- In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, President Donald Trump denied ever having spoken to his longtime advisor Roger Stone about WikiLeaks.
- He also said that he did not arrange to help his son-in-law Jared Kushner obtain top-secret government clearance.
- The president also told the Times that border wall negotiations with Congress were "a waste of time."
Stone was arrested last week on multiple charges that included lying to Congress about his communications with Trump campaign officials regarding hacked emails that were published on WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. Stone has pleaded not guilty to those charges. The arrest was a major development in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in that election.
When asked by the Times if he ever spoke to Stone about WikiLeaks, the president answered: "No, I didn't. I never did." He also denied directing anyone to talk to Stone about WikiLeaks.
NBC News reported last week that Kushner's clearance application was turned down by security specialists amid concerns over his relationship with foreign governments. However, NBC reported, more powerful authorities overruled those considerations and eventually granted Kushner clearance.
Trump's denials to the Times are noteworthy as there are no widespread claims of his involvement in either the Stone or Kushner cases, political watchers say.