President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out after his longtime confidant Roger Stone was arrested as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump’s tweet repeated his claim that the investigation is a “Witch Hunt” and appeared to make a reference to a conspiracy theory spread by former Fox News and CNN host Greta Van Susteren, who suggested without evidence that the “FBI obviously tipped off CNN,” which first reported Stone’s arrest.
Van Susteren issued a correction later, but not before right-wing websites like InfoWars and Drudge Report spread the claim.
Stone — who had repeatedly said that he expected to be indicted — has admitted to being in contact with Russian intelligence officers during Trump’s campaign, as well as with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. A seven-count indictment charged him with obstruction of an official proceeding, false statements and witness tampering.
The indictment alleges Stone spoke “to senior Trump Campaign officials” about WikiLeaks and “information it might have had that would be damaging” to the campaign of Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the summer before the election. Stone was “contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases” by WikiLeaks, the indictment adds.
A longtime Republican strategist known for his “dirty tricks,” Stone has been an informal adviser to Trump since the 1990s, when he was a lobbyist for Trump’s casinos.
The two have had an on-again-off-again relationship.
“Roger is a stone-cold loser,” Trump told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin in 2008. “He always tries taking credit for things he never did.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.