Roger Stone is a longtime friend and ally of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Stone has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and he regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating her execution. He is a discredited researcher and conspiracy theorist who claims the Clintons and Bushes secretly murdered dozens; the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is “suspicious”; President Lyndon Johnson killed President John F. Kennedy; President George H.W. Bush tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan; and the Clintons killed John F. Kennedy Jr.
Roger Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump
Stone describes himself as a “40- year friend and advisor of Donald Trump.” [The Washington Post, 9/26/17]
Stone Said Trump “went to my wedding when I got married. I went to two out of three of his weddings.” [Talking Points Memo, 9/2/15]
Stone said he spent “25 years as a lobbyist for Trump.” Stone’s lobbying activity for Trump included secretly financing “newspaper advertisements opposing casino gambling in the Catskills,” which led to Stone and Trump receiving a major government fine. [StoneZone.com, 4/19/11; The New York Times, 10/6/00]
Stone: “I chaired trump's presidential exploratory committee in 2000 and wanted him to run in 2012.” [Media Matters, 4/14/16]
Stone helped place Paul Manafort in a top Trump campaign role. Stone introduced and recommended Paul Manafort, a top Trump campaign aide, to the business magnate. On April 6, Stone said of their relationship: “My partner Paul Manafort, partner of 15 years, a friend of mine of almost 50 years, someone I’ve known since childhood, is without any question the single best convention organizer and strategist in the country.” Stone was a partner with Manafort in the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. [Media Matters, 4/14/16; Rolling Stone, 4/18/16]
Trump picked up Stone’s playbook with attacks on the Clintons' alleged “war on women.” Stone’s book The Clintons’ War on Women has served as a playbook for Trump’s claims that President Bill Clinton is “one of the great woman abusers of all time” and Hillary Clinton is an “enabler.” Former Trump adviser Michael Caputo said he “heard more than one time Donald Trump say” that Stone’s book “is his opposition research on the Clintons.” New York magazine reported of the strategy: “Stone says his earlier advocacy put the pieces in place for it to happen. ‘I forced Trump into my narrative,’ Stone said.” [Media Matters, 4/14/16, 9/28/16; New York, 10/12/16]
During the 2016 election, Stone headed the pro-Trump super PAC Committee to Restore America’s Greatness and related 527 group Stop The Steal. Stone formed the Committee To Restore America’s Greatness in December 2015 with the goal of electing Trump because he “can save this country.” Stone's Stop The Steal group aimed to prevent Democrats from trying “to steal the election from Donald Trump.” [Media Matters, 4/20/16, 10/12/16; Reuters, 12/18/15]
Stone said he and Trump “talk on a semi-regular basis.” [Media Matters, 4/14/16]
Stone met with senior Trump campaign staff during the campaign. The Daily Beast reported in July 2016 that Stone said he had just met with Paul Manafort, Tony “‘Fabrizio—two of my oldest comrades in arms—and Jason Miller; a real pro.’ Those people, of course, are Trump’s campaign chairman, one of his pollsters and his communications manager.” Stone also said he communicated with Trump campaign communications official Michael Caputo and repeatedly talked about speaking to Manafort during media appearances in 2016. [Daily Beast, 7/18/16; Media Matters, 7/18/18]
Stone introduced Trump to Alex Jones and his audience. Stone is a host and contributor to Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Jones is a conspiracy theorist who has pushed toxic rhetoric about a wide variety of subjects. The New York Times reported in September that Trump and Jones “were connected by” Stone and “in December 2015 Mr. Stone arranged for Mr. Trump to do a 30-minute interview with Mr. Jones.” Stone has said that Trump “has watched Infowars.” [Media Matters, 5/3/17; The New York Times, 9/7/18]
Source close to Trump and Stone: “Roger is never too far away from Trump. ... He's always talking to Donald.” CNN.com reported of Stone’s involvement with Trump:
While Trump and his campaign can claim no connection with Stone -- after all, he left the campaign last August -- those who know the two men say that they speak regularly, and that Stone is an influential voice in Trump's ear.
“Roger is never too far away from Trump ... He's always talking to Donald,” a source close to both men said. “Roger and Trump always wind up finding their way back to each other,” said another.
