“You have to recognize that Donald Trump does not operate the way a conventional politician would. He is very much his own man and a free spirit,” said Stone. “It was Donald Trump who decided to make illegal immigration a cornerstone of his platform and decided we needed a barrier on our southern border.

“All I helped provide was a rhetorical flourish, as it were, in that I understood that because he was a builder, Trump would have credibility by saying, ‘I will build a wall’ — he’s a builder, that’s what he does. And I also thought that once Trump road-tested it, people would react favorably — and they did. Therefore, Trump would have reason to repeat it — repetition being a key element in the art of politics.”