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"As the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continues. The start of the trial of his longtime associate is likely to provide him with more discomfort comfort laundry stone flamboyant and controversial political strategist own for using aggressive tactics discredit losing candidates. He's worked As a campaign advisor to a number of Republican presidents including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan stone formed a relationship with the current president for decades ago. He I advised Mr trump to run for the White House in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight but all the polls are showing that I win or do very well in this election. I'm not happy with what's happening. In the country that friendship mentorship torsion even was the focus of 2017. Netflix documentary called. Get Me Roger Stone. Those who say I have no soul. Those who have no principles are losers serve. Those are bitter losers. Mr Jones. EXACT ROLE IN MR TRUMP's 2016 campaign has long been a source of speculation particular over his contact with wikileaks the release of material about presidential contender. Hillary Clinton in January this year. Mr Stone was indicted by Robert Mueller. The special counsel on seven counts they include obstructing an official proceeding witness tampering and making false statements to Congress about his communication with wikileaks and the trump campaign lead. Not Guilty to these charges. I will defeat them at CNN. HAD BEEN SO SURE MR stones indictment was coming to the network had a camera team outside his the house when the FBI turned up for dramatic early morning rest. This is what the first sounds that. Roger Stone woke up to this morning was the FBI pounding on his his door and shouting John Faz. Men Are. Washington correspondent had a similar hunched to C. N. N.'s. But he made his move a month earlier. I reached out to Roger Stone because I had sensed that his indictment was possibly coming and I wanted to hear from him before he went undercover. As it works I wrote him an email. I said I would be down in Fort Lauderdale one weekend soon. If he's free for lunch take him out and And he accepted house lunch. The lunch was a blast. He is in entertaining storyteller. He's charming he's funny. He has a ton of stories. It was a two hour lunch. That felt very fast. Okay before we get into the lunchtime conversation Let's go through with. The charges are against him. He is facing seven charges. Five of them. Uh are making false statements to congressional investigators. One of them is obstructing government proceeding and one of them is witness tampering I believe he tried to get randy. Credit Co who is a longtime friend of his New York radio show host and a sort of as outrageous on the left is as stone is on the right. He tried to induce credit co into not testifying and I think he you threatened to kidnap Randy credit goes dog. Roger Stone's pled not guilty to all of those charges. How how is the dog? I think the dog's fine critical appeared. He did testify. He showed up with his dog. He was photographed with the dog outside the Capitol. It's a I think the dog is a little white dog named Bianca. Last I heard Bianca was fine. Okay okay all these charges that Mr Stone faces have to do with Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference. Is that right yes. Roger Stone presented himself to the trump campaign campaign as a conduit to wikileaks. He said he was in touch with. Julian assange now after the investigation started. He said that in fact he wasn't that was all bluff and posture turn hype and that all he had been doing monitoring wikileaks as twitter. Feed Robert Muller's indictment says that that's not true in that he was actually in touch through a cut out with wikileaks. And what are the stakes. Here what would happen to Mr Stone if he were found guilty These are serious charges. He faces serious prison time if he goes down for these sixty seven years old and that's Facing years in prison at that age is no picnic. You say he was a charming guy with lots of stories. I mean the public persona of Roger Stone is. He's a kind of Kenny often. Cutting political operative to did you get a sense from him about how he operates when you spoke to him. Well he is a political operative the stories that I liked most. He got gotTa start in Connecticut Politics. He's from Norwalk Connecticut. which is which is down along the coast and he said for his his first campaign for Connecticut? State Senator Who on the train platform is a commuter town into New York? Norwalk is and he would be there in the morning with fliers for his candidate and fresh coffee and then he would be either in the evening with fliers for his candidate and freshly mixed Martinis. It was such a a charming portrayal of a bygone world of political campaigning. But that's where he got a start but I mean this this kind of charming and gracious stuff is not really what he's been known for in in more recent decades. No No. He's a dirty trickster. And he's the first one to admit admit that he's a dirty trickster I think he hone those skills working for Nixon's campaign which is famous for using those sorts of tricks. That's his specialty. That's the sort of thing he does. There's and he's he's really unabashed about it so his his ties then to to president trump. I mean how far back do they go so he is known. Donald Trump for forty years. Their connection goes back to Ronald. Ronald Reagan's nineteen eighty campaign in New York Stone arranged a visit to New Hampshire by Donald Trump in nineteen eighty eight. When he was initially flirting with running for president he was connected with the campaigns? In in in ninety six and two thousand I think it was when when trump sought the reform party nomination and his connection to the to the two thousand sixteen campaign pain starts quite early on to so he has no trump for for a very long time but on the other hand the investigation the Muller reports when it's somewhat by now in in the rear view mirror I mean. How much do you think Mr Trump and his team will be will be watching this trial? How much do you think could change the story as we now know it reopened that chapter? I mean I think they would. They are going to be watching can get very very closely. It's true that the report is done but there was a lot of of stone activity in the Muller report that was redacted what I assume is Roger Stone activity that was redacted and it may well come out this trial. I think there are a couple of things that that the trump campaign will be worried about number one. The trials should show whether Roger Stone was in fact talking to wikileaks and whether when he said he wasn't that was all bluff and posture that that was that was in fact the bluff and number two is whether whether Donald Trump lied Robert Muller. You'll remember that trump did not sit down for a verbal interview with Robert Me answered written questions and answer to one of those questions actions. He said that he didn't recall discussing wikileaks with Roger Stone. You may get some testimony from Steve Bannon and Rick Gates about that and so if I were at trump trump camp I would be watching this trial very nervously. And what about Mr Stone himself when you met him. What did he say about the possibility that he would get caught up in Mr Melissa investigation? Well all I ask them exactly that question at lunch and he said it's a it's a line that I still remember. He said I don't worry. I make other people worry whether he would repeat that line today as his trial looms. I don't know but it was a it was a wonderful bit of bluster at the time About the substance of the charges. He had a very. I want to get this quote. Exactly right from transcript. What he said is there is no evidence or proof and no one can honestly say that I had advanced notice of the source or the content? The exact release date of the wiki leaks material either stolen or I should say allegedly stolen and allegedly hacked to my mind that is a very lawyerly. Non Denial Denial He also said during our lunch that you know his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee was basically truthful and he may have said some things that were wrong but they were immaterial and inconsequential in the indictment against him alleges. That's not not the case that his false statement for both consequential immaterial well regardless of what happens with this trial and and presuming. Mr Stone is available to take lunch dates. Would you take with them in a heartbeat anytime. Why is that because he has? He has good stories and he has a central role in this in this drama. That's unfolding right now. He has insight he has history talk about. He's an interesting conversationalist John. Thank you very much for joining us. My pleasure."