by Margaret Menge

GOP operative and provocateur Roger Stone, a longtime friend of the president, came out swinging in closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning. He accused Democrats of making false allegations against him and the whole committee of being “cowardly” for refusing to allow the testimony to take place in public.

Stone skunked the committee, posting a video online at InfoWars of himself reading the testimony in full. The video was posted at the exact time that Stone was to give his testimony.

“This is the statement that I am giving, right now, to the House Intelligence Committee,” Stone says at the beginning of the video.

“Because they steadfastly refused to hold this hearing in public and refused to release the transcript, I have no choice but to come here to so that you can hear precisely what I’m saying to the U.S. House committee this morning,” Stone continued.

“Good morning Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, committee members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and staff. My name is Roger Stone,” he said.

“I’m most interested in correcting a number of falsehoods, misstatements and misimpressions regarding allegations of collusion between Donald Trump, the Trump associates, the Trump family, the Trump campaign, and the Russian state," Stone said.

“I view this as a political proceeding, because a number of the members of this committee have made irresponsible, indisputably and provably false statements in order to create the impression of collusion with the Russian state without any evidence that would hold up in a U.S. court of law or the court of public opinion,” Stone continued.

President Donald Trump's longtime friend and adviser went on to tell the committee that he is “no stranger to the slash and burn aspects of American politics today” and that he realizes that because of his reputation as a “partisan warrior,” he is “a suitable scapegoat” for people trying to persuade Americans that foreign interference occurred in the 2016 presidential election.

“I have a long history in this business,” Stone said, going on to describe his work.

“I strategize, I prosthelytize, I consult, I electioneer, I write, I advocate, I report, and I prognosticate. I’m a New York Times best-selling author and I have a syndicated radio show and a weekly column. And, I report for at 5 o’clock eastern every day,” he said.

“While some may label me a dirty trickster,” he continued, “the members of this committee could not point to any tactic that was outside the accepted norms of what political strategists and consultants do today. I do not engage in any illegal activities on behalf of my clients or the causes I support. There is one trick that is not in my bag. And that, is treason.”

Stone went on to describe the political ideas that influenced him, describing himself as being driven to political activism by his opposition to communism.

“As someone whose political activism was born from the anti-communism of Sen. Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan, and whose freedom-seeking family members were mowed down by Russian tanks on the streets of Budapest in 1956, I deeply resent any allegation that I would collude with the oppressive Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” he said.

He went on to site the testimony of former Trump campaign staffer Michael Caputo, who testified before the same committee, also in closed session, with committee members subsequently making false statements about him while refusing to release the transcript of the testimony.

“Multiple members of this committee have made false allegations against me in public sessions in order to ensure that these bogus charges receive maximum media coverage," he said. "Now, however, you deny me the very opportunity to respond to these charges in the same public forum in which they were made. This, is cowardly.”

Stone went on to point a finger at the New York Times, which reported in a Jan. 20, 2017 article that the intelligence community had information showing that he, Carter Page and Paul Manafort, Trump's third campaign manager and Stone's close friend, colluded with the Russians to help Trump.

“So where are these records? Can this committee or the intelligence agencies produce them?" asked Stone. "I didn’t think so.”

He also pointed to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)'s comments that Stone should be forced to explain his "ties" to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Stone told the committee that he had actually worked against Yanukovych's party in the 2006 parliamentary elections in the Ukraine, and that he has "no ties to any Russians."

“Given this committee’s consistent refusal to allow me to testify in the public session, in the interest of compromise, I repeatedly requested that the transcript of my testimony here today be immediately released immediately on the conclusion of today’s session," he said. "Even this constructive suggestion has been summarily rejected. What is it you fear? Why do you oppose transparency? What is it you don’t want the American people to know?”

He went on to say that he would not allow himself to be a "punching bag for people with ill intentions or a political agenda."

"Understand, I will expose the truth in every forum and on every platform available to me,” he said.

Stone went on to describe his relationship with President Trump, saying he's known Trump for 40 years, and has "continually" over many years urged him to run for president, going back to 1988. When Trump decided to run in the 2016 election, Stone was one of the first consultants Trump hired, working for him for five months in 2015, leaving the campaign in August of that year.

