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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.
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Go deeper

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

Dead malls get new life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Malls are becoming ghosts of retail past. But the left-behind real estate is being reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Why it matters: As many as 17% of malls in the U.S. "may no longer be viable as shopping centers and need to be redeveloped into other uses," per Barclays.