So Stone left in August, less than two months after the campaign launched. But he never really was gone. He was not ousted, as was originally reported, nor was he forced into exile, as some journalists would claim. He was always there, on the sidelines, talking to Trump on a regular basis, planting stories in the press, influencing things where he could, several sources said. [CNN.com, 4/19/16]
Stone has a long history of political dirty tricks
Stone's website features quotes calling him a “master of right-wing political hit jobs,” “the high priest of political hijinks,” and “master of the black arts of electioneering.” The quotes featured on Stone's website come from, respectively, Politico, Weekly Standard, and Scotsman.com. Politico notes that Stone “publicly embraces his image as a dirty trickster.” [StoneZone.com, accessed 10/13/15; Politico, 8/6/15]
Stone was fired from Senate job because of role in Watergate. New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Tobin wrote of Stone:
He was just nineteen when he played a bit part in the Watergate scandals. He adopted the pseudonym Jason Rainier and made contributions in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, who was challenging Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1972. Stone then sent a receipt to the Manchester Union Leader, to “prove” that Nixon’s adversary was a left-wing stooge. Stone hired another Republican operative, who was given the pseudonym Sedan Chair II, to infiltrate the McGovern campaign. Stone’s Watergate high jinks were revealed during congressional hearings in 1973, and the news cost Stone his job on the staff of Senator Robert Dole. [New Yorker, 6/2/08]
Stone and Trump paid fines for lobbyist dirty tricks. In 2000, Trump and associates including Stone paid $250,000 in fines “to settle a New York State probe into whether he illegally lobbied to stop a proposed Indian-run casino.” The Daily News wrote:
In settling the matter with the now defunct Lobbying Commission for a then-state record high fine of $250,000, Trump was forced to publicly apologize even though he was not required to admit any wrongdoing.
Also part of the settlement was a provision that the Lobbying Commission would not refer the case for criminal prosecution. Under state law at the time, Trump and his allies could have faced misdemeanor charges if they were found to have violated the state lobbying act.
Trump's involvement was originally hidden. The lobbying campaign also involved controversial GOP consultant Roger Stone, who is supporting Trump's presidential run this year.
In the end, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts paid $50,000 in fines, Stone paid $100,000, and the institute $100,000. A source tied to the case said Trump covered all three fines.
Stone organized 2000 Brooks Brothers riot in Florida. The Daily Beast reported that Stone said he had regrets about organizing the so-called “Brooks Brothers riot,” which helped George W. Bush win the decisive Florida recount:
The capstone of Stone’s career, at least in terms of results, was the “Brooks Brothers riot” of the 2000 election recount. This was when a Stone-led squad of pro-Bush protestors stormed the Miami-Dade County election board, stopping the recount and advancing then-Governor George W. Bush one step closer to the White House. Though he is quick to rebut GOP operatives who seek to minimize his role in the recount, Stone lately has been having second thoughts about what happened in Florida.
["]When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade.’["]
“There have been many times I've regretted it,” Stone told me over pizza at Grand Central Station. “When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade. Maybe there hadn't have been, in my view, an unjustified war if Bush hadn't become president.' It's very disturbing to me.” [The Daily Beast, 11/20/08]
Stone resigned from New York GOP position “after allegations that he left a threatening telephone message at the office of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s father.” The New York Times reported in August 2007:
The Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, forced one of his top political consultants to resign on Wednesday after allegations that he left a threatening telephone message at the office of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s father.
