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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone’s first media appearance following his departure from a courtroom — where he was charged with several crimes related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — was on Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet, which employs Stone as a show host.

During his appearance, Stone denied committing crimes, repeatedly promoted his legal defense fund, and promised that he would never testify against Trump.

Stone was arrested the morning of January 25 and charged with five counts of making false statements, one count of obstructing a proceeding, and one count of witness tampering. He had been under investigation by the special counsel’s office over whether he had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 election cycle.

Stone, who co-hosts the Infowars program War Room, gave a lengthy phone interview to Jones, which he started by saying, “I can say I’ve had greater, better moments — better mornings, shall we say.” He went on to describe the early morning raid of his home and denied committing any crimes.

Claiming that the special counsel’s office tried to “destroy [him] financially” to force him to plead guilty to “completely bogus” charges, Stone asked viewers to contribute to his legal defense fund. For his part, Alex Jones claimed the charges are part of an effort to “mak[e] journalism illegal.”

Stone went on to say, “There is no circumstance under which I would plead guilty to these charges,” and added, “There’s no circumstance in which I would bear false witness against the president.” Trump previously encouraged Stone not to testify against him, leading to accusations of witness tampering.

When Jones asked if he had a statement for Trump, Stone said, “Once again, there is no evidence of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration, and I’m not charged with doing anything inappropriate or illegal to assist in his election, even though I think I’m being persecuted for being a 40-year friend and supporter of his.”

During a later segment, Stone again promoted his legal defense fund, claiming he will have $2 million in legal fees. There were technical difficulties on Stone’s phone line that interrupted the interview, and Jones speculated that someone might be breaking into his phone or cutting his line to silence him.

 

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