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  • Eric Bolling is using his Sinclair and BlazeTV shows to elevate conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and Roger Stone

    Blog ››› ››› PAM VOGEL


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Right-wing media personality Eric Bolling now hosts regular programs at two different outlets: Sinclair Broadcast Group and BlazeTV. In the space of a week, he has used both platforms to interview well-known conspiracy theorists -- and appeared on one of their shows as well.

    In early April, Bolling began hosting a weekly show for Sinclair called America This Week, which streams online on websites of Sinclair news stations and is promoted with on-air teasers or sometimes aired in full on some Sinclair news stations. The program has also already featured a number of right-wing media talking heads and members of the Trump orbit, including: President Donald Trump himself, former Trump adviser and Sinclair contributor Sebastian Gorka, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Sinclair reporter and former Fox employee James Rosen, presidential daughter-in-law and current Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, and Sinclair chief political commentator and former Trump staffer Boris Epshteyn.

    On the May 1 edition of Sinclair's America This Week, Bolling interviewed longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Stone is a sexist, racist conspiracy theorist who has pushed conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terror attacks, the JFK assassination, the Clintons and Bushes (saying they committed murders), the 2016 presidential election, the death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, and more. In January, Stone was indicted for obstruction, making false statements to Congress, and witness tampering as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    In the 10-minute interview with Bolling, Stone discussed his current criminal defense, his background as an aide to President Richard Nixon, his relationship with Trump, and the 2020 presidential election. Below is the full segment:

    Before joining Sinclair, Bolling was already hosting a regular program on the conservative outlet Blaze Media’s streaming platform BlazeTV. The show, America with Eric Bolling, continues to stream online most weekdays for a subscription audience.

    The April 24 edition of America with Eric Bolling featured an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Major social media networks have taken actions against Jones and his outlet Infowars to limit their ability to share content. Jones has used his outlet to spread rampant bigotry, hint at violence, host and promote white supremacists, and push conspiracy theories about mass tragedies including the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Parkland high school shooting, the 9/11 attacks, and the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as the 2016 presidential election and “globalist” plots by prominent political figures such as the Clinton and Obama families.

    In the episode, Bolling introduced Jones as a “good friend of the show, good friend of mine.” The segment also re-aired an Infowars clip (of Jones yelling into a bullhorn outside the White House). At one point during their interview outside the Capitol, the men attempt to confront a woman who called one of them a liar as she passed by. Bolling half-heartedly tried to downplay some of Jones’ more extreme views, saying that he disagreed with what Jones has said about Sandy Hook and 9/11 specifically but that he believes Jones should be free to say what he wants. Jones responded by asserting that media and tech companies conspired to twist his words on those topics, which Bolling did not challenge. (Jones has repeatedly tried to rewrite the history of his comments on Sandy Hook, but Media Matters has documented his repeated lies on the subject.)

    Jones ended the interview by promoting his website and telling viewers, “Tune in to this guy, spread the word about his show, my show, and the free, independent media that’s bringing this country back.”

    On the same day, Bolling and Jones also filmed a second interview -- this time with Jones interviewing Bolling for Infowars. A video was posted to the Infowars website on April 27 that included both Jones’ interview of Bolling and Bolling’s previously aired interview of Jones for BlazeTV. In the Infowars interview footage, Bolling and Jones discussed several supposed smear campaigns against them from “the left” and each talked about his personal relationship with Trump. At one point, Jones called former first lady Michelle Obama an anti-trans slur and referred to her as “Michael Obama,” and Bolling laughed and said he was staying out of it. The interview ended with Bolling promoting his BlazeTV and Sinclair shows and discussing Sinclair’s move toward hiring more conservatives and possibly competing with Fox News.

    During his lengthy tenure as a host at Fox News, Bolling himself trafficked in conspiracy theories. He was one of the outlet’s leading voices pushing the racist Obama birther conspiracy theory and also hinted at far-right claims about the tragic death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Bolling left Fox in 2017 amid reports that he had sent multiple colleagues unsolicited images of genitalia.

