Trump says he hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone

Trump says he hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE said Tuesday he hadn’t thought about pardoning Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneSunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Brzezinski says she arranged call with Twitter CEO to discuss banning Trump Trump taps new prosecutor for DOJ office at center of Flynn, Stone controversies MORE, but described his former associate as a “good person” and said he had been treated very unfairly.

“I hadn’t thought of it,” Trump told reporters in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday when asked if he would pardon Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional inquiry in November.

“I think it’s very tough what they did to Roger Stone compared to what they do to other people on their side,” Trump continued.

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Trump said Stone and his first national security adviser Michael Flynn — both of whom were charged in connection with former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s Russia investigation — had been “hit very hard” while claiming, without evidence, his campaign had been improperly targeted by “dirty cops.”

“Roger Stone was not involved in my campaign in any way other than the very, very beginning before I think, long before I announced,” Trump said.

“I’ve known Roger over the years, he’s a nice guy. A lot of people like him. And he got hit very hard, as did Gen. Flynn and as did a lot of other people,” Trump said. “Now they’re finding out it was all a big hoax.”

“We were spied on. My campaign was spied on,” the president continued.

Trump made the comments following a video teleconference with members of the U.S. military Tuesday morning. 

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Stone served briefly on Trump’s first presidential campaign but left in August 2015; still, he remained in contact with campaign officials about WikiLeaks, according to prosecutors, and was convicted of lying about those contacts. 

Trump responded to Stone’s conviction on all seven counts of his indictment last month, claiming it as evidence of a “double standard” because his political rivals have not faced charges. 

Stone is slated to be sentenced in February. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., will be sentenced next month.

Trump has recently seized on a Justice Department inspector general report that found serious errors and omissions in an FBI surveillance application to wiretap his former campaign aide Carter Page in connection with the early Russia investigation. In one instance, an FBI lawyer altered a document used in the application, and the individual has been referred for possible criminal prosecution.

Trump claims that the watchdog report shows that his campaign was improperly targeted by the FBI.

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general, did not find evidence that political bias influenced the FBI’s decision to open investigations into associates of Trump’s campaign and found that the probe had an adequate predicate. Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFormer prosecutors outraged at decision to dismiss the Flynn case should focus on the real problems The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation More than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case MORE has disagreed with the latter conclusion. 

Trump on Tuesday characterized the FBI agents who worked on the investigation as “dirty cops.”

“These were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people. And I hope that someday I’m going to consider it my greatest achievement or one of my greatest achievements — getting rid of them,” Trump said Tuesday.