The morning after Donald Trump shocked the country by firing FBI Director James Comey, the apparently bitter president went on a Twitter tirade trying to justify his actions. In the process, he responded to a report by CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger indicating that his former campaign advisor, Roger Stone, had recommended Comey’s firing. To the surprise of no one, Stone chimed in on social media as well to deny Borger’s claim outright, and to respond directly to Trump’s tweet ridiculing the story and Stone himself.
Trump, who was evidently watching CNN at the time, denounced Borger’s story as soon as it was broadcast. “The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false,” he tweeted, adding: “[I] have not spoken to Roger in a long time – had nothing to do with my decision.” A mere six minutes after the tweet was posted, however, Stone defended himself while reiterating his agreement with the president’s decision. “With all due respect, I am not the source of [the] CNN story and have made no such claim,” he said. “I support the President’s decision to fire Comey 100%.”
As Twitter and the media caught on to Trump and Stone’s brief interaction, the former advisor to President Richard Nixon repeated his defense with a second tweet. He insisted he’d “never made such [a] claim,” and CNN and Politico were falsely indicating otherwise in their respective reports. Per the latter, several “allies and friends” of Stone boasted he had “encouraged the president to fire Comey in conversations in recent weeks.” He initially refused to comment when Politico reached out to him late Tuesday, though Stone did tell the outlet “he was enjoying a fine cigar” at the time.
Whether or not Stone’s cigar was a celebratory one remains to be seen. Though considering the timing of Comey’s firing as it pertains to the ongoing investigations into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials (like Stone) and Russia, it’s possible. Either way, as NBC News’ Bradd Jaffy described the situation, “Twitter is amazing this morning.”