right in the middle of the conspiracy with the Russians to steal the e-mails out of the Democratic National Committee and use them to elect Donald Trump,” he replied. “This is the first instance that we have, maybe except for the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower, where you have somebody from the Trump campaign dealing with a Russian operative.”

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The former prosecutor added, “you can see how this conspiracy is coming together and more evidence is coming up showing that, in fact, the Trump campaign did conspire with the Russian government to get Trump elected.”

“And very quickly, Nick, I want to put up the list of all the people who, at least we know of, that had contacts with the Russians,” Reid said. “As a prosecutor, can it be coincidental this that many people were having outreach and communications with the Russians without it being a conspiracy or collusion in your view?”

“In my view, they were all part of this conspiracy to break into the Democratic National Committee, steal those emails, and use them to get Donald Trump elected,” he concluded.

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Nick Ackerman and Spencer Ackerman are not related.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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