President Donald Trump said he was “very disappointed” to see the FBI’s arrest of his longtime associate Roger Stone “go down that way,” The Daily Caller reported on Wednesday.
Trump told The Daily Caller in an interview that it was a “very disappointing scene” and “it was sad to see it. Very sad.”
Stone was arrested by the FBI last Friday at his home in Florida. He was indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges Stone sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents in the 2016 presidential election while in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians.
At just after 6 a.m. Friday, several law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing but no sirens pulled in front of Stone’s home. About a dozen officers with tactical vests and heavy weapons fanned out across the lawn. Law enforcement shined a flashlight into Stone’s front door, and one officer rapped against it, shouting “FBI. Open the door.” The agent shouted seconds later: “FBI. Warrant.”
When asked about the raid Wednesday, Trump said it was “very unusual” and “when you have 29 people and you have armored vehicles, and you had all of the other — you know, many people know Roger, and Roger is not a person that they would have to worry about from that standpoint.” In court documents, Mueller’s team said Stone was a flight risk and investigators were worried he would destroy evidence if he were warned of the impending arrest.
“To see it happen where it was on camera, on top of it. That was a very, very disappointing scene,” Trump said. CNN captured video of the Stone raid.
The wide-ranging interview also touched on the Mueller investigation as a whole.
Trump said he will leave decisions on Mueller’s report to the Justice Department. When asked about whether he would sign off on releasing the report, Trump told The Daily Caller, “They’ll have to make their decision within the Justice Department. They will make the decision as to what they do.”
The President said he has not spoken to acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker about if the investigation is wrapping up.
“No. No, I haven’t spoken to him about that. I would say that I think after almost two years it certainly should be,” Trump said.
Whitaker said on Monday that Mueller’s investigation is “close to being completed”and he has been “fully briefed” on the investigation.
“I could’ve taken a much different stance, I could’ve gotten involved in this, I could’ve terminated everything,” Trump told The Caller. “I could’ve ended everything. I’ve chosen to stay out of it. But I had the right to, as you know, I had the right if I wanted to, to end everything.”
“I could’ve just said, ‘That’s enough,’ ” Trump said. “Many people thought that’s what I should do.”