WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he was "happy" with his decision to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence and said that his former aide was entangled in "an illegal Witch Hunt," offering his first comments since the White House announced Friday night that Trump would spare his longtime adviser from having to report to prison next week.
“Roger Stone was treated horribly. He was treated very unfairly," Trump said to reporters at the White House Saturday evening. “I am very happy with what I did.”
Earlier Saturday Trump tweeted that Stone "was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT!"
Trump continued to tweet Saturday about other players involved in the Russia investigation, including his former attorney general Jeff Sessions and the former British spy Christopher Steele.
"This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail," Trump wrote of Steele. "A sick lier who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!"
Trump shared multiple articles about Steele, who was ordered by a British court earlier this week to pay damages over "inaccurate" claims in the dossier that he became known for during the 2016 campaign.
Trump also lashed out at Sessions, who is locked in a competitive runoff against former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville for the Republican Party nomination to challenge Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, in Alabama this fall.
"Big Senate Race in Alabama on Tuesday. Vote for @TTuberville, he is a winner who will never let you down," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!"
Sessions was forced out of the White House after he recused himself from the Russia investigation, an act Trump never forgave him for.
Democrats have fiercely criticized Stone's commutation, with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., likening Trump's actions to that of a "Mafia boss."
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a leading critic of the president, was the first prominent Republican to condemn Trump for his decision to clear Stone of his prison sentence.
“Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” Romney wrote on Twitter Saturday morning.
Stone was found guilty in November of witness tampering and making false statements. He was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
Stone was sentenced in February to serve 40 months in prison for lying to Congress during the investigation of Russian election meddling. After the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, the Bureau of Prisons gave him an extension on reporting to prison. He had been in home confinement in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.