- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 1, 2020

Roger Stone described President Trump’s re-election campaign Saturday as being at a disadvantage to presumptive Democratic opponent Joseph R. Biden.

Stone, Mr. Trump’s former 2016 campaign adviser and longtime confidant, also said he believes the president should use his executive power to give him an advantage on the debate state against Mr. Biden. 

The longtime Republican operative made the comments during an online discussion organized by a political action committee devoted to promoting the ideas of late conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche. 

“Everything depends on this November,” said Stone. “We are outgunned and outmanned, but I have great confidence in the president’s skills as a communicator and as a campaigner.”

Stone, who was found guilty of several felonies stemming from his conduct during the 2016 campaign but recently spared a prison sentence by the president, then offered his advice for besting Mr. Biden. 

“I hope that he does not agree to the debate schedule as put forward by the presidential commission on debates, which is not appointed by the president, is not a commission and is not about debates,” said Stone. “I think the president can command how and when and under what format he debates, and he should use that power to control the dialogue on debates and to control what debates are ultimately heard by the American people.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates, as it is officially known, was established in 1987 by the chairs of the Democratic and Republican Parties to organize debates held during the following year’s race. It has continued to do so during the subsequent decades. 

Mr. Biden, the vice president under former President Barack Obama, is expected to formally receive the Democratic presidential nominee during the party’s convention later this month. A debate between both men is currently set for the following month in Cleveland, Ohio, followed by a debate in Miami, Florida, and a debate in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, respectively. 

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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