Speed Reads


Roger Stone isn't ruling out cooperation with Robert Mueller, and Trump's team is reportedly nervous

On Friday morning, after being released from jail on $250,000 bail, Roger Stone insisted that despite being indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's grand jury on seven counts related to Russia's interference to elect President Trump, he would not testify or "bear false witness against the president." But "Trump is very worried," a longtime Trump confidante told Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman, with another Republican close to Trump adding: "I could see Roger flipping pretty quickly." On Sunday's ABC News This Week, Stone was a little ambiguous on that point.

Stone told This Week he hasn't done anything wrong, but "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." He'd "also testify honestly about any other matter, including any communications with the president," he said, characterizing their phone conversations as "political in nature, they're benign, and there is certainly no conspiracy with Russia." Stone, 66, did not rule out cooperating with Mueller, though, saying "I don't want to address that question, but I have made it clear I will not testify against the president, because I would have to bear false witness against him."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif), a former prosecutor who was on This Week after Stone, said the indictment had "specific allegations of lies and witness intimidation" that could "easily be provable." Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) agreed that it's a "pretty damning indictment" and said Stone's defense is pretty typical of "every white-collar defendant in this circumstance."

Most white-collar defendants aren't longtime friends with the president, who has unlimited pardon powers for federal crimes. But old friendships — Trump and Stone first met in 1979 — are complicated. "Stone and Trump are like an old married couple," the Republican close to Trump told Sherman. "Stone knows Donald isn't loyal. He calls him 'Mr. Ingratitude.'"