White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley insisted on Wednesday that President Donald Trump did not press for a reduced sentence for longtime friend Roger Stone although he tweeted the sentiment publicly.
During an interview on Fox News, Gidley was asked if “anyone at the White House” pressured Attorney General William Barr or the Justice Department to reduce Stone’s sentence.
“Unequivocally, no,” Gidley said. “The president addressed this yesterday in the Oval Office. He did not talk to Attorney General Barr about this before the sentence. In fact, the Attorney General and the DOJ made very clear that they made this decision before any tweet [from the president] went out. They made this decision on their own.”
But in a tweet just hours before Gidley's remarks, Trump praised Barr for "taking charge" of the Stone case, which prompted four career prosecutors to quit the case.
Gidley went on to argue that the president “has the right” to interfere in the justice system.
“He just didn’t,” Gidley said. “He didn’t make any comment, didn’t have a conversation with the Attorney General. And that’s just ludicrous. It’s just another scandal that the Democrats are trying to push forward. The media loves to try and trash this president.”
“Now that impeachment is over, now that Russia is over… they are looking for something else to grab onto,” he added. “Because they don’t want to talk about the successful policies of this president.”