The consultant, Roger J. Stone Jr., continued to insist that the recorded message — which was made public by lawyers representing the governor’s 83-year-old father, Bernard Spitzer — was not authentic. He said allies of the governor had plotted against him, though an alibi he offered in a statement on his Web site appeared to be problematic. [The New York Times, 8/23/07]
Stone helped push Michelle Obama “whitey tape” rumor. Politico reported in 2008 that Stone helped push a “rumor that's been creeping through the blogosphere the past couple weeks, in which Michelle Obama used the word ‘whitey’ on a panel at Trinity United. … ‘I now believe the tape exists,’ Stone added.” There wasn’t and still isn’t evidence such a tape exists. [Politico, 6/2/08]
Stone pledged to release the hotels and hotel room numbers of anti-Trump delegates. Stone claimed that Republicans were trying to “steal” the nomination from Donald Trump at the convention and set up an organization called Stop The Steal to prevent that from happening. During an April 4 interview, Stone said, “We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.” Stone’s remarks sparked harsh criticism and rebukes from Republicans, who labeled his remarks dangerous and a call to incite violence. [Media Matters, 4/5/16, 4/6/16; The Washington Post, 4/8/16]
Stone confirmed he’s been in communication with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. During an August 8 speech to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, Stone confirmed that he’s “communicated with Assange.” Stone later stated that he’s been “assured” that Assange’s WikiLeaks organization will release “the mother lode” against Clinton that will take down her campaign. Stone claimed that as a result, “the Clintonites are trying to figure out how to kill” Assange. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 10/3/16]
Stone’s shady behavior related to Russian interference in the 2016 election
Stone confirmed he’s been in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. During an August 8, 2016, speech to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, Stone confirmed that he’s “communicated with Assange.” Stone later stated that he’s been “assured” that Assange’s WikiLeaks organization will release “the mother lode” against Clinton that will take down her campaign. Stone claimed that as a result, “the Clintonites are trying to figure out how to kill” Assange. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 10/3/16]
Stone has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. For example:
- Stone claimed that he “never had any contacts with any Russians in any way,” then admitted he had a meeting with a Russian national about the campaign. (He also communicated with the Russian intelligence account Guccifer 2.0.)
- Stone claimed that he “communicated with” Assange, then said he “never communicated with Assange.”
- Stone claimed that he “never communicated with WikiLeaks,” but messages show he directly communicated with the organization.
- Stone claimed in July that he wasn't in “regular contact” with the Trump campaign in 2016, but he had previously bragged about his 2016 discussions with the campaign.
- Stone claimed in June that a subpoenaed associate “has not worked for" him "for three years,” but that associate worked for Stone at least in 2016 and 2017.
- Stone started a legal defense fund for himself but “has contradicted himself on what he's paying for and how much he's projected to pay” in legal costs. [Media Matters, 7/18/18]
Stone’s violent rhetoric: calls for killing of public figures, fantasizes about media figures dying
Stone: Hillary Clinton should be “executed for murder.” [Twitter.com, 7/10/14]
Stone: Sen. Bernie Sanders is a “Soviet agent” who “should be arrested for treason and shot.” [Twitter.com, 4/18/14]
Stone: George Soros should be “executed.” Soros is a businessman and progressive philanthropist (he has donated to Media Matters and other organizations). [Twitter.com, 3/15/14]
Stone: “Angry citizens should find and hang” Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT). [Twitter.com, 1/22/16]
Stone: Santorum won’t ever be president -- “I will order a mail-order rifle first.” Stone tweeted: “Religious fanatic Rick Santorum will never be President- I will order a mail-order rifle first.” Stone frequently writes about the John F. Kennedy assassination; the Warren Commission ruled that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy with a mail-order rifle. [Twitter.com, 2/3/13]
Stone has fantasized about the deaths of media figures. Stone tweeted to journalist Jill Abramson, “DIE BITCH!”; tweeted about CNN commentator Ana Navarro “killing herself”; and wrote of Fox News commentator Ed Rollins: “Ed Rollins is on FOX? If he isn't dead he should be #hack #loser #fraud.” [Media Matters, 5/2/16]
Stone’s racist commentary: “nigga,” “stupid negro,” “token,” “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” “house negro”
Stone’s tweets include attacks like “stupid negro,” “fat negro,” “arrogant know-it-all negro,” “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” and “house negro.” Stone tweeted that commentator Roland Martin is a “stupid negro” and a “fat negro,” commentator Herman Cain is “Mandingo,” and former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is an “arrogant know-it-all negro.” He also tweeted that commentator Al Sharpton is a “professional negro” who likes fried chicken, asked if former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was an “Uncle Tom,” and referred to himself as a “nigga” with a Nixon tattoo. [Media Matters, 2/24/16, 4/22/16]
