Republican political consultant Roger Stone appeared to use a racial slur during an interview with black radio host Morris W. O’Kelly broadcast live on Saturday night.
Stone, 68, was due to enter prison on July 14 to begin a 40-month sentence for obstructing the congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He had his sentence commuted by Donald Trump on July 10.
During the 30-minute discussion, O’Kelly asked him why he thought he had been pardoned, suggesting it was due to his friendship with Trump rather than the merits of the case.
Roger Stone, who had his sentence commuted by Trump, spoke to Morris O’Kelly on Saturday
Morris O’Kelly, host of The Mo’Kelly Show, spoke to Roger Stone on Saturday night
‘I do believe that certain people are treated differently in the federal justice system. I do absolutely believe that,’ said O’Kelly.
‘But I also believe that your friendship and relationship and history with Donald Trump weighed more heavily than him just wanting to make sure that justice was done by a person in the justice system, that you were treated so unfairly.
‘There are thousands of people treated unfairly daily. Hell, your number just happened to come up in the lottery. I’m guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?’
There was a pause, then what sounds like Stone’s voice can be heard telling someone on the other end: ‘I don’t really feel like arguing with this n***o.’
O’Kelly, shocked, then responds: ‘I’m sorry, what was that? Roger? I’m sorry, what did you say?’
O’Kelly keeps on trying to resume the conversation.
‘I hear that the line is not dead,’ O’Kelly says, as the silence drags on.
Roger Stone pictured on July 12 at his home days after his sentence was commuted by the president
After 40 seconds of not talking to O’Kelly, Stone suddenly reappears.
O’Kelly resumes the conversation.
‘I was talking and you said something about ‘n***o’ so I wasn’t exactly sure,’ O’Kelly said.
‘I did not,’ Stone replied. ‘You’re out of your mind.’
He went on to dismiss the accusation with an exasperated ‘whatever.’
Stone says: ‘You keep going in and out. Is there a cell phone issue? I lose you, there’s a lot going on here.’
After the interview finished, O’Kelly explained why he kept going.
‘I’m still processing,’ he said, sounding shaken.
‘My job as I see it, was to keep Roger Stone on the phone. My job was to keep him talking for your benefit,’ he told listeners.
‘The only thing that I felt was true, honest, and sincere that Roger Stone said was in that moment when he felt I was not listening,’ he said.
‘As far as he was concerned, he was talking and arguing with a n***o.’
O’Kelly was dismayed that Stone apparently used a racial slur – something Stone denies
O’Kelly later posted a blog about the incident.
‘Stone offered an unfiltered, unvarnished one-sentence expression of how he saw the journalist interviewing him,’ O’Kelly wrote.
‘He didn’t see me as a journalist, not as a professional, not a radio host…but a “N***o” first and foremost.
‘Thirty years as an entertainment professional, twenty of them in radio. “N***o” was the first perjorative uttered. The low-calorie version of the N-Word.
‘The audio is, what it is and it’s mine. The subsequent conclusions are yours.’
Stone later denied using a racial epithet, despite it being on live radio.
‘Categorically false. Seems obvious that Kelly seeks to boost his pathetic ratings with a fabricated claim,’ he told the Daily Beast.
‘Anyone who is aware of my 30 years of opposition to the racist war on drugs will realize how fabricated this is.
‘Now I challenge you to use my entire quote.’
Donald Trump and ‘dirty trickster’ Roger Stone have been friends for 40 years
Stone, who entered the political arena while still at college, leading a campaign for Nixon before becoming a self-described ‘dirty tricks’ master, has known Trump for 40 years.
Trump telephoned Stone personally to tell him his sentence was being commuted, and repeatedly previewed his decision – repeatedly stating that he felt Stone had been treated unfairly, and did not deserve his 40 month sentence.
Stone, a larger-than-life political character, was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to have been convicted of charges brought during Mueller’s investigation.
A longtime Trump friend and informal adviser, Stone boasted during the campaign that he was in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange through a trusted intermediary and hinted at inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release more than 19,000 emails hacked from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.
But Stone denied any wrongdoing and consistently criticized the case against him as politically motivated.
He has been making numerous appearances on television and radio since his sentence was commuted.
In them he gushes about the president, saying he saved his life from a COVID-infested prison, and describing him as brave.
Trump and Stone are photographed together in Newark, New Jersey in October 1999
In his first television interview since being spared prison, Stone on Monday described his battle against ‘the horrific and deep-pocketed resources of the federal government, and these really sadistic, arrogant, politically-motivated prosecutors.’
He added: ‘And I had a biased judge, I had a stacked jury, I had a corrupt jury forewoman.’
Stone, who lives with his wife in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said he had been pressured to lie and implicate Trump, by prosecutors working for Robert Mueller.
‘Now in the last two days, when I said that, people said: ah, you see, Stone had the goods on Trump, and he traded his silence for a commutation,’ he told Hannity.
‘That is patently false; I never said that, I never implied that.
‘What I said has been consistent – that I would not lie against my friend of 40 years so they could use it for impeachment.’
Stone, pictured on February 20 leaving his sentencing hearing in Washington DC
Stone, who is now considering whether to appeal and seek to have his sentence fully wiped, said that Mueller’s team were desperate for him to change his story.
‘They wanted me to be the ham in their ham sandwich, because they knew the Mueller report, particularly on Russia, was a dud,’ he said.
‘It was a goose egg.’
Stone told Hannity that he believed Trump’s commutation had saved his life, noting that he was being sent to ‘a COVID-infested prison, in violation of current DoJ policies.’
He said 60 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19.
‘The most important thing here is the courageousness of the president’s act,’ he said, adding that he knew Trump was under pressure from within the White House not to show clemency for his friend.
Stone leaving court on February 1, 2019, after a status hearing in his case
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorney general William Barr were all said to be opposed to the commutation of the sentence.
They reportedly urged Trump to wait until after the November election.
‘I don’t think I would have lived that long,’ said Stone, praising Trump as ‘a man of great justice and fairness, and a man of enormous courage.’
And he suggested that he was leaning against seeking a full exoneration.
‘I have to be convinced I could get a fair second trial,’ he said.
‘Because I definitely didn’t get a fair first trial.’
His interviewer agreed.
Hannity observed: ‘It’s the biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal in our history.’
Mueller himself over the weekend made a rare incursion into the debate, writing an op ed in The Washington Post defending the work of his team, and asking that Stone remain a convicted felon.
He said that the investigation he led was of ‘paramount importance’ and asserted that Stone ‘remains a convicted felon, and rightly so’ despite the president’s decision to commute his prison sentence.
The op-ed marked Mueller’s first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July.
It represented his firmest defense of the two-year probe whose results have come under attack and even been partially undone by the Trump administration.