The attorneys representing President Trump in matters related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe “are giving him bad advice,” said Roger Stone, one of the president’s former campaign advisers.
“I don’t think the president is getting good legal advice,” Mr. Stone, a longtime Republican strategist who advised Mr. Trump’s campaign through August 2015, said on Monday. “I think he needs more aggressive legal advisers — and I think he needs to realize the deep-seated enmity for him from the political establishment.”
Mr. Stone made the remarks during an evening phone call with the New York Daily News in a discussion about the president’s firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the newspaper reported.
Mr. Flynn was let go in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with a Russian ambassador, according to the White House. He pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about those same discussions and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators probing the 2016 presidential race and any other matters arising from that inquiry.
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Mr. Trump’s personal Twitter account tweeted Saturday. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Mr. Trump terminated his FBI director, James B. Comey, three months after firing Mr. Flynn. Mr. Comey subsequently testified that Mr. Trump asked him on Feb. 14 to drop the FBI’s probe into his former national security adviser, and the president’s tweet Saturday seemed to suggest he knew Mr. Flynn had lied to federal investigators prior to allegedly asking Mr. Comey to go easy on him.
John Dowd, an attorney for Mr. Trump, said he’s taken responsibility for posting the “sloppy” tweet.
“That tweet was an error, in my opinion,” Mr. Stone told Daily News. “I now see that Mr. Dowd said the tweet came from him. That seems odd.”
“His lawyers are giving him bad advice,” Mr. Stone added.
Neither the White House nor Mr. Mueller’s office immediately returned messages seeking comment, Daily News reported.
Mr. Mueller’s office and four congressional committees are currently investigating claims concerning Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, including possible collusion between Russian operatives and Mr. Trump’s campaign and transition team.
Mr. Flynn lied to the FBI about discussing lessening sanctions against Russia with its ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition, according to the plea agreement he signed Friday.
The Washington Times reported in March that Mr. Stone engaged in private discussions last year with “Guccifer 2.0,” a Twitter user assessed by U.S. intelligence officials to be directly implicated in a Russian hacking campaign that targeted Mr. Trump’s former rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 race. Mr. Stone has denied wrongdoing and has testified before congressional investigators probing Russia’s role in the contest.
Mr. Stone, 65, worked for former President Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign prior to starting a lobbying firm in 1980 with partners Charlie Black and Paul Manafort. He’s currently a contributor for conspiracy theory website InfoWars and appears regularly in segments alongside its publisher, far-right media personality Alex Jones.
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