Roger Stone says Trump dismissed him when first encouraging presidential run: 'You're out of your mind'

Stone, who served as an informal adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, recollected on an early conversation he had with Trump where he encouraged the then-real estate mogul to throw his hat in the ring for president long before the 2016 election.

“It was during the first Reagan campaign that I met Donald Trump,” Stone told Tucker Carlson in the newly released episode on Fox Nation.  

Stone at the time had been in contact with Fred Trump, the late father of the former president, he said. Locally, the senior Trump was an active Democratic donor. But nationally, “he was a conservative,” Stone recalled, “and he really liked Reagan. He urged me to meet his son.”

Stone said he had immediately taken a liking towards the younger Trump who possessed a “certain command presence.”

“He was very friendly. I was extraordinarily impressed with him,” he said. ” He has charisma.”

It wasn’t until 1988 however, that Stone began to consider Donald Trump a potential U.S. presidential candidate. 

“I wasn’t pleased by the prospective candidacy of George HW Bush. It was then that I first suggested to Donald Trump that he should think about running for president,” Stone said. But Trump wasn’t immediately keen on the idea. 

“You must be out of your mind,” he told Stone.

“At that point, he had other real estate mountains to climb. But he had very strong opinions about trade, about NATO,” Stone explained. “Even then kind of his core signature issues were also well in place.”

Stone stayed in contact with Trump, and eventually became an integral part of his 2016 campaign. Stone said he encouraged the president to use Twitter to his advantage and communicate with voters “for free.”

“Twitter, social media at that point was the Wild West. There’s no censorship. There’s no control like you have today. It was the perfect medium for Donald Trump, particularly since he liked to say short, pungent, and provocative things,” he said.

Stone was later sentenced to 40 months in prison in 2019 after being convicted on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He was pardoned by Trump at the end of his time in office.

To hear Stone’s full account and for more details on his life since the 2016 election, visit Fox Nation and watch the newest episode of “Tucker Carlson Today” available now. 

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