Stone called Hispanic and Black commentators “quota hires.” Stone called African-American commentator Roland Martin and Latina CNN political commentator Ana Navarro “quota hires” because they are ”so dumb and unqualified that one can reach no other conclusion." He also tweeted of Navarro: “Black beans and rice didn't miss her.” He also called Martin a “token.” Stone’s comments led to him being banned from CNN. [Media Matters, 8/4/15, 2/22/16, 6/7/16]
Stone’s misogynistic rhetoric: “cunt,” “every man’s first wife,” “nice set of cans”
Stone has tweeted sexist attacks against media and political figures. Stone tweeted that New York Times columnist Gail Collins is an “elitist c*nt,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is “Rachel the muff-diver,” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has a “nice set of cans,” and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is a “jap” (acronym for ”Jewish American Princess") who is “every man’s first wife.” He also tweeted “DIE BITCH” at former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, and said he would kill himself if he was married to “screechy” and “shrill” Carly Fiorina. The Sun Sentinel also reported that Stone called Florida politician Barbara Stern a “self-important, nasty cunt” on Twitter. [Media Matters, 4/22/16; Sun Sentinel, 8/16/14]
Stone established anti-Hillary Clinton group called “C.U.N.T.” In 2008, Stone established the anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group Citizens United Not Timid. The group -- now defunct -- emphasized the acronym by bolding the first letter in each word. The group claimed to “educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is.” Stone said also he spent “hours trying to come up with words for B.I.T.C.H. and just couldn't do it.” [Media Matters, 10/14/15]
Stone was banned from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in 2016
CNN banned Stone after crude rhetoric. In February 2016, CNN stated it had banned Stone from appearing on its airwaves because of his incendiary tweets. [Media Matters, 2/23/16]
MSNBC banned Stone “because of his now very well-known offensive comments.” MSNBC confirmed in April that it had banned Stone from its network. MSNBC told The Washington Post that “Stone will not be a guest on MSNBC because of his now very well-known offensive comments." [Media Matters, 4/5/16; The Washington Post, 4/7/16]
Stone said Fox News banned him “because I kick their ass.” Stone used to be a frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business but his regular appearances waned and then stopped following Media Matters’ reporting. Stone confirmed during an October 4 speech that he has been blacklisted by Fox News, telling the audience: “I’m banned at CNN. I’m banned at MSNBC. I’m banned at Fox because I kick their ass. That’s why they don’t let me on.” [Media Matters, 10/15/16]
Twitter banned Stone for vitriolic rhetoric. In October 2017, Twitter banned Stone after he attacked CNN personalities. Sources told BuzzFeed News that the suspension is permanent. Stone had a long history of pushing racism, sexism, and violent rhetoric on his Twitter account. [BuzzFeed News, 10/28/17, Media Matters, 10/30/17]
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC have returned to hosting Stone during Trump’s administration. Despite Stone’s vitriolic rhetoric, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC reversed their policy regarding Stone and began hosting him again. The networks have also plugged Stone’s book Stone’s Rules. [Media Matters, 5/7/18, 5/8/18, 6/20/18]
Stone has peddled conspiracy theories about the 2016 election, 9/11, JFK assassination, the Clintons and Bushes committing murders, and more
Stone argued that the Clintons are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of roughly 40 people. In his book The Clintons’ War on Women, Stone wrote of the amount of people the Clintons supposedly killed:
There are widespread claims that the Clintons are responsible for the death of as many as eighty-three people whose knowledge stood in the way of their political ascent. Based on our investigation, the Clintons are only plausibly responsible for the deaths of half the people on this list. [Media Matters, 4/12/16]
Stone believes Bush family “tried to kill” President Reagan. Stone said that the “Bush Crime Family” had “tried to kill Reagan,” specifically alleging that President George H.W. Bush was motivated to assassinate Reagan over differences in foreign policy. [Media Matters, 3/1/16, 4/20/16; CBS Philly, 1/28/16; Twitter.com, 5/23/15]
Stone wrote The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. Stone wrote a book claiming President Lyndon Johnson was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. [Amazon.com, accessed 5/5/16]
