WASHINGTON — In his first public response to Roger Stone’s arrest, President Donald Trump used a familiar refrain, claiming it was a sign of the “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country.”
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
Stone was arrested at his Ft. Lauderdale home Friday in a pre-dawn FBI raid.
CNN was on-site, but reporter David Shortell said he went to Stone’s house after observing “unusual grand jury activity” and was not tipped off, as the president alleged.
CNN’s @davidgshortell was on the ground when Roger Stone was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this morning. He says he was monitoring the situation because of “unusual grand jury activity in Washington D.C. yesterday.” https://t.co/Ljjyb8zTVN pic.twitter.com/O5rSFqbOcZ
— New Day (@NewDay) January 25, 2019
A grand jury in Washington, D.C. charged Stone with obstruction of proceedings, witness tampering and five counts of making false statements before Congress. Stone is a longtime friend of Trump and served as an informal political adviser.
Stone appeared Friday morning in court and was released on a $250,000 signature bond, which does not require payment. He is expected to make public remarks later in the morning.
The White House and Trump’s personal legal team have largely dismissed the latest development in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe, claiming it has nothing to do with Trump and does not represent collusion between his campaign and Russia, the primary focus of Mueller’s investigation.