Right-wing political operative Roger Stone took some shots at Attorney General Jeff Sessions after President Donald Trump publicly complained about the top law enforcement official.
Trump groused he never would have chosen Sessions, the first senator to endorse his presidential campaign, to run the Justice Department if he’d known the Alabama Republican would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.
Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, offered a window into the president’s thinking by blaming the widening scandal on Sessions and his decision to recuse after his secret meetings with Russian officials were revealed.
“Everything that is happening was triggered by Sessions’s recusal,” Stone told the New York Times.
The political “dirty trickster” admits to communicating during the campaign with the “Guccifer 2.0” persona linked to DNC email hacks that U.S. intelligence officials believe were carried out by Russians at the order of President Vladimir Putin, and he’s been asked to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
According to Stone, who disputes Trump’s claims that the two longtime friends remain in contact, said the president blames Sessions’ recusal for triggering the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller — whose credibility the White House is trying to undermine.
“The president initially bonded with Sessions because he saw him as a tough guy,” Stone said. “Now he’s saying: ‘Where’s my tough guy? Why doesn’t he have my back?’”
Stone said he’s urged the attorney general to investigate Obama-era officials, and the self-described “libertarian and a libertine” blasted Sessions for targeting drug users instead.
“There’s a lack of aggressiveness with Sessions, unless it involves chasing people for smoking pot,” Stone said.
Stone recently formed the lobbying group United States Cannabis Coalition with activist John Morgan, who helped finance a legalization effort in Florida, and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.