He told the committee members that he believes Trump has the potential to be "a truly great and transformative president."

Stone then got down to the specifics of the allegations that Russians hacked the server of the Democratic National Committee, quoting an Aug. 9, 2017 article from the left-wing magazine The Nation summarizing the finding of a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity that there had been no hack of the DNC:

"Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak — a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device," the article had stated.

"In short, it was an inside job," claimed Stone.

Stone told the committee that the misinformation spread by U.S. intelligence agencies in their January 2017 report had led to a "frivolous lawsuit" filed against him by former Obama operatives.

He went on to rail against the CIA and other U.S. agencies, saying he understands that they're angry President Trump has refused to expand the war in Syria, and saying the fact that they continue to leak to damage the president is "proof positive of their politicization."

Members of the House Intelligence Committee, he said, had falsely accused him of three things: 1. Knowing in advance that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's email would be hacked; 2. Knowing in advance about WikiLeaks disclosures about Hillary Clinton and; 3. Having significant communications with Guccifer 2.0, whom U.S. intelligence agencies have said is connected to Russian intelligence.

“Such assertions are conjecture, supposition, projection and allegations. But none of them are facts,” said Stone.

“For example, Mr. Schiff, the ranking member of this committee, asked, 'Is it a coincidence that Roger Stone predicted that John Podesta would be the victim of a Russian hack and have his private emails published, and did so even before Mr. Podesta himself was fully aware that his private e-mails would be exposed?'" said Stone.

"To be clear, I never made any such prediction. I want to know where I predicted this. Can Mr. Schiff read us the exact quote and source from which I predicted the hacking of Podesta’s email? Can Mr. Schiff even come up with a documented quote where I used Podesta and email in the same sentence, before it happened? My tweet of August 21st 2016 in which I said, 'Trust me, it will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel. Hashtag crookedHillary,' must be examined in context. I posted this at a time when my boyhood friend and colleague, Paul Manafort, had just resigned from the Trump campaign over allegations regarding his business activities in Ukraine. I thought it manifestly unfair that Podesta not be held to the same, exact standard. Note that my tweet of Aug. 21, 2016 makes no mention whatsoever of Mr. Podesta’s email, but does accurately predict that the Podesta brothers business activities in Russia with oligarchs around Vladimir Putin, their uranium deal, their bank deal, their Gazprom deal, would all come under public scrutiny.”

Stone went on to say that he learned that Hillary Clinton's emails were coming out because he read a tweet from Julian Assange that announced this, and that he'd also asked a journalist friend to confirm it with Assange.

He accused the ranking Democrat on the committee, California Rep. Adam Schiff of being "guilty of a false assertion" for asking former FBI director James Comey at a March 20 hearing if he knew that Stone had said he had direct communication with Assange.

“I have never said or written that I have any direct communications with Julian Assange and have always clarified in numerous interviews and speeches that my communications with Wikileaks were through the aforementioned journalist,” Stone told the committee members.

It was fairly mild criticism of Schiff, at least compared to Stone's recent comments in which he referred to his accuser as a "Schiff-head" -- a play on words -- and said the Democrat is "so full of Schiff his eyes are brown."

“The fact is that during the March 20th Comey hearing and many times subsequently, members of this committee and even the Democratic nominee for president, felt that they could go into the public square and make similar charges without any substantiation or basis in fact.”

Stone went on to accuse Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) of lying when she said publicly that Stone, Caputo and Manafort were part of a "cabal" that had "business relationships" with Russia.

“No, congresswoman, I’ve never had any business relationships in Russia or with any Russian entity," he said. "You have lied, and accused me without evidence. You should apologize today.”

Stone said he would also demand an apology from Hillary Clinton if she were there, referring to her as "the runner-up" in the election and "the queen of sour grapes" and saying she repeated many lies about him in her new book "What Happened."

When reached by LifeZette on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee said in an email that the closed-door session with Stone is the committee's "normal method of operation for interviews."

"Typically, we only hold public hearings with high-level government officials," said communications director Jack Langer. "According to committee rules, we don’t release transcripts except in very specific circumstances – for example, if we’re going to quote from an interview in a public report, we’ll release that part of the transcript to the witness."

Messages sent to the office of the chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and to committee members Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) went unanswered.