Conservative political consultant and lobbyist Roger Stone, whose 40-month sentence in federal prison was commuted by President Donald Trump in July, testified how he turned his life over to God at a Franklin Graham revival after “hitting rock bottom” in January 2019.
Speaking at Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee led by popular internet personality Pastor Greg Locke on Sunday, Stone said that he was unjustly persecuted for his support of Trump, who has been his friend since 1979.
Stone was convicted in January 2019 of lying and witness tampering in the investigation about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Though his prison sentence was commuted, former special counsel Robert Mueller defended the investigation he led, writing in The Washington Post in July that Stone "remains a convicted felon."
“By January before my trial, I had hit rock bottom. I was angry that I could not defend myself. This was like a guy going into a boxing match with both hands tied behind his back and then having the fella from CNN say ‘well, Stone never landed a punch,’” Stone said in a Facebook Live broadcast of the service.
“I was angry. I was frustrated. I was worried about who would support my wife if I were unfairly incarcerated. I was worried about the violence in the streets of D.C. and that was just beginning, which made just an appearance there for court dangerous. You’d literally risk your life going to and from the court house or to and from your hotel,” he said.
Stone explained that during the time he endured being persecuted for his support of the president, a number of spiritual leaders had encouraged him to turn to God. But it wasn’t until he met a 26-year-old preacher named Rev. Randy Coggins that he was moved to make his new leap of faith.
“He was relentless in telling me when he would hear my tale of woe and the fact that I knew I was headed for destruction at the hands of the evil that I put myself in the hands of the Lord,” Stone said.
He said one day Coggins invited him to attend a Franklin Graham revival in Boca Raton, Florida, and he was able to sit with Graham for about 20 minutes on his tour bus where he poured out his heart.
“And he said ‘well, how can I help you’ and I said ‘well, you’re a good friend of the president, my lawyers won’t let me speak to him, his lawyers won’t speak to me. I hadn’t talked to the president at that point three years,” Stone said.
“And he (Graham) said ‘well, I’ll see what I can do. But let me give you a better piece of advice. Are you a religious person?’ And I said, ‘Well, reverend, I was born in the Catholic Church, I received my sacraments there, I had my first Holy Communion there, I had my confirmation there, if you are asking me do I believe in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the answer is yes. But I confess to you I have not always walked in His way.
“And he was so emphatic with me, more emphatic than all those others who had advised me on this spiritual journey. And he said ‘let me tell you something. If you will embrace the Lord, if you will invite him into your life, if you will confess your sins, if you will be reborn, if you would pledge sincerely to walk in His way, Jesus Christ will protect you. He will not abandon you. He will deliver you from those who persecute you,’” Stone explained.
He said after his talk with Graham, he sat in his service and was moved to turn his life over to God at the end of the service where about 400 others made confessions to God.
“I pledged to do my best to sin no more. And I pledged to walk in His way,” Stone said.
“I must tell you from that moment I felt like a cement block had been removed from my chest. I left that arena after signing many autographs and posing for many selfies,” he said. “All doubt was gone. I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my wife that we had turned a new leaf, that we had turned a new chapter.”
Stone prefaced his testimony, which he said was a “long and tortured ordeal,” by sharing a bit of the history behind his 40-year friendship with President Trump, whom he described as a “man of uncommon courage."
“I am a 40 year-friend of President Donald J. Trump. I wanted him to run for president in 1988. I wanted him to run in 2000, I wanted him to run in 2012 and I thank the Lord he decided to run with God’s guidance in 2016,” he said.
“I recognized when I first met him in 1979, I was organizing Gov. Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president in New York State, that Donald Trump is a man of uncommon courage of complete independence. A man of integrity, a man with enormous stamina … and a man who did not need to be president,” he explained.
“He didn’t want to be president because he needed to be better known; he was already the best known business person on the face of the planet. He didn’t need to be president because he needed a nice fancy house; he already had a big fancy house, nicest house in Florida, the most incredible skyline apartment in Manhattan. He didn’t run for president because he wanted a big fancy plane; he already had a beautiful plane. He didn’t run for president because he wanted to be someone; he wanted to run for president because he wanted to do something. He ran for president because he saw what was happening to America and he did not like it. He ran for president, not for himself, not for his family, not for his glory but for us.”
Stone said he knew the president had a divine calling for a higher purpose when God protected his life from a tragedy that killed nine of his top business executives in 1982.
He explained that at the time, Trump and his companies were among his first clients working as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
“I was working on these currency transaction rules that were being developed in the U.S. Treasury Department that would have had an extraordinary impact on the cash flow and costs of doing business in Donald Trump’s business. And these new rules were being promulgated by the Treasury Department on a relatively quick basis and I called him from Washington, he was in New York, and I said that I really needed him to look at these drafts of these regulations and tell me whether he wanted me to approve them or to file his objections,” Stone recalled. “He said ‘well, I can’t see you today I got to fly to Atlantic City for some business there. Could we do this tomorrow?’ and I said ‘No, it really cannot wait.”
He said Trump decided to send his top executives ahead of him to Atlantic City with plans to fly there after their meeting.
When he got to New York and met with Trump, about 10 minutes after the meeting started he said Trump’s assistant informed him that the helicopter transporting all nine of his top executives had crashed and there were no survivors.
He said he later watched as the president broke the news to all of the widows and he said that’s when he knew Trump had a higher calling.
“I realized that at that moment that God had spared Donald Trump for some higher and better purpose. I did not save Donald Trump’s life, the Lord saved Donald Trump’s life,” he said. “And when the story got out that Trump was supposed to be on that airplane, the elitist fake news media mocked him and told him he had made that story up. No, I was there, folks, that’s exactly the way it happened.”
When Trump decided to run for president in 2016, Stone said he was an enthusiastic supporter because his candidacy had come at the time of “God’s calling.”
“The two-party duopoly, the Republicans and Democrats working together had given us endless foreign war where our inherent national interests were just not clear. They had given us the erosion of our civil liberties where the government is keeping tags on each one of us, listening to our phone calls, charting our text messages and our emails. They had given us immigration policies that punish the people who are waiting in line to come here legally for the promise of a better life in America while rewarding those who come here illegally with benefits that we pay for,” he said.
Stone also lamented the one-size fits all trade policies that were great for America trading partners but “sucked the jobs out of America,” which destroyed the country’s manufacturing base. The Republican-Democrat duopoly, he said, gave America fiscal policies that added debt that weakened the dollar and confiscatory tax rates that discouraged entrepreneurism.
“Republicans and Democrats together did this folks, no one party can screw up the country that badly,” he said to applause.
“For my support of Donald Trump, I endured a three-year nightmare. The Office of Special Counsel that we now know was formed for no legitimate reason … targeted me because of my longtime association with Donald Trump,” Stone said.
He said he lost his home, savings, and most of his insurance as a result of being targeted and argued that he didn’t get a fair trial and had been naïve enough to think that he would.