President Donald Trump’s longtime confidante Roger Stone will testify before the House intelligence committee on July 24 in a closed session.
Stone’s expected testimony follows news that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta on Tuesday met with House investigators digging into Russia’s efforts to alter the 2016 elections.
“I am confident that Podesta most likely repeated his lie that I knew in advance about the hacking of his email, and am anxious to rebut this falsehood,” Stone said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. “I am still unhappy that my testimony will not be in public, but believe it is more important to resolve the question of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – which I believe was nonexistent.”
Stone has repeatedly called for an opportunity to testify in an open session. But a source familiar with the matter said the committee decided to keep the hearing closed.
“It was the decision of the committee,” the source said. “We asked for open and they declined.”
Stone was the recent subject of a Netflix documentary, “Get Me Roger Stone,” which chronicles his life in national politics. The Trump associate began his career as a young “dirty trickster” for President Richard Nixon. Though he endured a scandalous setback in the mid-1990s, Stone re-emerged in the last two decades, most recently during Trump’s campaign.
“I acknowledge I am a hardball player. I have sharp elbows. I always play politics the way it is supposed to be played,” Stone told CNN in May. “But one thing isn’t in my bag of tricks: treason.”
A spokesperson for Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who is leading the Russia probe, did not respond to a request for comment.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Gregory Krieg contributed to this report