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Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."

Stone said he'll continue to follow one of his "Stone's Rules": "I will do anything necessary to elect my candidate, short of breaking the law."

  • "First, I'm going to write a book about this entire ordeal to, once and for all, put to bed the myth of Russian collusion."

I asked Stone about Peter Baker's New York Times analysis saying that in keeping Stone out of prison, Trump crossed a line that even Richard Nixon "in the depths of Watergate dared not cross. ... Nixon resigned ... without using his pardon pen."

  • Stone replied that the Friday evening commutation — for obstruction, witness tampering and false statements to Congress — shows Trump "has an enormous sense of fairness and justice and mercy."

Stone flatly predicted Trump will win, despite the bleak outlook:

  • "It'll be a very tough fight. He's got three obstacles: voter fraud ... internet censorship, which I have just recently experienced myself; and, of course, the constant falsehoods being pushed by the corporate-owned mainstream media. Those all make it a difficult race."
  • "But he is a great campaigner. He's a great communicator."

When I asked Stone how he can be so sure Trump will win, he said: "I know more about it than anybody else."

  • When I asked what he means, Stone cited his campaign work going back to his hero Nixon in 1968: "Who do you know who's been through more presidential campaigns than me?"

Stone said he "had no assurances" about the commutation before Trump called his cellphone Friday evening: "But I had prayed fervently, ... and I believe the whole matter was in God's hands and that God would provide. And He did."

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Go deeper

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday signed a slew of executive orders to address the coronavirus pandemic, including an interstate face mask mandate and an order to renew supplies of PPE, testing materials and vaccines through the Defense Production Act.

Why it matters: The stakes are highest for Biden’s vaccination effort. Several states cannot keep up with demand.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.