Roger Stone deletes Instagram post showing judge next to apparent crosshairs symbol

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Trump says he hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone

Former longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone says an image posted to his Instagram account showing the face of the judge presiding over his criminal case next to an apparent crosshairs symbol was posted by someone who works from him and wasn't meant to be threatening.

The photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson appeared on Stone's account Monday afternoon and included the symbol in the corner. The text of the post criticized an order Jackson issued on Friday placing some limits on what he and his lawyers can publicly say about his case. Stone, who faced immediate backlash on Twitter after posting the image, soon took the photo down.

Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone posted an image to Instagram that appeared to feature crosshairs behind the judge presiding over his case. Instagram

Stone told CBS News the image had been misinterpreted and was not meant as a threat.

"I have objected to the manner in which my case was assigned to a specific judge rather than the judge being selected randomly," Stone told CBS News in a text message. "The judge rejected the motion by my attorneys from which there is no appeal. I do not believe that I have violated any order of the court and that these sentiments for within my First Amendment rights. Any inference that this in someway threatens the judge is false. Because it is open to misinterpretation I'm going to take it down."

"One of the people who works for me posted it but I disagree that it violates any aspect of the judge's order," Stone added. "Because it has been [misinterpreted] I ordered it taken down In though everything contained was factual."

Stone claimed the crosshairs were a "symbol of some type. This was a random photo taken from the Internet and not Photoshopped by anyone I know."

Stone was arrested in a pre-dawn raid in January at his home in Florida after being indicted on charges of lying, obstruction and witness tampering related to the special counsel's Russia investigation. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on $250,000 bond.

First published on February 18, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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