After federal agents arrested him in conjuction with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone took to Fox News to defend his name.
Just a few hours after he was released on bond Friday, Stone appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to downplay the special counsel’s indictment, calling it “fabricated” and suggesting that “someone is bearing false witness against me.”
“I’m in for the fight of my life,” Stone told host Tucker Carlson. “I will not bear false witness against the president. I intend to fight because this indictment is fabricated.”
Stone was indicted on seven counts Friday, including lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. His indictment represents the clearest evidence yet that Trump campaign officials may have coordinated with WikiLeaks to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton stolen by Russian operatives.
But Stone said he plans to plead “not guilty,” and complained that the special counsel’s investigation has ruined his life.
“I’m essentially broke since the leaks from the special counsel’s office over the last two years have dried up my consulting business, and since the censorship and shadow banning on Facebook have substantially dried up my book sales,” he said, adding that “every dollar I scrape up has to go to this fight.”
Carlson met Stone’s story with sympathy, construing the subjects of Mueller’s investigation as victims.
“Do you notice a theme here? It seems like everyone who gets ground up in the gears of this investigation does not have the funds to fight back,” he said.
During his Fox News appearance, Stone also referenced a conspiracy theory about CNN’s footage of his arrest that quickly spread throughout right-wing circles on Friday, saying it was “disconcerting” and “disturbing” that CNN knew ahead of time that Stone was going to be arrested.
Conspiracists on the right used this talking point Friday to raise the specter that the FBI was improperly coordinating with CNN, though there’s no evidence that CNN was doing anything other than following typical reporting avenues. Trump himself picked up this line of argument Friday morning, tweeting, “Who alerted CNN to be there?”
Nonetheless, Stone continued his cable news tour on Friday with a separate appearance on the very network he raised questions about. During a CNN segment later on Friday evening, he reiterated his innonence and said he believes further text message evidence will exonerate him.