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Trump 'very disappointed' by FBI arrest of Roger Stone; Graham demands briefing

Stone says he's been treated worse than Osama bin Laden.
Image: Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019.
Roger Stone arrives at federal court in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019. Stone was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the special counsel's probe.Andrew Harnik / AP

President Donald Trump said he will "think about" asking the FBI to review its tactics and Sen. Lindsey Graham has demanded a briefing from the agency after its early morning arrest of Trump's longtime associate Roger Stone at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home last week.

In an interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, Trump blasted the arrest of Stone by armed federal agents in the pre-dawn hours on Friday.

"I’m speaking for a lot of people that were very disappointed to see that go down that way," Trump said. "To see it happen, where it was on camera, on top of it, that was a very, very disappointing scene."

Trump's comments come after Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray questioning the manner in which Stone was arrested, including "the number of agents involved, the tactics employed" and the timing.

"Although I am sure these tactics would be standard procedure for the arrest of a violent offender, I have questions regarding their necessity in this case," Graham wrote. The South Carolina Republican asked in the letter that the FBI brief his committee on the arrest by Tuesday.

Stone was arrested on charges of obstruction, giving false statements to Congress and witness tampering as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.

Federal investigators' rationale for the early morning raid was included in a court filing unsealed Friday. That document showed that prosecutors told a judge they did not want to give Stone advance notice of his arrest for fear it would "increase the risk of the defendant fleeing and destroying (or tampering with) evidence."

A Republican operative who traces his self-described political trickery back to the Nixon administration, Stone was under the microscope over his alleged connection to WikiLeaks and hacked Democratic emails released by the site during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has repeatedly denied any collusion with WikiLeaks.

A team of several federal agents arrested Stone, 66, at his door just before dawn. The arrest came one day after a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had indicted him.

Stone left the Trump campaign when it was in its very early stages, but "maintained regular contact with and publicly supported" the campaign through the election, according to the indictment.

Stone, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, accused authorities of using "Gestapo" tactics during his arrest. He has also said he was treated worse than al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who was killed by a team of Navy SEALs in 2011. His body was later buried at sea.