    Bolling is now in the unusual position of simultaneously hosting shows on dual media platforms with ostensibly different missions. Sinclair is now well-known for injecting conservative bias into its local news broadcasts and for employing an outsize number of right-wing personalities, but it still styles itself as a more neutral media outlet. BlazeTV is a relatively new right-wing behemoth cobbled together from two obviously and openly conservative online outlets: Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze and Mark Levin’s CRTV. Both of Bolling’s shows attempt to create a veneer of legitimacy by bringing on token liberals or actual journalists for discussions, but they do far greater harm by elevating far-right conspiracy theorists in the same place.

    Notably, Bolling also uses the two shows to cross-promote his own work. During one Sinclair special program in February, Bolling appeared in front of a background with the BlazeTV logo and aired clips from his interviews for BlazeTV. Advertising for BlazeTV programming was also shown on screen. And on his BlazeTV show, Bolling has aired snippets of his Sinclair interview with Trump and told viewers to tune in to his Sinclair show.

  • Roger Stone downplays his legal problems as “process crime charges,” even though a judge’s gag order says he can’t discuss his case

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone attempted to downplay the seriousness of criminal charges brought against him by referring to them as “process crime charges” during an interview with a conservative news outlet, echoing a talking point used by supporters of the president to attack special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Stone is subject to a gag order that prohibits him from talking about his case or the Mueller probe except to declare his innocence or raise money for his legal defense.

    Stone was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of Mueller’s investigation -- including five counts of making false statements to Congress and one count each of obstruction of a proceeding and witness tampering. On February 21, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his case, imposed a near-total gag order on Stone after he posted an image on his Instagram account of her “next to an apparent rifle scope's crosshair.”

    According to the terms of the gag order, Stone is prohibited from commenting to “the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.” After questions were raised about whether it would violate the gag order to publish a book Stone said he wrote prior to being charged, Jackson emphasized in a March 5 court filing that “there is no question that the order prohibited and continues to prohibit the defendant from making any public statements, using any medium, concerning the investigation.” She also added, “The fact that the order exists at all is entirely the fault of the defendant; the Court did not impose any restrictions on his speech whatsoever until, as he put it, he ‘abused the latitude’ the Court gave him.”

    Still, Stone commented on his case during an interview with right-wing outlet One America News Network that was posted on YouTube on April 4. Stone said he wouldn’t voluntarily cooperate with a House Judiciary Committee investigation that requested documents from him because “unlike Jussie Smollett, I am still facing seven criminal federal process crime charges.”

    Stone’s reference to “process crime charges” echoes a talking point he deployed after he was arrested, but before he was subjected to a gag order. During a January 25 appearance on CNN, the same day he was arrested, Stone emphasized that he had been charged with a “process crime” while claiming that “there's still no evidence whatsoever that I had advance knowledge of the topic, the subject, or the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures.”

    Other supporters of Stone and the president adopted the same talking point throughout Mueller’s investigation. Following Stone’s indictment, attorney Alan Dershowitz -- a frequent defender of Trump on cable news -- wrote an opinion piece at The Hill about the “process crimes” Stone was charged with. While calling those charges “serious,” Dershowitz sought to contrast them with the possibility of “substantive crimes relating to Russia” and wrote that Stone’s indictment “follows a long pattern that should raise serious concerns about the special counsel.” On Trump’s favorite cable news show, Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Dan Bongino also reacted to Stone’s arrest by downplaying the indictment as “another process crime.”

    So-called “process crimes” are a serious matters, as indicated by the fact that the crimes Stone is being charged with are all felonies. As an academic legal paper published in 2008 explained, these crimes, “if ignored, threaten to undermine the integrity of our criminal justice system.” As the article noted, the term “process crime” was invented by people critical of the authorities prosecuting crimes that arise out of an investigation:

    The United States Department of Justice has come under attack in recent years because of its increased attention to, and prosecution of, crimes committed during the course of its investigations -- obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements. These crimes have been labeled "cover-up” or "process crimes," and the charging prosecutors have been criticized as bringing such charges only against high-profile defendants as to whom there is insufficient evidence to charge the "more serious" underlying offenses that prompted the initial investigation. Some critics have gone so far as to label these prosecutions "vindictive."

