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Trump lashes out after Roger Stone's arrest: 'Human Traffickers are treated better'

Key Points
  • President Trump lashes out at Robert Mueller's investigation after the indictment of Roger Stone.
  • Trump ties the arrest to the ongoing fight over U.S. immigration policy.
  • "Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?" Trump tweeted.
  • CNN says it was not tipped off about Stone's arrest, just made an educated guess.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on January 14, 2019 en route to New Orleans, Louisiana to address the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at Robert Mueller's investigation after the indictment of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.

The president tied the arrest to the ongoing fight over U.S. immigration policy, and accused investigators of colluding with CNN.

CNN said its reporters were not tipped off, they merely made an educated guess because the special counsel's grand jury does not typically meet on Thursdays, but did this week.

The last time that happened, the meeting of the grand jury was followed by an indictment the following day. CNN said its reporters deduced that there might be one coming on Friday, so they sent cameras to the homes several suspects.

"CNN's ability to capture the arrest of Roger Stone was the result of determined reporting and interpreting clues revealed in the course of events," the network replied to Trump's tweet.

Stone was arrested during a predawn raid Friday at his home in Florida. He faces seven counts, including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and making false statements to Congress. He was released on a $250,000 bond. 

Stone's attorney Grant Smith also questioned the FBI's decision to arrest Stone at his home Friday. "There was no need to have the FBI show up with a SWAT team," Smith told NBC News.

Smith also emphasized that Friday's indictment did not explicitly charge Stone with coordinating or colluding with the Russian government.

Stone has "been very public for the last two years about where he was and what he was doing" during the election, Smith said. "If they'd found any collusion they would have charged him with it."

Stone plans to "fight vigorously" against the charges, Smith said.

The indictment alleges that Stone had been in contact with top-ranking Trump campaign officials about efforts to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 election.

In criticizing the actions of law enforcement in Stone's case, Trump linked his complaints to the fight over a border wall. The refusal of House Democrats to meet Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a border wall has resulted in the longest partial government shutdown in modern history.

Trump has repeatedly argued that the United States is not harsh enough in its treatment of people who cross the southern border without papers. The president argues that these migrants bring illegal drugs, traffic in human beings, and mistreat the migrants they smuggle.

Trump's use of "border coyotes" refers to the English translation of a Spanish slang term for someone who transports migrants across the Mexican border, often on foot.

In the Stone charging documents on Friday, Mueller described repeated contacts between Stone and high-ranking members in Trump's campaign organization.

During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.

The indictment does not identify "Organization 1" or its head, but it clearly refers to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, because it says the head of the organization was at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange has been living there since 2012 while avoiding sexual offense charges in Sweden.

The group leaked thousands of Clinton campaign emails during the final month of the 2016 campaign. At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Oct. 10, 2016, Trump praised the group, saying "WikiLeaks! I love WikiLeaks." In addition, Trump's oldest son, Donald Jr., acknowledged he'd had private communications with WikiLeaks.

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Key Points
  • Roger Stone, a longtime political advisor to President Trump, has been arrested in Florida.
  • Stone faces seven counts, including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and making false statements to Congress.
  • The indictment alleges that Stone had been in contact with top-ranking Trump campaign officials about efforts to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 election.
  • According to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, the "high ranking Trump campaign official" who reached out to Stone in October 2016 was Steve Bannon, who served as CEO of the Trump campaign during the election's final stages.