Longtime GOP political operative Roger Stone — indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for obstruction, witness tampering, and lying — on Sunday compared his “hype” about stolen Democratic emails to Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Stone said his efforts were no different than those hailed as heroic in 1971.
“I tried to do the same thing that Daniel Ellsberg did in which The Washington Post called him a hero,” he said. “I haven't received any stolen or hacked material. I took public information and tried to hype it to get as much attention as possible because of a tip the information was politically significant and it would come in October .”
Ellsberg, a former military analyst, released Department of Defense papers about decisions involving the war in Vietnam in 1971 that solidified opposition to it.
Stone also dismissed allegations he urged anyone to lie to the Mueller grand jury, saying he was just joking around when he used a reference to the movie “The Godfather” as he was talking, reportedly to radio personality Randy Credico.
“It has to be seen in context. It is a humorous exchange,” he said. “They are taking things out of context to present them in a light that it mischaracterized their significance. I never told him to lie. I did at one point when he said, ‘my liberal friends will be very upset. My progressive friends would be upset if they think I was helping you.’ It was in that context the fifth amendment was discussed.”
And he also said his lack of memory about some text messages he sent during the 2016 campaign were “inconsequential.”
“I will prove in court that any failure of memory on my part was without intent…I did make some errors, but they are errors that would be inconsequential in this investigation.”
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