A defiant effort to exonerate himself in the Trump-Russia saga also looks like a campaign to raise money and sell books.

Defying the advice of pretty much every defense lawyer in America, Roger Stone won’t stop talking.

The longtime political adviser to President Donald Trump gives lengthy interviews about his role in the 2016 presidential election. He writes combative op-eds about Robert Mueller, who is investigating him. He invites reporters into his home for open-ended hangout sessions.

It’s all part of a pre-emptive counterattack against the special counsel’s Russia investigation, which many legal experts believe is inexorably closing in on Stone.

And if you didn’t know better, you might think Stone is enjoying himself.

Several times in a typical week, the flamboyant self-described GOP dirty trickster vehemently denies being a 2016 middleman between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the Trump campaign — a subject Mueller’s team is carefully examining. Along the way, he cheerfully insults Mueller, denounces the “Deep State,” attacks the media and ridicules such enemies as “Dumb-Fatman (Steve Bannon).”

He also hawks his books, promotes his public appearances, and raises money to pay his lawyers.

All the while, he appears unfazed that his media saturation makes him an open book for Mueller’s prosecutors as they assess whether the truth of the 2016 campaign makes him a criminal or just a crude braggart. Even lawyers he’s consulted with admit it’s a risky move considering Mueller has held other people’s public commentary against them in court.

But a clear reminder of the benefit of being in the public eye came on Monday, when Trump cited Stone’s vow, made on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” a day earlier, that he would never testify against the president. Trump approvingly tweeted that the stance took “guts!”

The next day, Stone’s friend and former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo sent out a mass email announcing the creation of a GoFundMe legal defense fund for Stone’s legal bills “to pay the costs he’s incurring due to his two year torture.” Caputo said Stone, who posted an Instagram image of himself last month wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigar in a beach chair, has “lost everything.”

Stone’s friends and lawyers said the former Richard Nixon campaign aide and peripheral Watergate figure can’t say no to the media despite concerns about adding to his legal jeopardy. Every opportunity helps him maintain his public persona and raise money to pay soaring legal fees connected to the Russia probe.

“Staying quiet isn’t going to attract contributions,” said Kendall Coffey, a Miami-based former federal prosecutor who briefly discussed joining Stone’s legal defense team in mid-2017. “Staying low profile offers no benefits for him.”

Stone himself said he wouldn’t deploy any other media strategy. Like Trump, with whom he’s had a business relationship off and on for more than 40 years, Stone’s mantra is to keep attacking — no matter the potential legal risk.

“The danger is in not speaking,” Stone said in an interview earlier this year. “When you’re silent, people assume you are guilty of something.”

On Tuesday, Stone doubled down in an email to POLITICO, saying he needed a continued presence in print and on the television and radio airwaves to push back against mainstream media outlets who have published “willful omissions, misrepresentations, recycled falsehoods and half-truths” about his efforts on behalf of Trump during the 2016 White House campaign.

“I have no choice but to punch back and use every available forum to do so,” he said.

In recent months he has done so on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and online outlets ranging from Infowars to NewsMax TV, on which he appeared Tuesday. That’s not to mention his regular quotes in every major print news outlet, from The New York Times to The Washington Post to POLITICO.

But the public exposure also brings legal exposure, legal experts say.

“Most defense lawyers would say don’t show any of your cards,” said Coffey. “Hold back because you don’t know how the government information is crystallizing. You don’t know how the possible defense might emerge. To lock yourself into a narrative is usually a mistake for a prospective defendant.”

Mueller is clearly willing to make people pay for their public commentary, even if it’s not under oath. Last month, his prosecutors cited George Papadopolous’ tweets in a motion arguing the former Trump campaign adviser should not get a delay in serving his prison sentence.

Stone’s “Truman Show” media strategy includes allowing a documentary film crew to follow him for more than five years surrounding Trump’s rise to the pinnacle of political power in the 2016 presidential campaign. He continues to host a syndicated live radio show broadcast from his homes in South Florida and Manhattan. He also regularly contributes op-eds about the nuances of the Mueller probe to the Daily Caller, the conservative website that lists him as its “Men’s Fashion Editor.”

More recently, Stone has been the subject of profiles by the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor. And he keeps jumping at the opportunity for television airtime to comment whenever his name surfaces in the headlines.

“Chris, thank you for having me,” Stone told CNN’s Chris Cuomo during a prime-time hit just days before the 2018 midterm elections. “Since I am banned for life on Twitter, restricted today on Facebook, and they are trying to ban my show on Infowars, I appreciate the opportunity to respond.”

He also uses public appearances to hawk his several books, including a Trump-friendly account of the 2016 election and ”The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ,” both prominently featured on his StoneZone website. The site also links to a separate legal defense fund, whose home page warns that his legal fees “could top $2 million.”

Stone’s approach is a marked contrast with some of the first people pulled into the Mueller investigation, including former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. All three stayed away from interviews and otherwise commenting directly to reporters.

But Stone’s style has rubbed off on several of his associates. Former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg did a bizarre round of media interviews in March in which he appeared to wrestle in real time over whether to defy a Mueller subpoena. Another associate, Andrew Miller, has an active lawsuit before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., aimed at trying to knock Mueller from his job on constitutional grounds. And Stone associate Jerome Corsi last month released a copy of a draft plea agreement, apparently from Mueller, that indicates he could be charged with lying to federal investigators.

Stone is following some historic precedent. Susan McDougal, a real estate investment partner of President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, was a regular quote for reporters each step of the way as she defied a court order to appear before a grand jury in independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s Whitewater probe, including speaking out from the courthouse steps, on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and even after she was sent to jail.

People who know Stone say they’re not surprised he’s taken all of the press attention to the extreme. “The extent to which he’s kept a media campaign going while clearly wearing a bull’s-eye on his back is beyond anything else I can recall,” said Coffey, a former Clinton-era U.S. attorney from South Florida.

Morgan Pehme, co-director of the Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone,” told POLITICO he didn’t think Stone was trying to get indicted with his frequent commentary. But he did warn that Stone’s penchant for speaking up so often could get him in trouble. “He has a streak of being self-destructive,” he said.

Stone’s friends say he keeps speaking up in anticipation that Mueller — if prosecution comes — could seek the same kind of court-imposed gag order that has silenced both Manafort and Gates. “He’s only going to get his story out for so long,” said one friend. “Roger is smart. He understands at some point they’re going to gag him.”

Tyler Nixon, a Colorado-based attorney who is counseling Stone, said he wouldn’t even consider trying to muzzle his client and longtime friend. “There’s so much disinformation and so much defamation,” Nixon said. “I don’t see that he has any other choice.”

But others say Stone would be wise to hit the mute button. “I think for his own sake he should be quiet,” said Nunberg, who has described Stone as “a surrogate father” and mentor. “The president can get away with what the president can get away with. He’s not the president.”