President Donald Trump and his longtime adviser Roger Stone have given contradictory accounts of whether they have recently talked. Both are under fire after Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey, who was heading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Russia’s potential collusion with the Trump campaign.
Stone has had a relationship with Trump for roughly 40 years and worked as a paid consultant to his campaign in 2015. He now contributes to Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet and produces commentaries through his website and radio show. He recently began marketing “opportunities” for advertisers based on his access to the president.
Politico and CNN have reported that Stone recently encouraged Trump to fire Comey. Media Matters documented that Stone had repeatedly attacked Comey and urged Trump to fire him in media appearances and on his Twitter account.
Trump tweeted today that CNN was wrong because he has “not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.”
The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false - Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
But Stone claimed in a May 5 appearance on SiriusXM Patriot’s The David Webb Show that he talked to Trump “less than a week ago” and after media appearances in March and April:
GUEST CO-HOST: When was the last time you talked to him?
ROGER STONE: Been a little while now. I would say -- I don’t want to characterize it, but less than a week ago.
GUEST CO-HOST: Good talk?
STONE: From time to time. He’s easier to find on the weekends. He’s got more time on his hands. But I’m happy to say after I was on with George Stephanopoulos, he called. After I was on with Chuck Todd, he called. After the Netflix document trailer was released, he called.
GUEST CO-HOST: What’d he say?
STONE: Well, I mean, he was certainly pleased with those appearances because, of course, I was happy to defend Donald Trump.
During an interview that aired on the March 28 edition of WNYC’s The Takeaway, Stone said: “I have not spoken to the president on the phone recently but I have heard from the president recently.” Stone also told the Daily Mail in a March 21 interview that “they had been in contact since the inauguration.”
In late April, Stone told Jamie Weinstein that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones talks to the president “from time to time.” When Weinstein responded by pointing out that Stone characterizes his communications with Trump in a similar way, Stone said, “Right. And we’re smart enough not to characterize beyond that.”
UPDATE: In an interview with WSVN (Miami, FL’s Fox affiliate) reporter Brian Entin, Stone said that Trump “certainly knows my views on Comey” but denied influencing his decision. He also refused to deny that he’s spoken to the president recently.