Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone denied doing anything wrong, calling the indictment against him "thin as piss on a rock" during an interview on ABC's "This Week."
"This was an expensive show of force to try to depict me as public enemy number one, the OG to attempt to poison the jury pool," Stone said before forcefully denying having any contacts with WikiLeaks.
STONE: Well, I must tell you, George. I think the way I was treated on Thursday is extraordinary. I think the American people need to hear about it.
I'm 66 years old. I don't own a firearm. I have no prior criminal record. My passport has expired. The special counsel's office is well aware of the fact that I'm represented. The idea that a 29-member SWAT team in full tactical gear with assault weapons would surround my house, 17 vehicles in my front yard, including two armored vehicles, a helicopter overhead, amphibious vehicles in the back where my house backs onto a canal and I would open the door looking down the barrel of assault weapons, that I would be frog marched out front barefooted and handcuffed when they simply could have...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Roger, let me just -- but as you know it's pretty standard for that
to happen. They work in...
STONE: No, it's not, not standard at all.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s what our Justice Department people say, they says they were concerned you were a flight risk, they were concerned you might tamper with evidence, they were concerned you might destroy evidence, so they did that. And even you, by your own testimony, by your own admission said that the FBI agents were courteous. So let's get on --
STONE: No, no, let me address that if I may. First of all, I was released on a surety bond on my own signature, which is evidence that I was not a flight risk. And secondarily, I’ve been under investigation for two years. I have destroyed nothing. But if I were going to destroy evidence, wouldn’t I have done it a long time ago? They could have simply have called my lawyers and I would have turned myself in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s a question I was going to --
STONE: This was an expensive show of force to try to depict me as public enemy number one, the OG to attempt to poison the jury pool.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s -- let’s get --
STONE: It’s -- these are Gestapo tactics.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get right to what may be the most explosive paragraph in the indictment, right there on page four. Mueller and his team write, after the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC e-mails by organization one -- that's Wikileaks -- a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information organization one had regarding the Clinton campaign. Stone thereafter told the Trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by organization one. Stone also corresponded with associates about contacting organization one in order to obtain additional e-mails damaging to the Clinton campaign.
You said you believe that that senior official was Rick Gates, the deputy campaign chair?
STONE: Yes, who I believe is seeking a reduction in his sentence. Later on there’s a reference to an exchange between Steve Bannon in which he asks me about a public event, Julian Assange's press event on October 7 and I respond with two matters that have already been published by Politico and The Guardian, completely public information. One, that there are security concerns by Assange in the embassy in Ecuador and secondarily, as Politico reported, that there would be weekly dumps of information every week for ten weeks with all U.S.-related information -- election related information released in the weeks before the election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So Rick Gates did --
STONE: None of that proprietary or secret.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So Rick Gates, though, did contact you about getting information?
STONE: This is -- that is -- that speculation on my part. In all honesty, I have no e-mails --
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you would know if you spoke with him.
STONE: -- I have no e-mails, I have no text message that reflects -- I never spoke about this matter with Rick Gates. But I’m -- I’m mindful of the special counsel's ability to induce people to say things that are not true, particularly people who are seeking a reduction in their sentence or people who have an ax to grind. I urged to fire Steve Bannon. That piece which I wrote for the Daily Caller showed up on Drudge and therefore it had a major impact. I suspect that I’m not his favorite person. But notice I am not charged with conspiracy or with having --
STEPHANOPOULOS: I said --
STONE: -- advanced knowledge of the --
STEPHANOPOULOS: I said that at the top.
STONE: -- content or the -- or substance of the Wikileaks disclosure.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you know who directed Rick Gates to contact you?
STONE: I don't know that anybody did. I guess we'll find out at trial. But to have -- to have Wolf Blitzer on CNN or Preet Bharara, a man accused of a federal judge of willfully leaking a grand jury testimony to the media, speculate that that was Donald Trump. That is baseless, irresponsible speculation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let me --
STONE: I never discussed this matter with -- with candidate Trump or President Trump, as I told you previously --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, you said that to me --
STONE: -- George. And that remains the case.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, you said that to me in the past, you never discussed Wikileaks or Julian Assange with President Trump, but have you ever had any conversations with the president during the campaign or since the campaign about Russia or the Mueller investigation?
STONE: None whatsoever.
STONE: Zero. Zero.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, the president seemed to be distancing himself from you in a tweet last night. He wrote, Roger Stone didn't even work for me anywhere near the election. Does that concern you?
STONE: No, not really. I mean, when Sarah Sanders says this has nothing to do with the president, she is correct. I never discussed these matters with the president and everything that I did regarding trying to get as much public attention to the Wikileaks disclosures among voters, among the media is -- is constitutionally protected free speech. That's what I engaged in. It's called politics and they haven’t criminalized it, at least not yet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, it’s -- you say it's constitutionally protected free speech, but we now know from U.S. intelligence and Robert Mueller that Russia was behind that hack of the DNC e-mails --
STONE: No, we -- no, we have -- we have an allegation that is yet unproved in any U.S. court of law. It is an allegation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but we have --
STONE: These are the same people -- the same people who said --
STEPHANOPOULOS: The unanimous recommendation -- excuse me, the unanimous conclusion of -- of -- of U.S. intelligence agencies. So given that, do you regret the role you played --
STONE: The intelligence agencies are politicized, as we know. They also told us Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't regret your role in disseminating those e-mails.
STONE: I didn't disseminate e-mails. That would be a mischaracterization of what I did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Cheering them on?
