Roger Stone shows up in Boca: ‘I will never testify against (Trump)’


Roger Stone vowed never to testify against President Donald Trump, Ben Carson weighed in on “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis said he’s kicking GOP primary foe Adam Putnam’s “keister” at a Palm Beach County Republican Party dinner Thursday.

The local GOP’s $145-a-plate Lobsterfest drew 450 people to the Polo Club. Both DeSantis and Putnam, rivals in the Aug. 28 Republican primary, were scheduled to attend the event. But Putnam got tied up at a previously scheduled meeting in Miami and couldn’t get to the Palm Beach County dinner on time, Putnam spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice said.

So DeSantis, accompanied by wife Casey and 4-month-old son Mason, had the crowd of party activists and donors to himself.

RELATED: Roger Stone associate is held in contempt of court on Friday

While a line formed in a VIP reception area to get photos with U.S. Reps. DeSantis and Brian Mast and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carson, Stone arrived in a seersucker suit and generated his own crowd in the lobby.

Longtime Trump friend Stone’s name has frequently been mentioned in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

On Friday, an associate of Stone was held in contempt of court, a move spotlighting a growing focus by Mueller on Stone, as reported by the Associated Press.

But on Thursday in Boca Raton, Stone was defiant.

“I know that there is no evidence of Russian collusion, Wikileaks collaboration or anything pertaining to John Podesta’s devastatingly incriminating emails and me,” Stone said. “It’s not inconceivable that the special counsel could conjure up some other bogus offense in an attempt to get me to testify against the president, who I’ve known for 40 years. I’m not going to do that.”

RELATED: Early voting starts Monday in Palm Beach County

After being interrupted by several people asking to get pictures with him, Stone added: “I wouldn’t rule out cooperating with him on some other basis if I can be helpful, but I will never testify against the president.”

Stone said there’s nothing for him to testify against Trump about “that I know of, but they may think otherwise.”

DeSantis has rocketed to the top of GOP polls since Trump tweeted his “full endorsement” in late June. The president also flew to Tampa last week to appear with DeSantis at a rally.

Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee member Steven Ledewitz of Boynton Beach, a Putnam supporter, said he’s seen a decided swing among local Republicans to DeSantis since Trump’s endorsement.

“It’s certainly helped Congressman DeSantis quite a bit,” said Ledewitz. “And he (Trump) is technically the leader of the party, so he’s got a right to do that. I wish he hadn’t, but he did.”

DeSantis said Trump’s June 22 endorsement was only one factor in his rise.

“It’s a positive impact, but he had tweeted for me in December and then did another tweet, but ultimately you’ve got to bring it home,” DeSantis said. “We had a debate in late June, I finally started spending money after getting $12 million dumped on me. I think it was a combination of the tweet, the debate and then the fact that we started being on TV.”

DeSantis boasted about his polling numbers in the race for the Republican nomination.

“I am kicking his keister in South Florida … I will win Palm Beach, Broward and Dade with significant margins” in the GOP primary, DeSantis said.

Palm Beach Gardens resident Carson, who told the partisan crowd he was appearing “as a private citizen with concerns about what’s going on in our country,” discussed the vehement opposition to Trump on the left.

“I don’t think it’s President Trump himself that the left is concerned about, it’s what he represents that they’re concerned about. He represents America. He represents the true values of the things that made us into a great nation and that’s what they don’t like,” Carson said.

“Why is there a Trump Derangement Syndrome going on? Why are there so many people that are just mad, irrationally mad?” Carson asked. “Actually, it’s kind of logical if you stop and think about it. They have been attempting to fundamentally change America for decades. Now when I say ‘they,’ I’m talking about the Fabians, the socialists, the communists, the liberals — now they call themselves progressives. As soon as you figure out who they are they change their name, but they’re the same people.”

Carson said Trump’s foes “don’t like what this country represents. And they want to change it to their ideal, which is a government that takes care of you from cradle to grave, takes care of all your problems, but you give them all the power and they are the all-knowing. The problem is that system, wherever it has been tried, has failed.”



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