Roger Stone: Watergate, Comey firing are 'apples and oranges'

Story highlights

  • "I think the President made the right decision," Stone said
  • "I'm just not going to characterize what have been private conversations," he added

(CNN)A Republican operative well known as a loyal ally to two US presidents separated by 40 years of history -- Donald Trump and Richard Nixon -- said comparisons between Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" are off-base.

"It is apples and oranges," Roger Stone told CNN's Chris Cuomo Thursday on "New Day."
"Watergate was in bloom for 13 months. Nixon himself was under investigation when he dismissed Archibald Cox," added Stone, who worked for Nixon and even has a tattoo of the 37th president's face on his back.
    Nixon and the attorney general's office were locked in a political standoff over his refusal to comply with orders to release recordings of White House conversations.
    Nixon then ordered the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. But Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than comply with the order. Cox was eventually fired by the US solicitor general.
    The investigation into the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia is "the scandal in search of evidence," said Stone, who reiterated his position that he wants to testify on the matter before Congress. "I see nothing that would hold up in a court of law over the collusion."
    Stone said he strongly supports Trump's decision to fire Comey.
    "I think the President made the right decision," he said. "Mr. Comey was unaccountable. He looked into certain crimes that he thought were important, but not other crimes."
    "The President and the country has to have an FBI director who they can trust," Stone added.
    According to a source with knowledge, Stone spoke with Trump after Comey testified before the Senate last week and suggested the President fire him. Comey had repeatedly said he could not answer questions regarding collusion of Trump campaign aides in the Russia investigation at the hearing.
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    Trump tweeted Wednesday that he hasn't spoken to Stone "in a long time," saying CNN's reporting on the matter was "false."
    But Stone told Cuomo that the two communicate "occasionally."
    "I think I said 'occasionally.' I don't speak to him every day," he said.
    "Why would he deny that he speaks with you on a regular/semi regular basis," Cuomo asked. "Why would he say he hasn't spoken to you in many months when you have said that's not true?"
    Stone said Trump said "a while."
    "I'm not sure how you defined that," Stone replied. "But beyond that, I'm just not going to characterize what have been private conversations."
    "I'm an inveterate memo writer," Stone added. "There are ways to communicate besides the telephone and Donald Trump is a reader."