Trump on Stone sentencing: 'I'd love to see Roger exonerated'

President Trump on Thursday weighed in on the sentencing of his longtime friend and ally Roger Stone to 40 months in federal prison for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. 

Speaking at a Las Vegas graduation ceremony at the city’s Metropolitan Police Department headquarters for ex-offenders two days after issuing 11 pardons and commutations, Trump said he was following the Stone case “very closely,” and that “I’d love to see Roger exonerated.”

“I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion,” the president said.

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Roger Stone through the years
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Roger Stone through the years
Political advisor Roger Stone poses for a portrait following an interview in New York City, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 03: Attorney Roy Cohn (c.) with Roger Stone (l.) and Mark Fleischman (r.). (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Roger Stone speaks to the media at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New York City. Potential members of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet have been meeting with him and his transition team over the last few weeks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 21: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater are young political operatives who have set up lobbying firms. (Photo By Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Roger Stone, Ex-Donald Trump Advisor, talks with Jonathan Alter during an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Political operative Roger Stone attends rally on the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in downtown Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The convention runs through July 21. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
HILTON HOTEL MIDTOWN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/07/16: Roger Stone attends Donald Trump introduction to Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 19: Roger Stone attends Roger Stone Exclusive Photo Session on August 19, 1987 at Alan Flusser Boutique in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MAY 12: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 27: Trump ally Roger Stone Whom Robert Mueller recently arrested in a pre dawn raid at this home by the head of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference, while he was in the house filming with Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer he just sent his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone out Shopping Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NO NY PAPERS*** /IPX
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo, Roger Stone, left, with his wife Nydia Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Stone to serve between 7 and 9 years in prison after his conviction on witness tampering and obstruction charges. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Roger Stone leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, has been found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
ARLINGTON, VA - FEBRUARY 3: Roger Stone seen arriving at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on his way to Boston on February 3, 2019. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch /IPX
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Roger Stone pictured during Weed Nation Panel Discussion at day 1 of Politicon The Unconventional Convention 2017 at The Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California on July 29, 2017. Credit: Faye Sadou/MediaPunch /IPX
In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. A Justice Department official tells the AP that the agency is backing away from its sentencing recommendation of between seven to nine years in prison for Trump confidant Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Roger Stone, and his wife Nydia, arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Roger Stone, and his wife Nydia, arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Roger Stone departs the Federal Court with his daughter Adria, after the third day of his trial, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone waits with his wife Nydia in the lobby of the federal courthouse after the third day of his trial, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife, Nydia Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, leaves the U.S. District Court, after a court status conference on his seven charges: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering, in Washington, Thursday, March 14, 2019. Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
This courtroom sketch shows former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone talking from the witness stand as prosecution attorney Jonathan Kravis, standing left, Stone's attorney Bruce Rogow, third from right, and Judge Amy Berman Jackson listen, during a court hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Berman Jackson issued a broad gag order forbidding Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand over his posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone leaves the federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, as his daughter Adria, Stone walks in front of him. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
This courtroom sketch shows former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone talking from the witness stand as Judge Amy Berman Jackson listens during a court hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Berman Jackson issued a broad gag order forbidding Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand over his posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 4: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Trump ally Roger Stone (Born: August 27, 1952 age 66 years) seen in good sprits eating dinner. Roger Jason Stone Jr. is an American political consultant, lobbyist and strategist noted for his use of opposition research, usually for candidates of the Republican Party on February, 2019 in Miami, Florida ***NO NY NEWSPAPERS*** People: Roger Stone Credit: Hoo-me.com/MediaPunch /IPX
Roger Stone leaves the federal court Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Stone was back in court in the special counsel's Russia investigation as prosecutors say they have recovered "voluminous and complex" potential evidence in the case, including financial records, emails and computer hard drives. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, waits to speak to members of the media in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, waits to speak to members of the media at at a hotel in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, speaks to members of the media in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump's longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone speaks to members of the media at JW Marriot in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, arrives at Federal Court, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Washington. Stone was arrested in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People gather to show support and protest former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, after he departed federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Stone left the federal courthouse without speaking publicly after entering a not guilty plea to charges filed in the special counsel's Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 27: Trump ally Roger Stone Whom Robert Mueller recently arrested in a pre dawn raid at this home by the head of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference, while he was in the house filming with Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer he just sent his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone out Shopping Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NO NY PAPERS*** /IPX
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 26: First picture of Trump ally Roger Stone (Born: August 27, 1952 age 66 years) at his home after Muller Arrest. Rodger was in great sprits with a big thumbs up on January 26, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida People: Roger Stone Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NY PAPERS OUT***** /IPX
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone walks out of the federal courthouse following a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stone was arrested Friday in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, left, leaves the federal courthouse with his attorney Grant Smith following a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stone was arrested Friday in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, left, and radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, right, enter the House Judiciary Committee hearing room to hear testimony by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. Stone says there is "not one shred of evidence" that he was involved with Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone's interview comes as the House and Senate intelligence panels are looking into the Russian meddling and possible links to Trump's campaign. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Political consultant Roger Stone attends a screening of "Get Me Roger Stone" at the SVA Theatre during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 23, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
Political consultant Roger Stone attends a screening of "Get Me Roger Stone" at the SVA Theatre during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 23, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
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Stone’s prison sentence stems from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Trump has routinely depicted as a “witch hunt.”