    Much of this criticism is misplaced. These are serious -- not minor -- crimes, wholly deserving of prosecutorial attention and which, if ignored, threaten to undermine the integrity of our criminal justice system. In our adversarial system of justice, individuals have near-absolute rights to refuse to testify or to refuse to speak to investigators. Ignoring perjury and obstructive conduct poses a risk of diminishing the significance of these important rights.

    In an opinion piece for The Washington Post following Stone’s arrest, former federal prosecutor Randall D. Eliason also pushed back on the fact that “Trump’s supporters have been quick to dismiss such charges as mere ‘process crimes,’” writing, “As a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you prosecutors don’t use the term ‘process crimes.’ They just call them ‘crimes’ and take them very seriously, because these crimes threaten the very foundations of the justice system.”

  • Fox wants President Trump to pardon Robert Mueller’s “victims”

    The Trump propaganda network’s clemency list includes Stone, Flynn, and Papadopoulos

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In President Donald Trump's first interview since the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the president whether he would consider pardoning campaign aides who pleaded guilty or were found guilty of crimes as part of the probe. The president demurred, saying that “many, many people were hurt, incredibly hurt by this whole scam,” but he doesn’t “want to talk about pardons now.”

    After spending years undermining Mueller’s probe even as the special counsel obtained guilty pleas and verdicts against several top Trump campaign advisers, Fox personalities like Hannity have responded to the conclusion of the investigation last week by calling for pardons for Mueller’s so-called “victims.”

    The network’s hosts have been particularly interested in obtaining pardons for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, who both pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, and for Trump confidant Roger Stone, who has been indicted on seven counts including lying to Congress and witness tampering.

    These calls may end up having an impact -- Trump regularly watches Fox and has previously issued pardons in response to the network’s programming.

    Tucker Carlson has led the way, pushing for pardons on three different broadcasts of his show in the last week, particularly for Stone. Trump reportedly loves Carlson’s show and watches it regularly, and he often tweets about Carlson segments that catch his attention.

    During Wednesday night’s show, just minutes before the president’s live interview on Hannity, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo concluded an interview by saying, “I just want to say one thing, Tucker: Pardon General Flynn, pardon George Papadopoulos, and pardon Roger Stone right now, Mr. President.”

    “Immediately,” Carlson replied. “That's exactly right. I couldn’t agree with -- don't wait until after the election, do it now. They deserve it now. Thank you.”

    “Do it right now on Twitter,” Caputo responded.

    “I agree! I agree!” Carlson said.

    “Where are the pardons here? Carlson asked retired CIA officer John Kiriakou after mentioning Stone on Tuesday’s broadcast. “I mean, is it time for the executive branch to send a really clear message we're going to stop the destruction of innocent people by completely out of control bureaucrats?”

    “I think it is the time for pardons,” Kiriakou replied.

    Carlson later added that “it doesn't make sense not to pardon people” and said Trump has an “obligation” to do so since the Mueller probe was “a scam and a hoax.”

    And on Friday, Carlson argued that “there was no collusion,” but “Stone is still looking at life in prison.” Carlson asked, “Where is Roger Stone's pardon? His pardon from the president? Let's hope it comes very soon.”

    Later in the program, Carlson asked Ed Henry, who is both Fox News’ chief national correspondent and a co-host of Fox & Friends’ weekend editions, whether Henry had heard that the president was considering a pardon for Stone. Henry replied that he had not, but that “based on the conversations I have had,” he thinks “it is entirely possible that you could see [former Trump campaign chair Paul] Manafort, Stone, and others pardoned.”

    While Carlson has been the loudest Fox voice urging Trump to issue pardons, he is not the only one. On Tuesday, Papadopoulos announced that his lawyers had formally requested a pardon from the president, triggering debate on several of the network’s programs.