Stone is a 9/11 truther: Stone said collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 “merits study and it certainly is suspicious.” Stone was asked by a radio host about the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, a central tenet of conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks. Stone responded: “People I like tell me that -- they make a strong case that the collapse of Building 7 is mysterious, indeed ridiculous. Judge [Andrew] Napolitano has raised this question, Alex Jones, both good friends of mine, have raised the question. I’m not an expert, but I’m enough to say, Well, it merits study and it certainly is suspicious. It’s something I have got to read about when I get off the [book tour] circuit.” Popular Mechanics explained, “Conspiracy theorists have long pointed to the collapse of the 47-story structure as key evidence that the U.S. government orchestrated or abetted the 9/11 attacks” and they “have long claimed that explosives downed World Trade Center 7, north of the Twin Towers. The long-awaited report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conclusively rebuts those claims.” [Caravan To Midnight, 3/9/16; Popular Mechanics, 8/20/08]
Stone believes the conspiracy theory that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was tied to the JFK assassination. After Trump linked Ted Cruz’s father to John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Stone tweeted: “100% correct about Ted Cruz father's connection to Lee Harvey Oswald! Eat it Lyin' @tedcruz.” Stone made similar remarks in the media tying Cruz’s father to the assassin. [Twitter.com, 5/3/16; Mediaite, 5/4/16]
Stone: JFK Jr. “was murdered by the Clintons because he was in the way.” Stone is writing a book based on his conspiracy theory that the Clintons murdered John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in a 1999 plane crash accident. Stone stated on a radio program: “I have coming up next year a book which I make the case that John F. Kennedy Jr. was murdered. And he was murdered by the Clintons because he was in the way. Now I have extraordinary new evidence that nobody else has seen.” [Media Matters, 4/12/16]
Stone works for leading 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Stone is a paid host for Alex Jones' Infowars network. Jones is a conspiracy theorist who believes the government was behind the 9/11 attacks and other national tragedies including the Oklahoma City bombing and shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT. [The New York Times, 9/7/18; Media Matters, 5/3/16]
Stone said Trump opponents “could stage an international incident … to cancel the election.” During an appearance on Alex Jones’ program, Stone said: “Well, they could stage an international incident in which everybody has to rally around the president and then use that as a pretext to cancel the election.” He also claimed: “I think they’re capable of anything, including martial law.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 4/27/16]
Stone heavily praised author who claims Holocaust, Sandy Hook, and 9/11 were faked. In March, Stone appeared on James Fetzer’s internet radio show and said there’s “nobody in the researcher community that I respect more.” Fetzer is a fringe conspiracy theorist who has claimed that the Holocaust, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and 9/11 attacks were faked. During the interview, Stone said he plans to ask for a 9/11 “reading list” from Fetzer to “get myself educated.” [Media Matters, 4/12/16]
Stone co-authored anti-Clinton book with a fringe conspiracy theorist with a history of racist and sexist writings. Stone co-authored the book The Clintons' War on Women with Robert Morrow. Morrow is a fringe conspiracy theorist who has wished death on Hillary Clinton and been visited by the Secret Service; posted bizarre sexual writings about the former secretary of state; called Chelsea Clinton a “slut” and imagined how she would “have sex one day” with Bill Clinton; complained about “pro-faggot JUDICIAL ACTIVISM”; and claimed the Bush and Clinton families were involved in murders and drug-running. He revels in using the word “nigger” on his Twitter account. [Media Matters, 9/3/15; Twitter.com, 5/3/16, 5/3/16, 5/3/16]
Trump’s “rigged” election nonsense came from Stone. Stone has repeatedly claimed that the Democrats will rig the election to ensure a win for Clinton. Stone’s claimed that there’s going to be “an egregious and outrageous effort to steal the next election.” He’s also said: “I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.” Stone and friend and radio host Alex Jones have taken credit for Trump using the “rigged” election talking point. [Media Matters, 10/12/16]
Stone dedicated his anti-Clinton book to a Holocaust denier who blames a “Jewish plot” for 9/11. Stone’s book The Clintons' War on Women is dedicated to and repeatedly cites research from the late Victor Thorn, who wrote The Holocaust Hoax Exposed and blames a “Jewish plot” for the 9/11 attacks. Stone promoted the book in an interview with Thorn for the American Free Press, an anti-Semitic publication founded by “one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists” who used his “publishing to denigrate Jews and other minorities and galvanize the movement to deny the Holocaust.” [Media Matters, 11/13/15]
Stone promoted double agent smears against fallen soldier and his father. Stone has repeatedly smeared Khizr Khan, whose son, Humayun Khan, was killed while serving as an Army captain in Iraq in 2004. Stone claimed Khan is a double agent who is working for the Muslim Brotherhood. He later amended that charge to claim Khan is connected to the Saudis. Stone also claimed the elder Khan wants to “initiate Sharia Law.” Stone also promoted a piece that suggested Humayun Khan was a double agent working for Al-Qaeda. [Media Matters, 8/1/16, 8/1/16; Mediaite, 8/1/16]
