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Jakarta Post

Trump friend Roger Stone denies they discussed a pardon

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Washington, United States   /   Mon, December 3, 2018   /   09:41 am
Trump friend Roger Stone denies they discussed a pardon This combination of file pictures created on July 11, 2017 shows (top L-R)Roger Stone, GOP political operative and longtime Donald Trump advisor, on June 16, 2017 in New York, US President Donald Trump during a Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the Rotunda of the US Capitol on April 25, 2017 in Washington,DC,Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser of US President Donald Trump, at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 19, 2017(Bottom L-R))Paul Manafort, advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign, at the Mayflower Hotel April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC, Donald Trump, Jr., son of US President Donald Trump, attending the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC,and US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the East Room of the White House on February 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. The bombshell revelation that President Donald Trump's oldest son Don Jr. met with a Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer hawking damaging material on Hillary Clinton has taken suspicions of election collusion with Moscow to a new level.That news came hot on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report that a Republican activist, Peter W. Smith, claimed he had the support of top Trump advisors last year as he sought to obtain Clinton emails from possibly Russian government-linked hackers. MANDEL NGAN, NICHOLAS KAMM, SAUL LOEB, SPENCER PLATT, CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP (AFP/-)

Roger Stone, an informal adviser to US President Donald Trump, denied Sunday that the two had discussed a possible presidential pardon at a time when Stone is said to be under mounting scrutiny from prosecutors investigating Russian interference.

Stone also denied having had any contact during the 2016 presidential campaign with Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks, the site that published hacked messages from Trump's Democratic opponents in an apparent bid to influence the election.

"I had no contact with Assange," Stone told ABC's "This Week" program. "We have had no communication with (Assange) whatsoever."

He said he had not been contacted by Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating possible collusion or coordination between Trump's campaign team and Russia. 

Asked whether he would expect a pardon from the president if indicted by Mueller, Stone replied, "I've had no discussion regarding a pardon."

But Stone insisted that he would never testify against his longtime friend.

"There's no circumstance under which I would testify against the president, because I'd have to bear false witness against him," he said. "I'd have to make things up, and I'm not going to do that."

Mueller has negotiated cooperation deals with several key witnesses, notably Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, in exchange for reduced prison sentences for various charges. 

Stone and one of his contacts, Jerome Corsi, are suspected of having had advance knowledge that WikiLeaks would, in the summer of 2016, publish a trove of hacked Democratic emails that would prove damaging to Trump's presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.

The ABC interviewer, George Stephanopoulos, asked Stone about emails in which he reportedly instructed Corsi in mid-2016 to "get to Assange at the Ecuadoran embassy in London and get the pending WikiLeaks email." 

But Stone insisted he had broken no law.

"I'm certainly guilty of bluffing and posturing and punking the Democrats," he said, before adding, "Where is the crime?

"I engaged in politics."