Trump claimed that Stone was “never involved” in his campaign for president. 

“Roger's definitely a character,” the president mused. “Everybody sort of knows Roger. He's a smart guy. He's a little different. But those are sometimes the most interesting. But he's a good person. His family is fantastic.”

The president then went on to attack the forewoman of the jury as “an anti-Trump activist." 

"She had a horrible social media account," Trump declared. "The things she said on the account were unbelievable." 

Stone's defense team, which could have moved to dismiss any juror, opted not to do so, but Trump decried what he described as an unfair trial. 

"This has not been a fair process," the president added.

Last week, Trump called the DOJ’s initial recommendation by prosecutors that Stone receive at least seven years in prison a “miscarriage of justice.”

Attorney General William Barr then revised that recommendation, leading to widespread criticism that the president had interfered in the case. All four of the lead prosecutors resigned from the proceedings in protest.  

But in an interview with ABC News that aired last week, Barr offered a rare rebuke of the president, saying such tweets made his job “impossible,” and made a request.  

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said. 

Trump disregarded the warning, comparing Stone’s crimes to allegations of impropriety against former FBI Director James Comey, ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Hillary Clinton in a tweet published during Stone’s sentencing.

In announcing Stone’s sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson threw shade at Trump without mentioning his name.

"There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution," she said, adding that the comments from someone with a “longstanding” relationship with Stone were “entirely inappropriate.”

After the judge handed down her sentence, Stone spokesperson Kristin Davis called on Trump to issue a pardon to his friend. 

“It falls on President Trump to use the power of a pardon as the final means of checks and balances to right this horrible wrong,” Davis said. 

On Wednesday, the president dismissed the suggestion he was meddling in the Stone matter, but claimed he had the right to do so.

“I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country,” Trump said. “I could be involved if I wanted to.”

The president was also asked whether he had considered pardoning Stone after issuing clemency or commuting the sentences of 11 individuals, including some who were backed by financiers of his reelection campaign.

“I’m not even thinking about that,” Trump said.

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Senate acquits Trump in impeachment trail
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Senate acquits Trump in impeachment trail
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, arrives on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks towards the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses as he speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, looks out from an elevator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., left, walks on Capitol Hill in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., stands at the top of an escalator on Capitol Hill in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., center, walks on Capitol Hill in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump legal team members Jane Raskin, left, and White House adviser and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi arrive on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., right, arrives on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, right, arrives on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, arrives on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., arrives on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., center, speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this image from video, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts speaks before the vote in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts reads the results of the vote on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. The Senate vote for not guilty was 52-48. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts arrives for the vote in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
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