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Roger Stone arrest: Trump confidant faces major indictment as president attempts to reopen government

Trump campaign officials were in contact with Stone over Wikileaks and hacked Clinton campaign emails, according to indictment

Roger Stone: 'I am falsely accused of making false statements during my testimony to the house intelligence committee. That is incorrect, and any error I made in my testimony would be immaterial and without intent'

Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone has been arrested by the FBI as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible campaign links to Russia.

The FBI has charged Mr Stone on seven counts, invcluding witness tampering, obstruction and false statements about his interactions related to the release by WikiLeaks of hacked emails during the 2016 presidential election.

Stone disputed the charges while leaving a Florida courthouse on Friday, saying in a statement, "I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated."

"I am a fervent supporter of the president," he added, vowing to never testify against the president or pleading guilty to the charges.

He was released on a $250,000 bond.

The arrest comes as the White House is reportedly preparing a draft emergency declaration that would allow Donald Trump to circumvent Congress if lawmakers do not fund his southern border wall.

The president effectively announced an end to the government shutdown on its 35th day on Friday, agreeing to a temporary resolution that would open shuttered federal agencies for three weeks as negotiations over the border wall remain ongoing.

The move arrived a day after a bill backed by Mr Trump to end the shutdown, which included $5.7 billion he wanted for the wall, and a separate bill supported by Democrats to reopen federal agencies without such funding, did not garner the votes required to advance in the Senate.​

“We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea, we never did,” Mr Trump said at one point, walking back vows he made throughout the campaign to build a wall sprawling the entirety of the US-Mexico border.

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He added, “We never proposed that. We never wanted that, because we have barriers at the border where natural structures are as good as anything that we can build“.

Read below for our live coverage on the latest indictment from the special counsel

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the 35th day of the US federal government shutdown.

The White House and Congress are still deadlocked over funding for Donald Trump’s southern border wall.

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 11:43
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The latest CNN story suggests the White House is drawing up a draft national emergency declaration that would allow Trump to circumvent Congress on his border wall.

Asked about the report, a White House official said: “Nothing is off the table, but we still believe the best path forward is working with Congress on a solution to the humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border.”

An emergency declaration would almost certainly be swiftly challenged on constitutional grounds by the Democrats.

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 11:49
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The former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone has been arrested by the FBI.

The bureau has charged Stone on seven counts, including one of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one of witness tampering.

Read more here: 

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 11:57
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A reminder that Trump has suggested any federal employees struggling for food during the shutdown can “work along” with their grocery store to get credit. 

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 12:04
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A growing number of colleges are postponing tuition payments and offering emergency grants to students whose finances have been tied up by the shutdown, according to the Associated Press.

In New York, Connecticut and Nevada, the state-wide college systems have agreed to delay payments for students who are federal employees or rely on family members in federal jobs. At least 20 other schools have made similar offers as they scramble to keep students from dropping out amid the financial pinch.

At Wayne State University in Detroit, students affected by the shutdown are eligible for grants of up to $1,500 and can enter tuition plans with no upfront payments and no interest.

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 12:14
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Alongside the government shutdown and news of Roger Stone’s arrest, the president is also handling a growing dispute with Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro.

Trump has ratcheted up the rhetoric, claiming that “all options are on the table” after his administration said it recognised opposition politician Juan Guaido as the country’s president. The US is also seeking to divert crucial oil money from Maduro’s government.

Here’s Andrew Buncombe with more:

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 12:29
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More on this morning’s bombshell news: the FBI arrest of Roger Stone in connection with the Russia investigation.

The grand jury indictment brought by special counsel Robert Mueller lays out in detail Mr Stone’s conversations about the Democratic party emails posted by WikiLeaks in the weeks before the 2016 election. Stone will appear in court in Florida later today.

Here’s Tom Embury-Dennis with more:

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 12:38
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As the shutdown enters its 35th day, tempers are getting seriously frayed. In an angry speech on the Senate floor, Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet accused his Republican colleague Ted Cruz of crying “crocodile tears” over the closure.

“When the Senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013 my state was flooded. It was underwater. People were killed! People’s houses were destroyed!”

Watch it here:

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 12:53
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CNN captured footage of Roger Stone’s arrest at his home in Fort Lauderdale around 6am this morning. Around a half dozen law enforcement vehicles pulled up in front of the house before FBI officials banged the door and told Stone they had a warrant for his arrest.

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 13:08
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If Trump does get funding for his US-Mexico wall, its construction could have a huge impact on wildlife along the border.

More than 1,500 native animal and plant species would be affected by the wall, according to a group of eminent scientists – including 62 listed as endangered or vulnerable.

Read more details here:

Adam Forrest25 January 2019 13:13

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