Roger Stone is celebrating James Comey's firing — and won't deny giving Trump the idea

What may sound like denials at first are, upon closer inspection, non-denial denials

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 11, 2017 6:07PM (EDT)

Roger Stone, a former political hatchet man for President Richard Nixon who currently gives advice to (and equivocates for) President Donald Trump, has been offering very carefully worded responses to questions about whether he advised Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey. While Stone refuses to disclose the exact details of what he and Trump have discussed, he has taken to CNN and Twitter to rebut reports that he urged Trump to fire Comey — while simultaneously making it clear that, yes, he and the president still remain in conversation with one another.

It is noteworthy that, while Stone is adamant that he hasn't been the source of media reports claiming that he talked to Trump about firing Comey, he has not gone as far as to say that he actually didn't give Trump that advice.

When confronted about the subject by Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" on Thursday morning, Stone insisted that "I have always taken the position that conversations between the president and I, in the terms of the scope and the content and the frequency, would remain private." Pressed by Lauer, Stone would not deny recommending Comey's firing to the president. He also admitted that he talked to Trump "fairly recently, but not yesterday." When asked how he would respond to a White House official saying it had been months, Stone replied "that would be incorrect."

Stone has not been shy on Twitter about his views on Comey's firing, either. He isn't just supportive of it, he's overtly gloating about it.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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