Stone said he advised Trump that “there’s a lot of questions” about Obama’s birth certificate. [Yahoo! News, Unconventional Live, 7/20/16]
Stone claimed the Clintons had four people murdered during the 2016 campaign cycle. Stone has claimed that the Clintons murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich, United Nations official John Ashe, process server Shawn Lucas, and anti-Semitic writer and Clinton “researcher” Victor Thorn. There is no evidence to support Stone’s claim. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 8/12/16, 10/3/16]
Stone: Chelsea Clinton got “four plastic surgeries” to hide the identity of her real father. [Media Matters, 8/22/16]
Stone said Seth Rich’s “parents should be charged with obstruction.” Stone wrote to the Miami New Times in May 2017: “Their right to privacy is important, but not as important as the public's right to the truth. … Frankly, at this point, the parents should be charged with obstruction.” [Media Matters, 5/26/17]
Some GOP politicians have paid Stone to send sponsored messages to his email list for the 2018 elections
Stone endorsed GOP Senate candidate Geoff Diehl after his campaign sponsored Stone’s email list. In June 2017, the Senate campaign of state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-MA) paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s email list about his campaign against incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Shortly afterward, Stone endorsed Diehl. Stone later effectively admitted that the advertisement influenced his endorsement, stating that his “company did rent some lists to Mr. Diehl” and “during that process I examined his campaign and his credentials and frankly I became very impressed.” [Media Matters, 6/30/17]
Rick Scott’s campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In July, Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) U.S. Senate campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s email list. Stone had previously criticized Scott for being personally responsible for fraud. The Associated Press later reported that Scott’s campaign claimed that the email “was a vendor mistake - they are not advertising with Stone or paying him to send out emails on their behalf.” [Media Matters, 7/27/18]
Dan DeBono’s congressional campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In August, Stone sent a sponsored message from the campaign of New York Republican congressional candidate Dan DeBono to his list. Stone subsequently praised DeBono on Facebook. DeBono later claimed to Newsday that he “has not paid Stone or Stone Cold Truth for advertising. DeBono speculated that Stone Cold Truth may have used his letter on their own because 'they need content.'” [Media Matters, 8/16/18]
Eric Brakey’s Senate campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In September, the campaign of Maine Senate candidate Eric Brakey sponsored a message to Stone’s email list. [Media Matters, 9/7/18]
Stone pushes research that is “discredited,” “pants on fire” false, and plagiarized
Dallas Observer: Stone’s Clinton research “is so inflammatory and insubstantially documented that it's impossible to report it with any sort of credulity.”
The hardest thing about talking to Roger Stone about his latest book, The Clintons' War on Women, is figuring out how to write about anything that's in the book. The stuff that the ex-Richard Nixon aide and all-purpose Republican campaign operative has come up with is so inflammatory and insubstantially documented that it's impossible to report it with any sort of credulity.
With that said, here are the broad strokes: Stone claims Bill Clinton is a serial predator, committing various criminal and unprosecuted attacks on women in the last half century or so. During that time, Stone claims, Hillary Clinton has essentially served as Bill's fixer, intimidating the women he supposedly attacked. There are spurious assertions made about people associated with the Clintons and extravagant claims that, if they were true, would have been hard to keep secret over the years. The Clintons, more than anyone, have had their dirty laundry aired by the media.
But to the conspiracy minded, a lack of evidence is merely evidence of how successful a conspiracy is, and Stone believes they've been successful in covering up the worst of what they've done. [Dallas Observer, 11/30/15]
PolitiFact: Stone voting fraud claim is “pants on fire” false. PolitiFact investigated Stone and his Committee to Restore America's Greatness after they “said there were over 600 reports of Texas votes for Trump virtually all getting tallied for Rubio.” The investigative site concluded, “there’s no there there--not even a whisper of one.” [PolitiFact, 4/11/16]
Stone pushed false claim about Clinton meeting with elections supervisor in Florida. PolitiFact reported in October 2016 that Stone’s claim that Hillary Clinton met with Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes in Florida was “pants on fire” false :
Stone said Clinton showed up in Broward County and slipped into a private meeting with elections supervisor Brenda Snipes.
