In his first television interview since being pardoned by President Trump, longtime Republican consultant Roger Stone sounded off on being absolved and praised the president as the greatest since Abraham Lincoln.
"I have an enormous debt of gratitude to God Almighty for giving the president the strength and the courage to recognize that my prosecution was a completely politically-motivated witch hunt," Stone told "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Stone, 68, was sentenced to 40 months in prison in November 2019 after being convicted of seven felony counts in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia. Trump commuted Stone's sentence on July 10, days before he was scheduled to report to federal prison.
"My trial was a Soviet-style show trial in which the judge denied us any powerful line of defense, in which the judge, we now know, hid exculpatory evidence from us," Stone told host Tucker Carlson. "Because I knew on Election Day, when no one was watching, the Justice Department released the last remaining redacted sections of the Mueller report in which they admitted that they had no evidence whatsoever of my colluding with Russia, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, trafficking in emails ...
"They had no factual evidence that I had advance notice of the source or content of the WikiLeaks disclosures, those things that I was accused of lying to Congress [about] ... The whole thing has been an outrage, and my hat is off to the president, the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln, who had the courage to correct this injustice."
The Connecticut native went on to accuse federal prosecutors of wanting him "to bear false witness against the president, and I refused to do so."
"They must have mistaken me for [former Trump attorney] Michael Cohen," Stone remarked. "But they had the wrong guy and I refused to do this. Now the left invents a totally new canard, which is Stone traded his silence regarding misconduct by the president in return for commutation of his sentence and now a pardon. That is a lie. There is no corroboration or evidence to prove that. It is the typical rewriting of history by the left."
Stone served as an informal adviser to Trump's 2016 presidential bid, and was the director of the then-real estate developer's 2000 exploratory committee.
Stone also worked for decades in Washington, at one point co-leading the powerful consulting firm Black, Manafort & Stone, alongside Charlie Black and fellow Trump pardon recipient Paul Manafort.