Mar 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Roger, Trump and Jesus

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.

Go deeper

America's unfinished business

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fury over George Floyd's killing is erupting as the U.S. faces a looming wave of business bankruptcies, likely home evictions and a virus pandemic that will all disproportionately hit African Americans.

Why it matters: What these seemingly disparate issues share in common is that they emanate from systemic abuses that calls to action and promised reforms have yet to meaningfully address.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,945,737— Total deaths: 365,368 — Total recoveries — 2,515,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,747,087 — Total deaths: 102,836 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  5. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.