    Fox’s Steve Hilton told Special Report guest host John Roberts that he would recommend Trump issue the pardon to ensure “fairness and equal justice.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Fox’s Neil Cavuto that the president should instead pardon Flynn, whose investigation Paul claimed had been “unfair.” And Fox Business’ Stuart Varney said that he expected pardons for both to be granted.

    On Tuesday night, Papadopoulos was able to make his pitch to the president directly through a friendly interview with Fox’s Martha MacCallum.

    “Do you think you’re going to get a pardon from President Trump?” MacCallum asked, after credulously allowing Papadopoulos to tell his story of purportedly being “set up.”

    “I have no idea. I have no expectation for it,” he replied. “I know my lawyers have formally applied for one and if I'm granted one it would be a tremendous honor, and of course I would accept.”

    “You already spent 12 days in federal prison, which I'm sure was not a picnic,” MacCallum responded. “But you'd like to have that off your record.”

    If Trump is heeding the messages he’s been getting from Fox, Papadopoulos may get his wish.

  • Roger Stone’s Infowars co-host attacks judge overseeing Stone’s criminal case

    Stone is under a gag order that prohibits him from commenting on the case or directing others to do so

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Infowars host Owen Shroyer attacked Judge Amy Berman Jackson by alleging that she won’t give Infowars host and Trump confidant Roger Stone a fair trial because she is involved in covering up “the crimes of Barack Obama.”

    Shroyer and Stone are co-hosts on the Infowars program War Room, although Stone stopped making his regular appearances on the show after Jackson imposed a gag order on him.

    Stone, who is facing seven felony charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, was subjected to a gag order by Jackson on February 21 after he posted an image of Jackson next to crosshairs on social media and wrote a caption complaining about the “Obama appointed Judge.” The terms of the gag order prohibit Stone from speaking publicly about his case or Mueller’s investigation, and it additionally prohibits him from commenting on the case “indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”

    In a clip of War Room posted to Infowars on March 12, Shroyer said that Stone is innocent but that he fears he will be jailed “a politicized judge, nominated by Obama, one of the greatest criminals in American history.” Shroyer went on to add, “You don’t think for one second that judge wants to protect the crimes of Barack Obama?”

    OWEN SHROYER (CO-HOST): Bob Mueller and all these Democrats with Adam Schiff and everybody destroying all these innocent people’s lives, destroying America. They love it. They get off to it. It gets them high. And the average American can’t empathize with that. They don’t even have a scintilla of empathy for that. They couldn’t even comprehend having no remorse, just in cold blood destroying anyone’s life that’s in your way politically. And so, honestly, that’s why it’s so hard for America and for the average human to truly comprehend the evil that we’re dealing with. And the only reason I comprehend it is because I’ve seen it, I’ve studied it, and I now can flesh it out and know every move they make.

    And that’s why I’m afraid my friend Roger Stone, an innocent man, is going to be put in jail by a politicized judge, nominated by Obama, one of the greatest criminals in American history. You don’t think for one second that judge wants to protect the crimes of Barack Obama? I’m trying not to get mad right now. This is when I start screaming. Because America needs to wake the hell up.

    Stone’s Infowars boss, Alex Jones, previously used Infowars to broadcast his own attacks on Jackson. During a February 24 broadcast, he compared Jackson to Hitler and repeated Stone’s pre-gag order catchphrase that he will not “bear false witness against the president.”

  • Alex Jones goes to bat for employee Roger Stone, comparing judge in his criminal case to Hitler and attempting to connect Robert Mueller to Jeffrey Epstein

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone is under a gag order concerning his upcoming criminal trial, but his employer Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet is still publicly litigating his case for him.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. On February 21, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his case, imposed a near-total gag order on Stone after he posted an image on his Instagram account of her “next to an apparent rifle scope's crosshair.”

    According to the terms of the gag order, Stone is prohibited from publicly commenting on “the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.” Additionally, the order says that “the defendant [Stone] may not comment publicly about the case indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”

    Before the gag order was issued, Stone was using his Infowars platform to raise money for his legal defense and publicly litigate his case. During a February 18 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone alleged that his prosecution came about as part of the machinations of a “globalist cabal.” Earlier, on February 8, Stone attacked media pundits talking about his upcoming trial, saying on War Room that he was reveling “in the hatred of these leftist retards.”

