As FBI closes in, Donald Trump writes off his longtime close friend Roger Stone as a “hanger-on”

Just how poorly did today’s House Intelligence Committee hearings go for Donald Trump? After FBI Director James Comey testified that the FBI has an ongoing investigation into the role that Russia and the Donald Trump campaign may have played in rigging the election, Trump used his spokesman to begin belittling all of his campaign advisers who are believed to be suspects in the investigation. Among them: Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone.

By all accounts, Donald Trump and Roger Stone have been close personal friends for the better part of their lives. Stone served as an informal campaign adviser to Trump during the election. Stone also now admits that he had repeated contact with Guccifer 2.0, the Russian government hacker who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee and released them at a time which strategically benefited Donald Trump.

Roger Stone insists he committed no crime in the process of communicating with the Russian hacker, but the Senate Intelligence Committee instructed him this week not to destroy evidence, strongly suggesting he’s a target of their investigation. And after FBI Director Comey publicly revealed today just how serious his agency’s investigation into the Trump campaign is, suddenly Trump wants to throw everyone under the bus. It wasn’t surprising to see hired hands like Michael Flynn and Carter Page go under that bus. But the inclusion of Roger Stone was stunning, considering that Stone recently published a book about the Trump campaign which includes a glowing quote from Trump on the front cover.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who speaks on Donald Trump’s behalf, wrote off Roger Stone and Carter Page as both having been nothing more than a campaign “hanger-on” in his briefing immediately after Comey’s testimony. Spicer also claimed that Trump has been sending cease and desist letters to Page and Stone (source: Mother Jones). Roger Stone has long tried to publicly position himself as having played a key role in getting Trump elected. Yet now Trump is publicly belittling one of his own closest lifelong friends by writing him off as a mere “hanger-on.” It’s a sign of just how thoroughly Trump feels the FBI walls closing in on himself. Contribute to Palmer Report

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report