Roger Stone claims to have played a role in President Trump's tentative decision to allow the release of the classified files related to former President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, but he dismisses the notion that he levied a "heavy hand" in steering the commander in chief in any one direction.
"Heavy hand? I merely laid out the case for transparency," Stone said in a brief email to the Washington Examiner on Saturday, when asked about the phone call he claims to have had with Trump on Wednesday.
In a tweet Saturday morning Trump shocked many by saying that "[s]ubject to the receipt of further information," he would allow the release of the 3,100 documents, primarily from the CIA and FBI, which are due by Oct. 26 via a law signed 25 years ago by President George H.W. Bush.
Earlier in the week Stone told Infowars' Alex Jones that Trump was "all ears" about what he had to say on the matter but that the president "did not tip off his current decision." Stone was, however, "optimistic the president is going to do the right thing."
Stone, a longtime Republican consultant with a controversial streak who is also Trump's friend, made his mark on the JFK matter with a book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy, in which he makes the case that Lyndon B. Johnson orchestrated Kennedy's assassination.
Stone has also pushed the conspiracy theory that Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, is tied to Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, which Cruz and his family have vehemently denied.
Stone tweeted at the Washington Examiner that "there is substantial evidence connecting Ted Cruz's sleazeball father and Oswald," and referred Judyth Vary Baker, who claims to have been Oswald's girlfriend.
The Cruz-Kennedy assassination connection was fueled during the 2016 campaign by a National Enquirer report that claimed Rafael Cruz was photographed with Oswald before Kennedy's killing. Then-candidate Trump further fanned the flames of the conspiracy theory when he suggested that Rafael Cruz had ties to Oswald. There is no hard evidence to support the Enquirer report or Trump's assertion, though Stone appears to believe that there might be some incriminating evidence int he JFK files set to be released.
Who is unhappy about the release of the Classified JFK files ! The Bush Crime Family , Ted Cruz's creepy father and LBJ greedy daughters !— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) October 21, 2017
Cruz's office did not immediately return a request for comment on the imminent release of the documents.
The White House has confirmed Trump's tweet that he is poised not to block the files, but explained what the one caveat to the pledge might be. "The President believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise," said a White House official Saturday afternoon.
According to a Politico Magazine report, Stone has said he's heard that CIA Director Mike Pompeo is pressing Trump to block the public release of some of the documents.
A CIA spokesperson issued a brief statement when asked for comment.
"CIA continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously-unreleased CIA information," said CIA media spokesperson Nicole de Haay.
Stone asserts Trump is not so easily swayed.
"No one tells Donald Trump what to do," he told the Washington Examiner. "I am very proud of the President for his sound decision."