STONE: All I did was publicize the fact -- I didn’t -- I think that they were devastating and the entire question of where they came from and how they were published is meant to distract from the content of those e-mails which demonstrated the corruption and the dirty tricks of the Clinton campaign.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well most – I mean, you know, the U.S. intelligence agencies actually completely disagree. They say what was important here is that Russia was interfering in our election, and then by helping that cause, aren’t you aiding and imbedding an adversary of the United States?
STONE: First of all, I challenge that characterization, it is unproven, it is acclaim. I tried to do the same thing that – that Daniel Ellsberg did, for which the New York Times and the Washington Post called him a hero, although I never received any stolen or hacked material and handed it to anyone.
All I did was take publicly available information and try to hype it to get it as much attention as possible, because I had a tip, the information was politically significant and that it would come in October.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On Friday you were arrested, but they – Mueller’s team also in the FBI executed search warrants of your home in Florida and up in New York City as well. So you have any idea what they were after and are you worried about what they will find?
STONE: No, not in the slightest. I am concerned that hey took a number of privilege communications between my and my – me and my attorneys. But in all honestly, I have been under surveillance for two years, my e-mail, my text messages, my phone calls have been fully reviewed, we know that because they’ve asked people who are associated with me about specific items before the grand jury.
The New York Times reported on January 20th, 2017 that I was among three Trump aids under surveillance in 2016. We hope to learn more about that in discovery. The Times will not retract that story, they still stand by it, I believe it to be true.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you –
STONE: So there is nothing to find. I do have a million e-mails, they have been reported, many of them taken out of context in this indictment, but there is nothing to find. Again, I think it is – it is designed to intimidate me or perhaps seek personal information that could be used to embarrass me, but has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, Russia, the 2016 campaign or anything else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And just to be clear, have you destroyed or discarded any communications devices, wiped any hard drives clean since the campaign?
STONE: Categorically not, my lawyers have been insistent on this, we very early had a request from both the Senate and the House, we have destroyed nothing whatsoever.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you won’t bare false witness against President Trump, are you prepared to tell the truth about your dealings with him to the Special Counsel, the truth about your dealings with the campaign, any chance you’ll cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller if he asks?
STONE: You know, that’s a question I would have to – I have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion. If there’s wrongdoing by other people in the campaign that I know about, which I know of none, but if there is I would certainly testify honestly.
I’d also testify honestly about any other matter, including any communications with the president. It’s true that we spoke on the phone, but those communications are political in nature, they’re benign, and there is – there is certainly no conspiracy with Russia.
The president’s right, there is no Russia collusion. I –
STEPHANOPOULOS: And he’s never suggested to you in any way, shape or form that he might offer you a pardon?
STONE: Absolutely, positively not. I have never discussed a pardon. The only person that I advocated a pardon for, as we discussed previously, is a posthumous pardon for Marcus Garvey.
And I have written the president as to why I think that should be done.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Prosecutors have looked at this case saying you might need a pardon because they say it’s a slam dunk case, including Chris Christie who’s coming up on the program later.
You know, you denied having any documents or text messages discussing WikiLeaks or Assange, but the prosecutors in the indictment lay out several e-mails, dozens of text messages.
STONE: You know, you’re right, I did forget on some occasions that I had text messages and e-mails that are entirely exculpatory and prove that everything I said before the House Intelligence Committee was true.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me – let me stop you right there, you say you – you say you forgot, on the day you testified you didn’t have nay exchanges with the brand – with Mr. Credico, you had 30 exchanges, 30 text exchanges with Randy Credico on the day you said you didn’t remember it.
STONE: Mr. Credico, a man who threatened to put a bullet in the head of one of Mueller’s witnesses before the grand jury but it not charged with witness tampering or intimidation, a man who lied to the grand jury about being my course regarding the significance of the WikiLeaks disclosures, a man who threatened me in writing to have a woman falsely accuse me of sexual assault.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but the text messages have nothing to do with anything else having to do with him, the text messages are the text messages, they’re documents.
STONE: I will prove in court that any failure of memory on my part was without intent an would be in material (ph). I am human, but – and I did make some errors, but they’re errors that would inconsequential within the scope of this investigation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re also accused of tampering with Mr. Credico. I want to show some of the exchanges you had with him on multiple occasions, this is from the indictment, on multiple occasions, including on or about December 1st, 2017, Stone told person two Credico that person two should do a Frank Pentageli for HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting Stone’s testimony.
Of course Frank Pentageli, a character in the film "The Godfather Part II" which both Stone and Credico had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims to not to know critical information that he does in fact know.
So you were telling him not to tell the truth.
STONE: No not at all, if you saw the actual exchange. First of all, Mr. Credico is an impressionist. He does Humphrey Bogart. He does Jack Nicholson. He does Richard Nixon. He does Bill Clinton. The exchange we talked about is Roger Stone this, Roger Stone that. Roger Stone was in the olive oil business with my father but that was a long time ago. It -- it is -- it is -- has to be seen in context. It is a humorous exchange.
So they’re taking things out of context, present them in a light that it mischaracterized their significance. I never told Mr. Credico to lie. I did -- at one point when he said my liberal friends will be very upset, my progressive friends will be upset if they believe I was helping you because they would think I was helping Trump -- it was only in that context that the Fifth Amendment protections were discussed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Final question. You’re in good shape but you’re not a young man, 66-years-old. Are you prepared to spend the last, best years of your life in jail?
STONE: In view of the fact that I expect to be acquitted and vindicated, and that my attorneys -- including Bruce Rogow, one of the very best attorneys in the country, Grant Smith, Rob Buschel and Tara Campion -- believe that this indictment is indictment is thin as piss on a rock, so I’m prepared to fight for my life. I have to go to the public at stonedefensefund.com to ask for their support.