    While Stone is now severely limited in what he can publicly say about his case, his boss Alex Jones has taken the lead on Infowars’ defense of Stone. During a February 24 broadcast, Jones compared Judge Jackson to Hitler.

    While complaining about Mueller prosecutor Jeannie Rhee, who is part of the Stone prosecution team, Jones said, “I couldn’t hold a straight face in that judge’s courtroom when Jeannie Rhee is my prosecutor. It’d be like I was a Jew in World War II, hypothetically, and the head judge is Hitler. I’d be like, ‘Dude, you’re Adolf Hitler.’”

    Jones then turned to his guest, attorney Robert Barnes, to promote a conspiracy theory that attempts to connect Mueller to serial child molester Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is currently in the news because a federal judge recently ruled that Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta violated federal law in 2008 with his actions as a federal prosecutor in “concealing the particulars of Epstein’s [plea] deal from the girls who gave evidence” in his criminal trial.

    Barnes weaved a sloppy conspiracy theory to claim that “the common denominator” between the Epstein, Stone, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort cases is Mueller, who is “the deep state fix-it man” and is “still fixing things for the deep state.”

    The Stone and Manafort cases are both, of course, connected to Mueller because they arose from Mueller’s investigation. As for Epstein, Barnes claimed that Epstein was directly giving Mueller “blackmail files” -- presumably related to other alleged perpetrators connected to Epstein's sexual misconduct case -- in 2008 when his plea deal was struck and Mueller was the head of the FBI. In 2018, the FBI disclosed that Epstein “provided information to the FBI,” but there is no indication that Mueller was the recipient of the information. Still, Barnes attempted to conspiratorially cast doubt on Judge Jackson and the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation:

    ROBERT BARNES: So, there is one name that all those stories are connected to -- the Epstein case, the Manafort case, and the Roger Stone case, and interestingly enough it’s the one name that the judge in the Roger Stone case said that Roger Stone can never reference. Not only can he not reference it related to his case -- he can never talk about one name period while his case is pending in court, which could be years. And what name is that? Robert Mueller. And what is Robert Mueller to do with the Epstein case? Guess who was FBI director when that deal was done? Guess who was identified in internal FBI documents -- that were identified by a guy on Twitter called Techno Fog, a famous lawyer, that identified what, that the informant -- an informant for Robert Mueller was Mr. Epstein.

    In other words, he was giving blackmail files, potentially, on a wide range of people to Robert Mueller at the same time the sweetheart deal that broke the rules was being filed on behalf of Epstein. And so while Epstein gets to sit in a sweetheart deal, Paul Manafort’s supposed to go to prison for life. Paul Manafort’s supposed to be the most harshly punished individual in one of the most historied political prosecutions. So Paul Manafort, who has never been accused of anything connected to pedophilia, is going to go to prison for life and rot until he dies, but Epstein, who is running a blackmail ring of underage prostitution, gets to walk. And the only man that they all have in common is Robert Mueller, and it’s the one person the judge said Roger Stone can never talk about, even unrelated to his case. So that’s the common denominator between all three is that the deep state fix-it man is still fixing things for the deep state.

    Jones also defended Stone's Instagram post that got him sanctioned by the court. During his February 21 appearance before the court, Stone had acknowledged the post came about because of a brief lapse in judgement. But Jones stuck with Stone’s initial explanation for the image, describing the crosshair as “a little Celtic cross up in the corner” and showing the image to his viewers. Jones also falsely alleged that Jackson’s gag order prohibits Stone from speaking publicly about Epstein or President Donald Trump.

    Borrowing language that Stone used before he was subjected to the gag order, Jones alleged that Stone is being pressured “to bear false witness against the president” and also addressed Trump directly, saying, “And we can talk about how great Trump is all day, but he’s asleep at the switch. Tweets don’t do it, President; protect us.”

