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.
Watch the video, embedded below:
‘That sound you hear is Sondland being thrown under the bus’: Internet marvels at new GOP tactic
House Republicans appeared to throw Ambassador Gordon Sondland under the bus during the Monday hearing in the Judiciary Committee.
During his testimony, Sondland gave a first-hand account of President Donald Trump's attempts to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Sondland also gave his understanding of the motive by Trump and revealed statements from various Trump officials involved in the scandal who won't testify.
Monday, Sondland became the scapegoat, as several observed while watching the hearing. Republican lawyer Steve Castor told the committee that Sondland exaggerated his communications with the president.
GOP’s Matt Gaetz explodes during impeachment hearing: ‘We want Schiff in that chair!’
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida began shouting out of turn on Monday during impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee, forcing Chair Jerry Nadler to pound his gavel and demand silence.
Gaetz was apparently infuriated with Democratic witness and counsel Daniel Goldman, who was presenting the findings of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal. Goldman had raised the fact that Gordon Sondland, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union and a key witness in the probe, had donated $1 million to the 2017 inauguration before receiving his appointment. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the ranking member, castigated Goldman for bringing this fact up.
IG demolishes Trump campaign aide’s claim that he was set up by the FBI
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with foreign agents during the 2016 presidential campaign, has long claimed that he was set up by the FBI to deliver a corrupt pretext for investigating President Donald Trump.
However, the new report about the origins of the Russia probe released by Inspector General Michael Horowitz takes a sledgehammer to this claim, as it shows the foreign agent who met with Papadopoulos and talked about Russia having "dirt" on Hillary Clinton was not affiliated with the FBI.
In its report, the IG's office says that it "searched the FBI's database of Confidential Human Sources (CHS), and did not find any records indicating that [Maltese academic Joseph] Mifsud was an FBI CHS, or that Mifsud's discussions with Papadopoulos were part of an FBI operation."