Former Trump associate Roger Stone said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that he is still proud of his efforts to elect President Trump, but stopped short of sharing any regrets on the matter due to a court gag order.

  • Stone, who wasn't on the Trump's campaign payroll, said in his first on-camera interview since his sentencing last month: "One does not have to be on a campaign staff ... given the modern miracle of social media and the ability to communicate."

The big picture: Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February, after being found guilty of charges resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 election.

  • Stone said repeatedly in the interview that Donald Trump is Donald Trump's best strategist.

Stone declined to comment on looming questions surrounding his efforts — including whether Trump will pardon him — due to a gag order preventing him from discussing the case.

  • "I'm not going to discuss anything that pertains to this case, [or] that could be inferred to pertain to the case," Stone said.

Stone is free during consideration of a motion he has filed for a new trial.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.