Screenshot: "Axios on HBO"

After being sentenced to 40 months in prison, former Trump associate Roger Stone told "Axios on HBO" that his only fear in life is "not being right with God."

  • "I feel pretty good because I've taken Jesus Christ as my personal savior," Stone said in his first on-camera interview since his sentencing. "And it's given me enormous strength and solace, because he knows what's in my heart."

The seasoned Republican strategist also discussed his view of President Trump's faith. Trump has overwhelming support from evangelical Christians — a key GOP voting block — despite his past personal life.

  • Stone cited Trump's Supreme Court nominations as an example of where he's "kept faith with those voters."
  • "Christians believe deeply in redemption," Stone said. "So it's not whether you've sinned. ... It's what's in your heart today — where you stand with God today."
  • "I think Trump has been forgiven for anything he did wrong. I think we all have. And I think he's a different person. I think he is steadfast in his faith. I don't think he could do this job if he was not."

The big picture: Stone, 67, was indicted as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and is free during consideration of a motion he filed for a new trial.

  • Stone's wife, Nydia Stone, wrote on an Instagram post of the couple at church just 10 days before his trial: "Please pray for us." The post tagged Trump and used a MAGA hashtag.
  • One of Stone's spiritual advisers, Randy Short, participated in a rally outside the courthouse on the trial's first day.
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

9 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.