Roger Stone, the longtime confidant and adviser of President Donald Trump, has emphatically denied reports he urged the commander in chief to fire FBI director James Comey.
"I am not the source of either the Politico or the CNN stories, although reporters at those outlets both told me they had multiple sources," the veteran Republican consultant said Wednesday in an interview with Newsmax TV.
"No one tells Donald Trump what to do, no one is creating ideas, his thoughts, his actions. He is his own man, and in this case he's taken strong action, and I strongly support it."
On Tuesday, Trump, saying he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, axed Comey, who had been investigating whether there was collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign to tip the 2016 presidential race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"Mr. Comey had become a selective prosecutor, as it were, investigating the things that he wants to investigate, ignoring egregious crimes by the Clintons," Stone told Newsmax host Steve Malzberg.
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"He was becoming a little J. Edgar Hoover, a power unto himself, not responsive to the executive, not responsive to the Congress. I really think we got to the point where the president couldn't trust him and therefore he fired him."
Stone, who worked in the administration of Richard Nixon and was a Ronald Reagan campaigner, said Comey's cracks began to show when he testified last Wednesday before the Judiciary Committee on the status of an investigation into Russian meddling.
Comey said it made him feel "mildly nauseous" to think he had an impact on the election but had no choice but to announce just days before the vote the agency had reopened a probe into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's emails.
"Mr. Comey looked to me like he was out of control," Stone said. "No one who's watched the antics of Mr. Comey in the whole phony Russian collusion issue could be comfortable with him as FBI director.
"Let me say yet again, Sen. [Mark] Warner, Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein, Sen. [Al] Franken, Congressman [Adam] Schiff, Congressman [Jackie] Speier, Congressman [Jim] Himes, and Congressman Swallow, they have nothing, zero, no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
"They have supposition, they have conjecture, they have projection, but what they don't have is evidence that would stand up in a court of law. And to the extent that Mr. Comey continued or allowed them to continue this charade, it is just as well that we're going to get a new FBI director."
Stone called for "a non-politicized law enforcement agency, the FBI, to make a determination" on whether the Russians colluded with Trump staffers.
He also said he is ready to testify himself.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee contacted me with a request for documents in some broad, specific categories," Stone said. "We will fully comply with their request. Yesterday, the House sent a similar request, we will also comply. I think I've made it very clear, I'm not afraid to testify, not in the slightest.
"I want to testify. I don't require a subpoena, I don't require immunity, but I do want my testimony to be in public. I believe these Democrats — Feinstein, Warner, Franken, Schiff, who's completely full of Schiff — these guys have defamed me, in public.
"And I should have the chance to respond in public, defend myself in public. It's the American way."
Stone said comparisons of Trump's firing of Comey to Nixon's dismissal of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal that eventually forced Nixon to resign is like mixing "apples and oranges."
"It's not even close. Watergate had been at full throttle for 18 months when Nixon fired Archibald Cox. Cox was specifically investigating Nixon. Even Comey has admitted there's no evidence of wrongdoing by the president pertaining to the Russians," Stone told Malzberg.
"So, the idea that the president was firing Comey to head off an investigation into Russian collusion as alleged in the headline in today's New York Times, I think that's a false narrative.
"The president dispatched Mr. Comey because he no longer had confidence in him, because Mr. Comey was becoming a power unto himself with an agenda that was clearly his. . . . He was deciding what cases he would talk about and what cases he wouldn't talk about."
Asked about who should replace Comey, Stone suggested former district attorney and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, star of "Justice with Judge Jeanine."
"[She's] a woman of enormous legal savvy, a hard-nosed, by-the-book law enforcement person . . . I cannot tell you whether she is under consideration. You asked me who I would like to see," he said.
Stone — who runs the political website StoneZone.com — is author of "The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution," published by Skyhorse.
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