  • Indicted Trump confidant Roger Stone alleges the president is the victim of a “globalist” coup attempt

    Stone links his prosecution to an alleged coup attempt against Trump by a "globalist cabal"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    During an appearance on conspiracy theory outlet Infowars, Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, said that the president is the victim of a coup attempt. Stone also tried to delegitimize the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its special counsel office, the federal law enforcement division currently leading a criminal prosecution against Stone.

    During a February 18 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone echoed recent comments made by Trump to allege that the president is the victim of a coup attempt orchestrated by “globalists” (a term historically tied to anti-Semitic sentiment) and the DOJ.

    Stone accused the FBI and DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of “open sedition” and “treasonous activity” for a supposed plot to remove Trump from the presidency via the 25th Amendment, claiming the plot was undertaken as revenge for Trump breaking up “the globalist cabal.” (The 25th Amendment establishes a legal mechanism to remove the president from office if a majority of the cabinet secretaries plus the vice president determine he is unfit to serve.)

    Stone also implicated special counsel Robert Mueller’s office -- which is currently overseeing a probe that resulted in Stone’s indictment -- in the supposed coup attempt. Stone claimed that “there was a coup d’etat planned within the highest echelons of the FBI and the Obama Justice Department, and then they actually effectuated it under Donald Trump,” adding, “The Mueller investigation is the outgrowth of that same effort.”

    Stone was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of Mueller’s investigation. According to the charges, Stone lied to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks concerning emails hacked by Russia in the 2016 presidential election; obstructed an official proceeding; and intimidated a witness, radio host Randy Credico. Around the same time Stone was alleging on Infowars that there was a coup attempt against Trump, he posted an image to his Instagram account that showed Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his criminal case, next to crosshairs. After getting blowback, Stone deleted the post and submitted a formal apology to the court. Stone, who is currently free on a signature bond, may have his conditions of release modified or revoked because of his post, depending on the outcome of a February 21 hearing.

    Throughout his February 18 Infowars appearance, Stone counseled Trump and flattered him in what seems like a possible attempt to angle for a pardon if he is convicted of the charges against him. Stone highlighted his efforts to counter arguments that Trump is incapacitated, saying, “If he’s so incapacitated, why do we have 4.8 million new jobs, for example?” He also backed Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border, saying, “Trump is a leader” who is “keeping faith with the very people that voted for him.”

    Stone also advised Trump to take several actions relating to the DOJ, saying, “The president needs to immediately declassify all the information regarding the illicit use of FISA warrants to spy on his campaign, which is where this all began. The president needs to order his new attorney general to appoint a special counsel to examine not only the FISA warrants, but now to examine this illegal coup and to empanel a grand jury to grab those who were involved in it and bring them before that grand jury to begin the indictments for sedition. And lastly, the president needs to appoint a special counsel to examine the crimes of Uranium One.”

    He also painted himself as a victim of the same forces that he claims have entangled Trump, claiming, “I am a victim of the same witch hunt, the same effort that is being put forward to take down the president in an illicit coup is the same witch hunt which has indicted me, that is coming after Alex [Jones], that is running the campaign of censorship against Infowars. It’s all the same people. It’s the same globalist cabal.”

  • Alex Jones is souring on his indicted Infowars employee Roger Stone

    Jones: "Gateway Pundit can hire Roger"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Conspiracy theorist and Infowars head Alex Jones is frustrated with Trump confidant Roger Stone because he thinks Stone gave a rival right-wing news outlet an “exclusive” about Stone’s criminal case.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The charges allege Stone lied to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks concerning emails hacked by Russia in the 2016 presidential election; obstructed an official proceeding; and intimidated a witness, radio host Randy Credico.  

    Following Stone’s arrest, his first media appearance was on Infowars, and he has since appeared regularly on Infowars programs, including the show, War Room, that he co-hosts, to publicly litigate his criminal proceeding and fight with his critics. Stone has expressed fear at the possibility that he will be subject to a gag order and recently described his Infowars platform as “vital” to his criminal defense strategy.

    Now Stone has another problem, as his boss, Jones, has become angered that Stone shared an “exclusive” with far-right website The Gateway Pundit.

