Roger Stone says he hasn’t ruled out cooperating with Robert Mueller
Roger Stone, the longtime confidant of President Donald Trump who was indicted last week in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, said he hasn’t ruled out cooperating with Mueller’s team.
The veteran Republican strategist’s appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” is the latest of several media interviews he’s given since his arrest Friday on criminal charges that include obstruction of an official proceeding, false statements and witness tampering.
“Are you prepared to tell the truth about your dealings with [Trump] to the special counsel, the truth about your dealings with the campaign?” host George Stephanopoulos asked. “Any chance you’ll cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller if he asks?”
Stone responded, “That’s a question that I’d have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion. If there’s wrongdoing by other people in the campaign that I know about, which I know of none, but if there is I would certainly testify honestly.”
A federal grand jury impaneled by Mueller charged Stone in a seven-count indictment that alleges Stone spoke “to senior Trump Campaign officials” about WikiLeaks and “information it might have had that would be damaging” to the campaign of Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the summer before the 2016 election.
Stone was “contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases” by WikiLeaks, according to the indictment, which refers to WikiLeaks as “Organization 1.”
FBI agents on Friday arrested the eccentric 66-year-old Trump associate at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He later appeared in court on Friday with his ankles and waist shackled before being released on a $250,000 bond. He has said he plans to plead not guilty to the charges.
Stone on Sunday told ABC that he would also testify honestly about any of his communications with Trump if asked.
“It’s true that we spoke on the phone, but those communications are political in nature, they’re benign,” he claimed. “There’s certainly no conspiracy with Russia.”
Stone is the sixth Trump adviser or official to be charged in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about the duration of negotiations involving a Trump Tower real estate deal in Moscow.
People close to Stone have predicted Trump could pardon him if he’s convicted of any of the charges, The New York Times reported. Stone on Sunday denied that the president has suggested doing so.
“Absolutely, positively not,” Stone claimed.
He also denied having had discussions with Trump about WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange. He said he’s had “zero” conversations with the president during or since the 2016 campaign about Russia or the Mueller investigation.
“I never discussed these matters with the president,” he claimed. “Everything that I did regarding trying to get as much public attention to the WikiLeaks disclosures among voters, among the media, is constitutionally protected free speech. That’s what I engaged in. It’s called politics.”