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Stone on Style / Twitter

Roger Stone is joining Donald Trump in swearing that he had nothing to do with pushing for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why Stone is speaking out: CNN, Politico and the NYT all reported that he was part of Trump's decision.

As the Times put it in a story last night: "Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to Mr. Trump who has been under F.B.I. scrutiny as part of the Russia inquiry, was among those who urged the president to fire Mr. Comey, people briefed on the discussions said."

Stone's quote: "With all due respect to the President, I am not the source of the New York Times, Politico or CNN stories and have never claimed I convinced the President to fire FBI Director Comey. Both Politico and the Times claim to have multiple credible sources for their reports. I offered no comment."

The rest of his statement:

"It has been my policy not to discuss the scope, subject or frequency of my occasional contacts with the President and I am not going to do so today. I remain a steadfast and loyal supporter of President Trump who I believe will be a great transformational President. I am certainly not going to contradict the President.
"I believe the source of this story is someone in the President's circle who thought that my longtime association with President Nixon would bring inevitable comparisons with the so-called Saturday Night Massacre and thus discredit the option of firing Mr. Comey.
"I have written posted and spoken in favor of the firing of Mr. Comey. It would be impossible for the White House not to know my views.
"No one who knows the President believes he is anything but his own man and is solely responsible for the decisions of his Administration.
"Now, let's make America Great Again."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.