Stone was wrong. He heard it third-hand from Trump supporters who claim they stumbled across such a meeting. Snipes and a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign in Florida denied such a meeting took place and we found no evidence that it did.
Days later, Stone admitted he was wrong but then claimed that Clinton met with elections officials in Palm Beach County. He lacks evidence for that claim, too -- and both the elections supervisor and the Clinton campaign deny it. [PolitiFact, 10/31/16]
Veteran investigative reporter Hugh Aynesworth: Stone's “Kennedy book is totally full of all kinds of crap.” The Miami Herald noted that Aynesworth “covered the assassination for the Dallas Morning News and has spent much of his life debunking conspiracy theories about it.” [Miami Herald, 10/14/14]
The Daily Caller pulled a Stone piece that contained heavy plagiarism. Stone wrote an April 25 anti-Ted Cruz piece for The Daily Caller that contained at least five paragraphs in which research and language were lifted from a conservative blog. Stone did not attribute or credit the blog, instead passing the research off as his own. Following Media Matters’ documentation of the plagiarism, the Caller removed Stone’s piece from its website. [Media Matters, 4/26/16]
National reporter in 1986: “I discount about 50 percent of what he says.” The Washington Post wrote in a 1980s profile of Stone: “Columnists and reporters value him as a source, but also treat him cautiously. Says one national magazine reporter, ‘I discount about 50 percent of what he says.’” [The Washington Post, 6/16/86]
Not even right-wingers trust Stone
Pro-Trump super PAC strategist Ed Rollins: “I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him.” Rollins is a Fox News contributor who works as a strategist for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. In 2008, Rollins pointed to Stone’s political history to allege that “I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him”:
During the Reagan years in Washington, Stone began cultivating in earnest the image of a lovable rogue. Then, as now, some colleagues and clients found Stone’s affectations tiresome, at best. Ed Rollins, who served as President Reagan’s first political director, said, “Roger was a fringe player around town. He always had this reputation of being a guy who exaggerated things, who pretended he did things. Roger was never on Nixon’s staff, was never on the White House staff. I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him. Roger was always a little rat.” [New Yorker, 6/2/08]
Conservative Media Research Center called on media to ban Stone, “the David Duke of politics.” In an April 7 statement, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell said, “CNN and MSNBC should be applauded for banning Roger Stone from their airwaves”:
“CNN and MSNBC should be applauded for banning Roger Stone from their airwaves. Stone’s recent threats to intimidate delegates at the Republican Convention by broadcasting their hotel rooms and his long history of incendiary and offensive rhetoric add no value to the national discourse. Agree with them or not, Trump's surrogates are fine people. But Stone is a thug who relishes personal insults, character assassination, and offensive gestapo-like tactics that should be unequivocally dismissed by civil society, most especially those who might give him a platform from which to spew his hatred.
“The news media have for far too long ignored Stone’s inflammatory words. I hope all media outlets that lament the debasement of political dialogue and the gutter politics for which Stone is infamous follow the lead of CNN and MSNBC. The media should shun him. He is the David Duke of politics. Those with whom he is affiliated should denounce him in no uncertain terms.” [NewsBusters.org, 4/7/16]
Radio host Mark Levin: “Roger Stone is a thug. He’s a sleazeball. … and he’s a hatchet man for Donald Trump.” [Breitbart.com, 4/8/16]
Glenn Beck: “Roger Stone is one of the worst people in the world.” Beck criticized Stone after he wrote a piece claiming Beck was paid off for his endorsement of Cruz. Beck then read some of Stone’s racist tweets on air. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/15/16]
Numerous Right-Wing commentators criticized Stone and his hotel room plan as inciting violence. Conservative pundits harshly attacked Stone after he pledged to disclose the hotels and hotel room numbers of anti-Trump delegates at the Republican National Convention. They called Stone's plan an effort to “intimidate delegates” and “another example of how Trump relies on thug tactics and violence,” said he was “willfully inciting violence,” and suggested it could lead to someone getting shot. [Media Matters, 4/6/16]
*This post has been updated with additional material about Stone.