    The dispute centers around a February 13 motion filed by Stone’s legal team requesting a hearing concerning Stone’s allegation that the special counsel’s office improperly released Stone’s indictment before it was unsealed. Gateway Pundit was the first media outlet to publish a story about that filing, posting a piece bylined by Stone associate Jacob Engels.

    Discussing the Gateway Pundit story and the motion (which Jones initially mischaracterized as a “lawsuit against Robert Mueller”), a clearly perturbed Jones said during the February 13 broadcast of his show, “I like Roger as a friend, but he doles out exclusives ... some to Fox News, some to Daily Caller, and he works here. I pay his salary. … So I guess Roger Stone’s going to go to the woodshed here pretty soon.”

    Jones went on to say -- possibly facetiously -- that Stone now works for Gateway Pundit. He said, “This is a global exclusive. In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, filed today, Roger Stone’s motion requesting a show cause order. So it’s on Gateway Pundit. Well that’s good. Gateway Pundit can hire Roger. … In fact, Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, which is good.”

    An annoyed Jones added, “People call us to find out what Roger’s up to and I just -- I can’t tell you; I don’t know. So Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, ladies and gentlemen -- seriously, as of about 10 seconds ago. I’m like, ‘Roger, get a job with the Gateway Pundit.’ Because -- here, let me check my other phone. I don’t want to go off half-cocked. Maybe he called this other phone and gave me the exclusive. Nope, doesn’t look like it.”

    Just the day before, Stone had emphasized how important his Infowars platform was to him. During the February 12 broadcast of War Room, Stone said that “one of the main reasons” he was indicted is that he works at Infowars. He went on to say, “I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what’s going on.”

    Stone then said, “I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store” to support the outlet’s operation. Then he transitioned into an extended pitch for a supplement called Brain Force that Infowars sells:
     

    ROGER STONE: One of the main reasons I think I’m targeted, Rob [Dew], is because I’m on Infowars. Because I work with you and Alex Jones and [War Room co-host] Owen Shroyer and [Infowars host] David Knight and so many others to bring people the stone cold truth, the unvarnished truth about what’s going on in the struggle against the globalists. And I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what is going on. Everywhere else you appear you’re edited, you're censored, you're limited. But here at Infowars nobody tells us what we can and cannot say, nobody tells us what we can and cannot cover. We just go for where the facts lead us. So I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store. It is vitally important that Infowars continue to thrive.  

    On February 13, after Jones complained about Stone giving away exclusives, Stone did not appear in his regular slot on War Room.

    Jones’ attack on Stone is the latest example of infighting at Infowars over Mueller’s investigation. Previously, Jones and Stone teamed up to feud with former Infowars D.C. bureau chief Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who is also entangled in Mueller’s probe of what happened with WikiLeaks, is referenced throughout Stone’s criminal indictment. Jones and Stone have sought to discredit Corsi’s public statements about the probe and in some cases even appear to have attempted to influence how Corsi testifies under oath to Mueller’s grand jury. For his part, Corsi, who is an obvious witness for Stone’s trial, has suggested Stone is guilty of witness tampering because of Stone’s interactions with him. Most recently, Corsi filed a lawsuit against Stone alleging Stone was attempting to induce him to have a heart attack or stroke by causing “emotional distress.”

  • Roger Stone repeatedly bragged about talking with Trump and senior campaign staffers during presidential campaign

    Stone: “I have access to all the right people”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In the wake of Roger Stone's recent federal indictment, President Donald Trump has tried to distance himself from his longtime adviser, tweeting that "Stone didn’t even work for me anywhere near the election." But Stone frequently bragged about his communications with Trump and senior members of his campaign leading up to the 2016 election.

    Stone is a racist and sexist commentator who works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Stone has written that he has “worked for Trump with the Trump Organization, the Trump Shuttle, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, and several political explorations over a forty-year period.” He also worked as a paid consultant to Trump’s presidential campaign for part of 2015 and then later headed two pro-Trump groups.

    Stone drew scrutiny during the 2016 presidential campaign after he said on August 8, 2016: “I actually have communicated with [WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange.”

    CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Christopher Massie reported in November that Stone “repeatedly claimed contact with Donald Trump and his campaign while touting WikiLeaks connections.”

    The following are over 20 instances from November 2015 to November 2016 in which Stone publicly discussed talking with Trump or senior members of his campaign. (Note: For interviews, the date listed is the date conducted where that is readily available; otherwise, it is the publication date.)

    November 10, 2015. Stone: “I just got off the phone with Trump about 20 minutes ago.” [City & State]

    March 1, 2016. Stone says he "spoke to the candidate last night" but wouldn’t divulge what they talked about. [WIOD, Fernand Amandi Show]

    March 25, 2016: Stone wrote in his book The Making of the President 2016 that he spoke to Trump on the Friday before Easter:

    On the Friday before Easter, Trump called me at my south Florida home. “Can they really steal this thing from me?” he asked. Remember, that Trump’s call came in the wake of stinging losses in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado and having the Louisiana delegates stolen out from under his nose—even though he had easily won the Louisiana primaries. So his concern was obvious. “Yes, they can steal it, and they will try,” I said. “Even though I won all the primaries?” “Yes, they’re going to play games with the rules.” “What should I do?” the mogul asked. “Call my former partner, Paul Manafort. You’ve met him, he’s a friend of Tom Barrack and he knows more about convention politics than anyone in America.” Trump asked for Manafort’s cell phone number and I provided it.

    On March 28, Trump hired veteran Republican strategist Paul J. Manafort to lead his final delegate-corralling efforts. [The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution]

    March 30, 2016. Stone says he talks with Trump “from time to time.” Asked if their conversations are weekly or monthly, Stone replied: “We just have a rhythm. More often than that, but not every day, not every other day.” [GQ]

    April 19, 2016. Stone: "I talk to Trump from time to time, but not every day. I don't even necessarily talk to him every week." [CNN]

    May 4, 2016. Stone: “Donald Trump himself told me that he has seen so many of your supporters and listeners at his rallies.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show]

    May 6, 2016. Stone: “I was fortunate to speak to Donald today and you know those conversations are private and proprietary, but I must tell you he is really pumped up.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show]

    July 10, 2016. Stone says he talked to then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort “yesterday.” [WBAL, The Jimmy Mathis Show]

    July 18, 2016: Stone says he talked with Paul Manafort, then-campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio, and then-senior adviser Jason Miller on the day of a pro-Trump Republican National Committee rally. [The Daily Beast]

    July 19, 2016: Stone tells The Guardian that while he has no title on the campaign, “I have access to all the right people.” [The Guardian]

    July 20, 2016. Stone says he last talked to Trump on “Saturday.” [PBS, Charlie Rose]

    August 4, 2016. Stone says he spoke to Trump "yesterday. He's in good spirits." [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, via CNN]

    August 17, 2016. Stone says he advised Trump at an unspecified time about including third-party candidates in an upcoming presidential debate. [WIOD, Fernand Amandi Show]

    August 17, 2016. Stone says he spoke about hiring Stephen Bannon “internally over the last couple days.” [WIOD, Fernand Amandi Show]

    August 17, 2016. Stone says he talked to Paul Manafort “this morning” about staffing changes. [WIOD, Fernand Amandi Show]

    August 18, 2016. Stone: “We talk from time to time. I decline to characterize the content of those conversations because they’re personal and they’re private.” [C-SPAN, Newsmakers]

    September 20, 2016. Stone: I’m “headed back to Trump Tower right now.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show]

    September 21, 2016. Stone confirms that he spoke to Trump late the night before. [WNYM, The Joe Piscopo Show, via CNN]

    October 3, 2016. Stone says he talks with Trump “from time to time” but “less than before” because of his schedule. [The Jamie Weinstein Show]

    October 4, 2016. Stone says he’s talked to Trump within the past two weeks. [Talk 40 News, The Bryan Crabtree Show]

    November 5, 2016. Stone: “I spoke to him, I guess, yesterday. He was in an extraordinarily good mood.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show]