Donald Trump attacked the media and Hillary Clinton following the arrest of his former adviser Roger Stone, accusing the 2016 Democratic candidate of paying for the infamous dossier alleging ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The president sent out a series of angry tweets attempting to distance himself from his campaign ally and divert attention towards Ms Clinton late on Saturday.
The FBI arrested Mr Stone on seven charges in connection with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, including giving false statements and witness tampering.
“CBS reports that in the Roger Stone indictment, data was ‘released during the 2016 Election to damage Hillary Clinton,’” Mr Trump tweeted. “Oh really! What about the Fake and Unverified ‘Dossier,’ a total phony conjob, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary to damage me and the Trump Campaign? What...”
The Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier, refers to a private report compiled by former MI6 officer Christer Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS which came to the attention of US intelligence services, setting out allegations of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
In his following tweet, Mr Trump went on to accuse the “fake media” and “crooked Hillary” of being in cahoots in alleged attempts to damage him during the 2016 race.
“...about all of the one sided Fake Media coverage (collusion with Crooked H?) that I had to endure during my very successful presidential campaign,” he added on Twitter. “What about the now revealed bias by Facebook and many others. Roger Stone didn’t even work for me anywhere near the Election!”
CBS reports that in the Roger Stone indictment, data was “released during the 2016 Election to damage Hillary Clinton.” Oh really! What about the Fake and Unverified “Dossier,” a total phony conjob, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary to damage me and the Trump Campaign? What...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)January 27, 2019
Mr Stone’s arrest could have serious implications for the president. The charges reveal the special counsel’s intertest in how exactly the Trump campaign might have sought information about hacked emails related to Ms Clinton and the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election.
But Mr Stone told Fox News he plans on pleading not guilty, claiming several aspects of his indictment “are simply not true.” He also told CNN he has never contacted Mr Trump about a potential pardon.
He is the sixth former Trump associate implicated in Mr Mueller's investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.
After leaving the courthouse on Friday, Mr Stone – who has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back – raised his arms in Mr Nixon’s infamous double “V” pose.
The Nixon Foundation attempted to distance itself from Mr Stone following his arrest, pointing out he was only “a junior scheduler on the Nixon re-election committee”.