WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders dodged questions over a potential pardon for indicted Trump confidante Roger Stone on Monday, declining to definitively rule it out when asked point-blank.
“I’m not going to get into that at this point, but if need be, we’ll let you know,” Sanders said when asked if she had spoken to the president on the issue.
When asked if the White House could guarantee that the president will not pardon Stone, Sanders dismissed the question as a “ridiculous” hypothetical.
Stone has been a friend and informal political adviser to the president for decades.
He was charged Friday on charges of obstruction, witness tampering and making five false statements to Congress.
The seven counts stemmed from conversations he allegedly had related to the release of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The charges mark the latest indictment in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Stone has said he will plead innocent and fight the charges.
An eccentric political operative, Stone has kept up a heavy media presence after being released on bail, using various appearances to defend his innocence, play up his loyalty to the president and promote his legal defense fund.
Last month, Trump praised Stone on Twitter for publicly defending him amid the Mueller probe.
“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018