WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump praised a key witness in the Russia investigation Monday for having the “guts” not to testify against him, and said his former lawyer — who cut a deal with prosecutors — should head straight to prison.
In a pair of politically charged tweets, Trump made clear that he is closely watching those who turn on him in the special counsel’s probe, which has ensnared some of the president’s closest advisers. So far, five people in Trump’s orbit have pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Trump already has come under scrutiny from critics who fear he may use his executive power to protect himself as well as friends and supporters. In one of Monday’s tweets, Trump took aim at Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney who once grandly declared he would “take a bullet” for the president but ultimately took a plea deal.
Cohen said he lied out of loyalty to Trump, who insisted throughout the campaign that he had no business dealings in Russia, and to be consistent with his political messaging.
On Monday, Trump ripped into Cohen on Twitter. Minutes later, Trump lavished praise on his former campaign adviser Roger Stone. Trump lauded Stone for saying he’d never testify against the president.
“This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump,'” he tweeted. “Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’ “