Jeffrey Lord, the former Reagan White House official and booster to Pres. Donald Trump said on Sunday that Watergate-era “dirty tricks” Republican operative Roger Stone Jr. is “the ultimate patriot” in spite of mounting evidence that Stone and others in Trump’s orbit conspired with the Russian government to throw the 2016 election to Trump.
On CNN, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman called Stone a “wannabe who wears a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back.”
“Why is Roger Stone talking to Guccifer in the first place?” Zimmerman said. “What is the rationale?”
CNN anchor Fredericka Whitfield asked Lord for his assessment of Stone’s claim that all of the intelligence we have seen so far is wrong about the Trump team’s contacts with Russia.
“The thing is, I’ve known Roger Stone for decades,” Lord said, “and I know he’s controversial, but I can tell you one thing Roger is not — he’s not treasonous. That’s for sure. He is the ultimate patriot. He can agree with him or disagree with him, but committing treason is something Roger Stone would never do.”
Stone has admitted to having contact with hacker Guccifer2.0, who broke into the Democratic National Committee’s email servers on behalf of Russian intelligence, but he denies working directly with the Russian government.
He and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are both expected to testify to the House Intelligence Committee about their contacts with Russia during the 2016 election, although some commentators like CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem say it won’t matter because Stone and Manafort will not be under oath.
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