Roger Stone, friend and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, called a Black radio host a racial slur on air Saturday while the two debated Stone's federal conviction.
Stone's sentence was commuted by Trump on July 10, just days before he was scheduled to surrender for 40 months of incarceration after he was convicted of witness tampering and making false statements to Congress as it investigated Russia's influence in the 2016 election.
On Saturday night, Stone was grilled by radio host Morris W. O’Kelly on "the Mr. Mo'Kelly Show" on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles. The phone interview was broadcast and streamed.
Stone claimed his conviction last year was the result of bias against himself and the president.
"It was a jury of my political opponents," Stone said.
O'Kelly pushed back and challenged the idea that Stone did not get a fair trial or that the evidence did not clearly show his transgressions.
The host also suggested that not only was Stone not a victim of biased justice, but that he likely benefitted from knowing the president.
"There are thousands of people treated unfairly daily," O'Kelly said. "Hell, your number just happened to come up in the lottery. I'm guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?"
Stone was silent, then it sounded like he was either away from the phone or covering it up when he said, "I don't really feel like arguing with this negro."
"I'm sorry, what was that?" O'Kelly responded. "Roger? I'm sorry, what did you say?"
Stone denied calling him that, saying on air, "I did not. You're out of your mind. You're out of your mind."
Stone could not be reached for comment by NBC News on Saturday night.
Stone’s attorney told the Associated Press on Sunday that he was unaware of the broadcast and had no immediate comment.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Stone said that anyone familiar with him “knows I despise racism!”
“Mr. O’Kelly needs a good peroxide cleaning of the wax in his ears because at no time did I call him a negro,” Stone said, using lowercase for the word. “That said, Mr. O’Kelly needs to spend a little more time studying black history and institutions. The word negro is far from a slur.”
O'Kelly carried on with the interview, asking Stone about his plans to campaign for Trump.
"As a private citizen, I will be active on the president's behalf, writing, speaking, advocating," Stone, 67, said.
O'Kelly later tweeted, "I'm nobody's NEGRO."
Stone again denied making the comment in a statement to the Christian Broadcasting Network on Sunday, claiming there was "cross talk" that "garbled" the exchange.
"The idea that I would use a racial term is nonsensical," Stone told the network. "This is a smear by a left wing radio host."