(CNSNews.com) - Denied his request for an open hearing before the House intelligence committee on Tuesday, Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump, released both a video and printed version of his opening statement to the committee before entering the hearing room.
He was blunt, scornful and ticked off:
“Multiple members of this Committee have made false allegations against me in public session in order to ensure that these bogus charges received maximum media coverage,” Stone said in his statement.
“Now, however, you deny me the opportunity to respond to these charges in the same open forum. This is cowardice. Fortunately, we will have the opportunity today to take the exact words of some members of this committee and examine them to uncover the lies.”
Stone mentioned Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee’s ranking Democrat, by name.
Stone also noted that “in the interest of compromise,” he “repeatedly requested” that a transcript of his opening statement be released as soon as Tuesday’s hearing was over.
“Even this constructive suggestion has been rejected,” he told the committee. “What is it you fear? Why do you oppose transparency? What is it you don’t want the public to know?” he asked.
Stone told the committee, “I will not let myself be a punching bag for people with ill intentions or political motives.”
Stone described himself as a 40-year friend of Donald Trump and one of Trump’s first campaign consultants. He said he consulted for the Trump campaign for five months, until August 2015, and continued to advocate for Trump thereafter.
Stone firmly denied any involvement in the alleged – alleged -- collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and he said just because the intelligence community has said there was coordination that doesn’t make it true. He listed various failings of the intelligence community and said it has become politicized.
“As someone whose political activism was born from the anti-communism of Senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan; and whose freedom-seeking family members were mowed down by Russian tanks on the streets of Budapest in 1956, I deeply resent any allegation that I would collude with the oppressive Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” he wrote.
Stone said it's clear that a foreign nation was colluding with an American presidential campaign in an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 election: “Therefore, I strongly urge this committee to investigate the numerous publicly documented contacts between Ukraine and the Clinton campaign," he said.