Wiretapping at Trump Tower: ‘A scandal bigger than Watergate’ – Roger Stone
This week, President Trump demanded a probe into unsubstantiated allegations he made that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Roger Stone sat down with Oksana Boyko to talk about this latest bit of US political drama, as well as many other compelling issues.
(Watch the full interview with the former Trump adviser on Worlds Apart this Thursday).
On charges of Russia interfering in US elections
“I think it’s important to note that the intelligence services here have yet to produce any evidence or proof whatsoever of Russian meddling in the American election. What we have are “allegations;” what we have are “projections” and “assessments.” Let me review for you the assessments of the Central Intelligence Agency. They said there was no torture in American prisons during the Iraq War. That was a lie. They denied that there were renditions by foreign nationals by the US government during the Iraq War. That was a lie. They claimed that the attack on our mission in Benghazi was caused by a video that was shown one time in Turkey. That was a lie.
Let’s be candid what (claims of Russian meddling in US elections) is about. Hillary Clinton had promised the Pentagon and the people in the Central Intelligence Agency the expansion of the proxy war in Syria. They were wringing their hands in glee about war. War would be very good for a number of Hillary’s large contributors and for the military industrial complex. Along comes Donald Trump. He prefers negotiation over war. He prefers détente over war.
Donald Trump believes that if Brezhnev and Nixon can reach agreement over strategic arms limitation, then perhaps President Putin and President Trump can reach agreement and have peace in the Middle East. That is the real issue here, that is what they resent so deeply.
I think what makes (claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election) durable is that the mainstream media in this country keeps repeating it ad nauseam despite a stunning lack of evidence. It is a national drumbeat without foundation.
On General Mike Flynn's resignation
"As you probably know, I am a hardliner. Several things are true. First of all, General Flynn did not violate the law, his contacts with the Russian ambassador were perfectly proper, legal and appropriate and within the scope of his job. He was attempting to arrange a telephone conversation between President Putin and President Trump. That’s the beginning of a dialogue. We need to give peace a chance. And he did not discuss sanctions, which would have been improper… President Trump should not have fired General Flynn. I think he rushed to judgment and it was unfortunate. Secondarily, for Senator Sessions, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to have a conversation with the Russian ambassador is proper, legal and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s no evidence that anything inappropriate was discussed… I think it’s time for the Trump administration to push back and they began doing so this weekend."
On charges that the Obama administration tapped Trump Towers
"He believes, and I believe, that he was under surveillance by the federal government and the intelligence agencies while he was the Republican nominee for president. This is a scandal bigger than Watergate. This is the most outrageous breach of law and of morality in American public history. Richard Nixon did not know about the Watergate break-in in advance, but he bore ultimate responsibility. If you look at the statement by (former) President Obama this weekend, he said he didn’t approve eavesdropping on candidate Trump. Notice he didn’t say it didn’t happen, only that he didn’t approve it. Of course, if the Justice Department did ask the FISA Court for permission to conduct surveillance on candidate Trump in June and again in October, it is unlikely they did so without the permission and knowledge of the President. So the question becomes: What did Obama know and when did he know it? As I said, this is a scandal far greater than Watergate, and it may take some time in which the former President and his Secretary of Defense and his CIA Director and his FBI Director are dragged before a grand jury and questioned under oath about what they knew. If I were President Trump, I would fire the FBI Director and within hours have him in front of a grand jury to find out what he knows. This is potentially the greatest scandal in American history."
On the 'New McCarthyism' in America
"In this country, if you are not in favor of war over Syria, then you must be a traitor; you must be in the service of Russian intelligence. It’s insulting, it’s outrageous, it’s false and suddenly the shoe is on the other foot. I come from a long anti-communist tradition. I have been active in the Republican Party as an acolyte of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, and to say because you are not in favor of war with Russia tomorrow you must be a traitor, this is the worst form of McCarthyism in the 40 years that I have been in American politics."
On the direction of US politics and mainstream media
"Well, it has changed in one very positive way. The mainstream media in this country – due to the technological advances of the internet – have lost their monopoly on the dissemination of political information. When I began in politics in the 60s and 70s there were only three television networks, there was no cable, and if they said something happened it happened, and if they said something didn’t happen, it didn’t happen. Now, with a majority of Americans getting their news from their handheld computer device and no longer from a television set, there’s a greater diversity of information available to the average voter. And therefore, if you don’t buy the crap being put out by CNN, you can go to Breitbart News, or Infowars.com, or the Daily Caller or any number of other alternative sources to get better investigative journalism and a different point of view. So in a way I think politics in this nation has changed for the better. There is greater polarization, but that’s fine. From my point of view, whether it is Bush or Clinton, or Bush or Obama, both parties in this country - until the advent and rise of Donald Trump - were identical. What they got us was endless war, erosion of our civil liberties, massive debt and spending, an immigration policy that left our country unsafe, our neighborhoods dangerous, and trade policies that have sucked the jobs out of America. In the meantime, we had a foreign policy that was incoherent. It appears to me, at least in the Middle East, that the goal of our foreign policy was to strengthen and embolden our enemies while undercutting our allies. It is, thanks to Donald Trump, a new day in America."
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.