Trump adviser Roger Stone says he won’t be ‘punching bag’ in Russia probe

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments YORK) — President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone denied allegations of collusion with Russia during the presidential election, before an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

In a 40-plus page statement posted by Wikileaks, Stone said he had no prior knowledge about the hacking of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email or the release of those emails by Wikileaks, despite tweeting about Podesta’s “time in the barrel” before the emails appeared online.

Stone criticized members of the committee — including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the panel’s top Democrat, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. — for making “provably false statements” about him and called on the committee to release the transcript of the interview.

“I will not let myself be a punching bag for people with ill intentions or political motives,” he said. “I will expose the truth in every forum and on every platform available to me.”

The panel, which is investigating Russian efforts to influence the presidential election and allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, has conducted most of its interviews behind closed doors and has not released any transcripts.

Stone also questioned the U.S. intelligence community’s review of Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential election and their assessment of Russia’s role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Podesta’s emails.

Stone briefly held a formal role on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He has known Trump for 40 years and had urged him to run for president for decades.

Arriving on Capitol Hill with his attorneys Tuesday morning, Stone told reporters he felt “excellent.”

Stone said he planned to tell the committee “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Stone is among several campaign operatives the House Intelligence Committee has sought to question. The panel has met with Michael Caputo, another Trump adviser close with Stone, and John Podesta.

The panel will also interview Boris Epshteyn later this week.

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