Roger Stone. Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Trump associate Roger Stone told a crowd of reporters outside his court hearing Friday that he will plead not guilty to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, and that he will never testify against President Trump, who he called one of his "oldest friends."

"As I have said previously, there is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself. I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated."

The backdrop: Stone was arrested in a raid in Florida early Friday, after being indicted by the Mueller investigation on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering. He told reporters that the Mueller investigation is "politically motivated" and that there is no evidence of collusion.

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Poll shows Biden leading Trump in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Joe Biden leads President Trump 48% to 42% in Wisconsin and 49% to 43% in Pennsylvania, according to the latest CBS/YouGov Battleground Tracker poll.

Why it matters: Trump's surprise wins in the two states, where many voters broke his way after deciding the week before the election, helped propel him to an Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump won Wisconsin with 47% of the vote and Pennsylvania with 48% in 2016, according to the New York Times.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 19,705,715 — Total deaths: 727,984 — Total recoveries — 11,963,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,022,187 — Total deaths: 162,696 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020 — Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.

Blumenthal calls classified briefing on Russian interference "absolutely chilling"

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) called on the Trump administration to declassify intelligence detailing Russian efforts to influence the 2020 elections, telling MSNBC on Sunday that the classified briefing lawmakers received about the Kremlin's activities last week was "absolutely chilling."

The big picture: National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in a statement Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate" Joe Biden ahead of the election. China and Iran would prefer that Trump is defeated, according to Evanina.