Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, McCabe discussed some details about his recent interview with Roger Stone highlighting his court process and pardon by President Trump. He weighed in later of how he thought the Republican Convention would play out next week.
Leahy: We are joined now by our National Correspondent for the Star News Network and The Tennessee Star. Washington journalist Neil McCabe. Good morning Neil.
McCabe: Phenomenal to be with you, Michael.
Leahy: So you keep getting these great interviews. You had an exclusive interview with Roger Stone who was convicted of lying to Congress and his sentence was commuted and he made some news. How do you get all these interviews, Neil?
McCabe: Well, I would love to tell you but I’ve got mouths to feed. (Leahy chuckles) My kids need a bike for Christmas Mike. So you know, let’s just keep that to ourselves.
Leahy: (Laughs) So you get this exclusive with Roger Stone. Was he down in Florida at a political event and you spoke with him on the phone?
McCabe: Right. You’ll be happy to know he was at the Laura Loomer victory party because she won the Republican primary last night for Donald Trump’s congressional district right down in Palm Beach.
Leahy: Ah-ha! And Donald Trump now lives in Mar-A-Lago. That’s his residence.
Leahy: Tell us what Roger Stone had to say. What news did you break?
McCabe: There are three takeaways. First of all with his trial and legal situation. According to him, he’d said earlier but I didn’t talk to him about it last night. He just didn’t want to get into it. But the president had offered Roger Stone a pardon. He said don’t give me a pardon because I want to win in court and I don’t want to be known as being convicted of these process crimes.
Really it was at the end of the Mueller probe and they had nothing and they decided to railroad Roger Stone. He was accused of course of being a courier between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. And then of course the next step to that sort of theory or conspiracy theory was that the Russians stole emails from the DNC.
The Russians gave them to WikiLeaks. In effect, Roger Stone was a courier between the Russians and the Trump campaign. And he was the lynchpin, a cornerstone to the Russian collusion hoax which has now revealed is bupkiss.
Leahy: Utterly collapsed.
McCabe: Exactly. He joked with the friend of his who is a comic and a DJ and he joked with the guy that if you testify against me I’ll kill your dog. Well, this is the sort of a joking conversation.
Leahy: The common language for Roger Stone.
McCabe: Anybody who’s had a conversation with Roger Stone knows that these are the things he says. The Justice Department presented this to the jury as legitimate witness tampering. And then there were other things.
So Stone was going to ask for another trial with the de-classified documents and everything else that’s come out and working in his behavior and being exculpatory. But his lawyers basically told him that this is the same court that is screwing around with Mike Flynn.
Chances are you are going to get the same judge who was definitely biased against you. It’s better to fold up your tent and move on. So that’s sort of his decision. He looked at the court situation and then he looked at his own age and his family.
Leahy: He’s like 70 years old, right?
McCabe: Right. Now, remember, at the same time the appellate court that he would be going to, at the same time that this appellate court ordered him into the federal prisons, the federal prisons were releasing non-violent convicts to home incarcerations because of COVID. So they were basically sending a 70-year-old man into a COVID infested prison system with the intent of basically killing him.
McCabe: So that’s where Stone is at. And the other thing is that Stone feels that the president has turned the corner and he really feels that the president is in a good spot right now. He says that the president is gaining and in that the president kind of wants to be a little behind right now because the debates are going to put him over the top. That was very revealing. And of course, Roger Stone was really there at the beginning. When Trump decided to run for president, Stone was the first guy he called. Of course, he wrote a book about it. That was interesting.
Leahy: Not only that, Stone was involved in the ’72 Nixon campaign. He’s been there at the beginning of a lot of things. I might add, a sort of moral to this story. It’s that for anybody out there listening if you are railroaded and convicted of a process crime and the president offers you a pardon, take it.
McCabe: Note to self.
Leahy: Wouldn’t you agree with that? Don’t go for a commutation.
McCabe: There is a game called Spades we used to play when I was on a Coast Guard ship. The rules, when in doubt of what to do, just take the book. (Leahy laughs) Take the points. Like in baseball. Send the runner. Don’t assume there will be another batter.
Leahy: Yes. Exactly.
Carmichael: Now what was the other thing we were going to talk to Neil about. Particularly the part about Trump offering a pardon and he said no I’d like to win in court. What is scary about what Neil is saying is that he joked with his neighbor. The comedian has also publicly said he was joking when he said it.
But yet the government prosecutors ignored what the friend said. He said he was just joking when he said it and I didn’t take it seriously. But they went ahead and reported it. That’s what they do in kangaroo courts. That’s what they do in communist countries. And so this is the way of Washington now. And when Trump says there’s a swamp, there’s some more evidence.
McCabe: Crom, they sent a SWAT team to arrest him in a pre-dawn raid which was carried live on CNN. So this is very third world. Very Venezuela. And that’s what the swamp is going to do. Listen, the federal budget is what, $6 trillion a year? You think people are going to hand over control of $6 trillion a year? No way. No way.
Leahy: Neil, let me ask you this. Have you had an opportunity to watch the very bad infomercial the past couple of nights otherwise known as the Democratic National Convention? Crom and I were talking about this earlier. How do you think the Republicans will offer a more interesting and entertaining product to the public next week?
McCabe: There is one reason why I haven’t seen any of the Democratic Convention Mike. It’s because I’ve suffered enough in my life (Leahy laughs) and I don’t want to put myself through that. I did see the video of Joe Biden introducing himself as Jill Biden’s husband which I think in a way we are all Joe Biden’s husband. (Laughter) That’s sort of a Spartacus moment. Everybody should just step forward and say, I’m Joe Biden’s husband. I’m Joe Biden’s husband.
Carmichael: Now you are on to something here Neil. They may have as their speakers or whatnot. Remember when Clint Eastwood talked to the empty chair. You may have comedians who are doing comedic acts interspersed with videotapes of Joe Biden making a fool of himself. And there are many hours of that.
So they may decide that this convention they’ll have some parts of it that are serious and about public policy. But when they go after Biden and Kamala Harris which there’s lots of stuff on her too. They may decide to do that with humor. Which I think would be a real contrast to the Democrats.
McCabe: I think it’s going to be a much more interesting Republican Convention. You are going to have that couple from St. Louis. You’re going to have Diamond and Silk. And you are just going to have people from all walks of life who are going to talk about what is going on with the Trump presidency and what’s at stake. And I just think it’s going to be infinitely more interesting because the passion is there on the president’s side.
Listen to the third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Roger Stone” by The Circus. CC BY 3.0.