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    Roger Stone leaves court in New York, Thursday, March 30, 2017.

    Trump Distances Himself From Roger Stone, Says He Defends Himself ‘Very Well’

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    US President Donald Trump once again called the ongoing investigation a politically-motivated “witch hunt,” adding that most of the charges have nothing to do with him, personally.

    Speaking in an interview for CBS on Super Bowl Sunday, Trump commented on recent charges brought against former associate Roger Stone, whom Fox News calls a "longtime adviser and confidant" of the president.

    According to Trump, Stone played no significant part in the 2016 election campaign and was only present for a short period.

    "Roger Stone didn't work on the campaign, except way, way at the beginning long before we're talking about," Trump stated, adding, "Roger is somebody that I've always liked… Roger's a character, but Roger was not — I don't know if you know this or not — Roger wasn't on my campaign, except way at the beginning."

    Stone was arrested January 25 on federal charges put forward by current US special counsel Robert Mueller. The charges include seven criminal counts of witness tampering, lying to Congress, and the obstruction of justice, among others.

    The indictment alleges that Stone misled lawmakers about his contacts with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the website itself. Stone reportedly denied all allegations last week, claiming that the charges against him are politically motivated.

    US intelligence officials suggest that data obtained from Wikileaks was stolen during alleged Russian cyber-attacks on Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    "I am not accused of Russian collusion, I am not accused of collaboration with WikiLeaks, I am not accused of conspiracy," Stone said last week, cited by Marketwatch.com.

    "There is no evidence or accusation that I knew in advance about the source or the content of the WikiLeaks material," the former Trump ally noted.

    Rumors have been circulating that Trump could give Stone a presidential pardon in the event of the latter's conviction, but the president has denied considering the move, adding that Stone "looks like he's defending himself very well" in court.

    Trump reiterated that there was "no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing," during the 2016 presidential campaign, adding that most of the charges in the investigation have nothing to do with him.

    "Of the 34 people, many of them were bloggers from Moscow or they were people that had nothing to do with me, had nothing to do with what they're talking about or there were people that got caught telling a fib or telling a lie," the president avowed.

    "I think it's a terrible thing that's happened to this country because this investigation is a witch hunt," Trump remarked, adding that the ongoing investigation "doesn't implicate me in any way but I think it's a disgrace."

    Roger Stone is an American political consultant, author, lobbyist and strategist who has worked on the campaigns of a number of Republican politicians, including US Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican House Member Jack Kemp, former Senate Republican Majority Leader Bob Dole and, most recently, Trump.

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    Tags:
    interview, Mueller Investigation, Roger Stone, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump, United States
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