WASHINGTON - Now that Roger Stone is no longer going to jail, the former political consultant has quite a few people to thank. Donald Trump is right at the top of the list, but spiritually speaking he has someone even greater than the president to thank, namely Jesus Christ.
In January of this year, in the middle of all his legal troubles, Stone attended an outdoor prayer service in Florida led by Franklin Graham. Stone tells CBN News he was desperate, struggling and stressed out. Graham had met with him before the event and that night Stone made his move.
"At that moment, I felt the calling," Stone says. "I stood up with 500 other people. I wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed. I confess that I was a sinner. I repeated a pledge that he recited, and it was as if a cement block was lifted off my chest. I can't even explain it." Stone says it gave him security about his future. "I was never scared. I was never worried. I was completely confident that the Lord would guide the president to do the right thing."
For decades, the provocateur enjoyed a reputation as the bad boy of politics. Then came convictions of lying to Congress and obstructing a congressional investigation into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
"I don't regret anything that I did in 2016 because I didn't break the law," Stone tells CBN News. "They wanted me to lie, to bear false witness against the president in return for some kind of leniency."
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Most political observers would expect Stone to be on the warpath against his enemies. But now, despite anger against prosecutors that he says were dishonest and politically motivated, Stone says he's on a new path.
"Here's the big difference. In the old days, I would have wanted revenge. I would have wanted to take revenge against every one of them but now I've realized that vengeance is God's, it's not mine," he explained.
Stone doesn't feel a need to go to his original playbook. "I no longer am obsessed with the Sicilian concept of revenge, which generally speaking is a dish that tastes best when eaten cold," he added.
Still, Stone couldn't resist putting what he's been through in spiritual terms. "I really do believe that those who are trying to undo this president, those who are trying to destroy me, trying to destroy Michael Flynn, who's a very good man and great American patriot war hero, I do believe they're satanic," he said.
Stone wasn't done. "They cut corners and what's outrageous is their arrogance, their moral superiority, when in fact, they have no morals at all," he said. "I don't believe that any of these people involved in my prosecution are really believers in God."
CBN News reached out to former members of the Office of the Special Counsel about Stone's satanic remark. A spokesman declined to comment.
Meanwhile, you can be sure that Stone won't be declining comment as he moves forward with his life.
"I can guarantee you I don't intend to become boring," he says. As for regrets, he has them. "I do regret the fact that it took this long for me to return to the church because I realized that I could have had the solitude and the solace and the strength and the fortitude to fight this much earlier. I went through a year of hell before I found the way." Will he now find the way to do the hard task the Bible requires of praying for his enemies "The Lord will deal with them so it's not like they will go unpunished. That makes it easier to pray for them for when that moment comes."
As for Stone's immediate future, he wants to help re-elect President Trump, this time from his perch on the outside. As for his purpose going forward, he's waiting on God. "I think God put me in this position at this time for a purpose," Stone tells CBN News. "So if God has a mission for me, He hasn't revealed it to me yet, but if He does, I'm ready for duty."