President Donald Trump has been disappointed in right-wing media for not giving him more credit for pardoning longtime advisor Roger Stone.
“A senior administration official said there were serious divisions among Trump’s aides and allies over Stone’s case, with some cautioning that keeping him out of prison could be politically risky. Among those opposed was Attorney General William P. Barr, who called the prosecution ‘righteous’ in an interview Wednesday with ABC News, the official said, adding that those pushing Trump to show loyalty to Stone included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is close to the president,” The Washington Post reported Saturday.
“By Saturday, Trump had grown frustrated that he was not getting more credit from conservative media and others for the Stone announcement, the official said. A second administration official said Trump had been warned that the commutation could depress his lagging poll numbers, but he wanted to make a statement against the Russia investigation and help Stone, and he personally worked to craft the messaging to defend the commutation,” the newspaper reported.
Trump apparently thought he would receive more credit if he bowed to the pressure to commute Stone’s prison sentence.
“There was intense and lingering interest in Trump’s orbit, personally and politically, to ‘make things right for Roger,’ according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. A second Trump aide added that Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson’s on-air urging of the president to help Stone was even more significant,” the newspaper reported.
Not only was Trump not receiving as much support as he anticipated, two GOP senators broke with him.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey: "While I understand the frustration with the badly flawed Russia-collusion investigation, in my view, commuting Roger Stone's sentence is a mistake. He was duly convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) July 11, 2020
Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020
Read the full report.