On Friday night legendary political insider Roger Stone threw cold water on CNBC’s bombshell report alleging that special counsel Robert Mueller was focusing on him and his “extensive” contacts with indicted former Trump campaign official Rick Gates.
According to CNBC’s sources, the link between Gates and Stone goes back to their work at a lobbying firm in Washington, which was founded by Stone along with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The sources said Stone is “one of the top subjects of the Mueller investigation into potential collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.” According to the CNBC article:
The questions have been largely about what was discussed at meetings, including dinners, between Stone and Gates, before and during the campaign, said the sources, who have knowledge of the substance of the recent interviews.
“Our longtime relationship? I think the first time I met him was in 2016,” Stone told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. He added, “I don’t believe he worked at Black, Manafort and Stone back in the ’80s. He evidently was an intern in the successor firm after I left.”
The strategist also refuted the contention that he had been to a number of dinners with Gates.
“I only know of one dinner, attended by many, the purpose of which was to discuss the apportionment of the New York delegates to the Republican National Convention,” he explained. “They are also, according to CNBC, focusing on my meetings with Mr. Gates at Trump Tower — at which there were absolutely none,” he insisted.
“This whole thing is based on conjecture, speculation, supposition — but no facts,” Stone scoffed, insisting that his contacts with Gates during the campaign were “minimal and innocuous.”
The longtime Trump adviser quipped that he thought CNBC must have been “bull-Schiffed,” referring to the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calf.).
Stone also refuted Schiff’s claim that he knew about WikiLeaks’ Podesta emails before they were made public.
“That is categorically false,” Stone told Carlson. “It’s a shame that Congressman Schiff is allowed to hide behind his congressional immunity.” He said his much-scrutinized tweet about WikiLeaks referred to public information.
Stone went on to describe the legal headaches the “collusion delusion” was causing him. The Project for Democracy — which he called an “Obama-blessed front” — is suing him in the District of Columbia for allegedly colluding with the Russians and WikiLeaks to hack the election and the Democratic National Committee has filed a mirror lawsuit in the courts in New York. He also mentioned Chinese billionaire Miles Kwok, who is suing him in Miami, “which is a total Kwok of Schiff,” he grumbled.
“It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars just to move to dismiss these suits,” the strategist complained. He said that between all of the committees, lawsuits, and the special counsel’s office, he was looking at legal fees as high as $1 million.