Trump praises Roger Stone for saying he would not testify against him

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE on Monday praised longtime ally Roger StoneRoger Jason Stone3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference MORE for saying he would not testify against him, writing in a tweet that it’s “nice to know that some people still have ‘guts.’ ” 

Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and one-time member of the 2016 Trump campaign, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that there is “no circumstance” under which he would testify against the president because he would “have to bear false witness against him." 

In response, Trump said Monday morning that Stone was "essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about 'President Trump.' "

"Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!' " Trump wrote on Twitter. 

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Trump later suggested special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE and his team of prosecutors were only interested in witnesses who have “lies” to tell, again casting the special counsel’s investigation as partisan and out to get him.

Trump’s comments followed a tirade against Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney who last week formally agreed to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation into Russia's election interference and whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow.

The president tweeted that Cohen should be sent to jail for a series of federal crimes he has pled guilty to in New York. Trump described Cohen as a liar and accused him of making up stories “to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself."

Cohen last Thursday pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his and Trump’s involvement in plans to build a Trump property in Moscow and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. He is soon facing sentencing for eight federal charges in a separate case in New York, but his attorneys late last week asked a judge to spare him prison time.

Cohen is viewed as a potentially valuable witness for Mueller given his long relationship with the president and insight into the Trump Organization. 

Trump has increasingly lashed out at the Mueller investigation as a Democrat-led “witch hunt” as the special counsel has zeroed in on some of his associates. Among other lines of inquiry, Mueller has been scrutinizing associates of Stone in an effort to determine whether he or any others linked to Trump had advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks’s plans to release troves of Democratic emails hacked by Russia.

Stone made several public statements that appeared to forecast the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE email releases but has denied having an advanced knowledge of the email dumps, saying his statements were based on publicly available information.

Stone also told ABC on Sunday that had not discussed the possibility of a pardon with Trump should he be indicted or convicted in the course of Mueller’s investigation. Stone told The Hill last month that he would not be charged if Mueller made decisions based on “facts or evidence.”