The president, who publicly encouraged law enforcement to injure suspects, questioned the tactics used in the FBI’s raid of his longtime associate Roger Stone, raising the possibility of ordering an FBI review of the arrest.
Stone was arrested by the FBI last Friday at his home in South Florida after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges Stone sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents in the 2016 presidential election while in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials.
Trump told The Daily Caller in an interview Wednesday that it was a “very disappointing scene” and “it was sad to see it. Very sad.”
At around 6 a.m. Friday, several law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing but no sirens pulled in front of Stone’s home, reports CNN. “About a dozen officers with tactical vests and heavy weapons fanned out across the lawn. Law enforcement shined a flashlight into Stone’s front door, and one officer rapped against it, shouting ‘FBI. Open the door.’ The agent shouted seconds later: ‘FBI. Warrant.’ ”
When asked about the raid Wednesday, Trump said it was “very unusual” and “when you have 29 people and you have armored vehicles, and you had all of the other — you know, many people know Roger, and Roger is not a person that they would have to worry about from that standpoint.”
Mueller’s team argued in court that Stone was a flight risk and investigators were worried he would destroy evidence if he were warned of the impending arrest.
“To see it happen where it was on camera, on top of it. That was a very, very disappointing scene,” Trump said.
Trump also said that he plans to “think about” asking the FBI to review its use of force policies.
“I think it’s a good question for you to ask, and it’s something I’ll think about,” he said.
Trump had a completely different take on law enforcement’s treatment of suspects during a speech to law enforcement in 2017.
“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump said, miming the physical motion of an officer shielding a suspect’s head to keep it from bumping against the squad car.
“Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody — don’t hit their head,” Trump continued. “I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”
Trump’s double standard on criminal defendants was highlighted by MSNBC’s Ari Melber with a montage of his hypocrisy:
WATCH: Trump's double standard on criminal defendants pic.twitter.com/0Lfbgcyp9L
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) January 31, 2019