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Roger Stone

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  • 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 a Donald Trump, uh, 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]

  • Roger Stone tries to explain his witness tampering charge: I advised Randy Credico to plead the Fifth so his liberal friends wouldn’t get mad at him for helping Trump

    Indictment against Stone says he told Credico to “prepare to die” and threatened to take his therapy dog

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone has a laughably innocuous explanation for the actions that led him to be charged with corruptly influencing comedian and radio host Randy Credico’s interactions with the House intelligence committee.

    Prior to his arrest on January 25, Stone was under investigation over whether he had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. Specifically, investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team looked at whether Stone used Credico and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi (whom Stone is now feuding with) as intermediaries between himself and WikiLeaks.

    Following his arrest, Stone was charged with seven crimes: five counts of making false statements to Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks, one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering for attempting to corruptly persuade Credico, who is referred to throughout the indictment as “Person 2," to provide certain testimony before the House intelligence committee.

    Stone attempted to explain away the witness tampering charge during an appearance on Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet. Stone, who also co-hosts Infowars program War Room, discussed the charge during the show’s January 28 broadcast.

    In Stone’s telling, the repeated attempts documented in the indictment that show him urging Credico to assert his rights against self-incrimination or to lie under oath were merely suggestions to prevent Credico’s liberal friends from getting mad at him for supporting President Donald Trump:

    ROGER STONE: There is a tremendous rush to judgment by attorneys who have never read my entire testimony and therefore can’t see the context of anything. To the extent, for example, Stone told Credico, a witness, to plead the fifth. Yes, when he said, “My left-wing friends, my progressive friends are going to go crazy when [they] find out that I helped you. They’re going to think we helped elect Trump. I don’t know what to do.” To which I said, “Well, you have the option of pleading the fifth.” I didn’t tell him to do it; I said it was possible.

    Stone’s innocent retelling of his interactions with Credico is at odds with the indictment, and it belies reason that Stone was merely helping Credico avoid having his friends become upset with him. What seems more likely is that Stone was worried Credico would implicate him in a crime.

    The indictment includes several instances of Stone urging Credico to assert his right against self-incrimination. According to the indictment, Stone told Credico, “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan,” apparently referencing a statement made by President Richard Nixon while attempting to hinder the Watergate investigation. Stone also repeatedly told Credico to be like Frank Pentangeli, a character in The Godfather: Part II. In the film, Pentangeli, a mobster in the Corleone crime family, lies to a congressional committee about protagonist Michael Corleone's role as the head of that organization, covering up Corleone's own perjury before that committee. (An imprisoned Pentangeli later commits suicide after being assured the Corleones will take care of his family.)

    The indictment shows that Stone later became angry with Credico for repeatedly balking at his advice and exhorting Stone to testify truthfully. Stone called Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie,” threatened to take away his therapy dog, and told him, “Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].” (In May, Stone explained his “prepare to die” comment to Mother Jones by saying, “He told me he had terminal prostate cancer.”)

    Stone and an Infowars crew traveled to Washington, D.C., for his January 29 arraignment at which Stone pleaded not guilty. The conspiracy theory outlet is using Facebook’s live-streaming feature as its primary counter-messaging measure in Stone’s legal troubles. While Facebook banned several pages associated with Alex Jones last year for repeatedly violating community guidelines, the page for the show Stone co-hosts, War Room, remains active.

  • Here’s how Fox is downplaying Roger Stone’s indictments

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Following the news that Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, had been arrested and indicted on several charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, Trump’s most loyal supporters at Fox News rushed to Stone’s defense.

    Early in the morning on January 25, the FBI arrested Stone on seven charges of obstruction, giving false statements, and witness tampering as part of Mueller’s investigation, which had looked into whether Stone had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and released by WikiLeaks.

    Following the news of Stone’s indictment, Fox News was quick to rush to his defense. In addition to criticizing CNN’s presence at the scene of the arrest and resorting to the tired “But Hillary!” line of defense, Fox figures declared that the indictments reveal nothing, insisted that there is no evidence of collusion, criticized the manner in which Stone was arrested, and called for investigations into former and current FBI officials, Justice Department officials, and top Democrats.

    Declaring that the indictments are meaningless, irrelevant, and prove there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia

    On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy claimed Stone’s indictments actually rule out Trump-Russia collusion because “why would the campaign have had to turn to Roger Stone to find out what WikiLeaks had? They would've known that from Russia.” From the January 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): You just say in the big picture, there's no -- it's not -- it doesn't really touch the president yet.

    ANDREW MCCARTHY (FOX CONTRIBUTOR): Well, I don't think not just yet, Brian. I don't see how it could because, here to make it real easy, if Trump and his campaign were in a criminal conspiracy of espionage with Russia, if they had colluded with Russia, why would the campaign have had to turn to Roger Stone to find out what WikiLeaks had? They would've known that from Russia. They wouldn't've needed people like Roger Stone. It's been obvious from a long time, even if you go back to Mueller's indictment to the two Russian entities, the troll farm case and the hacking case. There's no reason to think that Russia in its operations looked for any cooperation from anyone on the American side, not just President Trump. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/28/19]

    On Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Dan Bongino claimed that the Stone indictment "proves" that there is "zero evidence" of Russian collusion. From the January 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    DAN BONGINO (FOX CONTRIBUTOR): Yes, we found crimes, no question. But [former Trump campaign chair Paul] Manafort has pled guilty to them -- they're not allegations anymore. But the problem is we were all told that Mueller was investigating some grand collusion conspiracy with the Russians, of which it is not in dispute anymore, there is to this day zero evidence any of that happened, and the Stone indictment, at this point, proves it. Can we just move on and indicate what you just said, Brian? Some people were involved in some shady stuff, some admitted criminality, it had nothing to do with the Russians, very little, if anything to do with Trump other than the fact that he intersected with some of these people. And can we finally move on? Mueller needs to tell the American people, do you have collusion or not? And if not, it is time to move on. This has thrown a monkey wrench into the country's mechanics. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/28/19]

    On Fox & Friends Weekend, the three co-hosts complained about Mueller’s investigation, with co-host Pete Hegseth saying “absolutely nobody cares” and asking viewers, “Have you ever been to Russia? Can you speak Russian?” From the January 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Weekend:

    PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Absolutely nobody cares. No, really. I mean, this town here cares a lot because they're invested; they’ve looked like fools for being invested in the narrative and they want it to work. But no one watching this program cares. Email us. ... Do you care about Russia? Have you ever been to Russia? Can you speak Russian? Do you care about any of that at all, because you definitely don’t. Here’s the thing: I think while Bob Mueller is supposed to be an independent investigator, he's playing into the hands in this country that there are two forms of justice. Roger Stone gets his door kicked in at 4 in the morning, a 68-year-old guy who’s got no -- no physical threat to anybody. Yet Hillary Clinton bleach-bits her server, lies to Congress, and gets her lawyers there, nothing happens to her, nothing happens to Huma Abedin, any of these people. I couldn't even pronounce it. Sorry. No, but people get the sense that there are two forms of justice. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 1/27/19]
     

    On Fox & Friends Weekend, frequent Fox guest Alan Dershowitz minimized Stone’s indictments by claiming “they’re not crimes of substance.” From the January 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Saturday:

    ALAN DERSHOWITZ (HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR): Look, as Judge Ellis, who presided over the Manafort case, said about Manafort, the government isn’t interested in Manafort -- Mueller isn’t interested in going after this guy for his bank fraud. They're interested in squeezing him, they’re interested in getting information from him about the real target, and that's Donald Trump. And that’s a very disturbing way of using the criminal justice process. Also, this shows another disturbing trend, and that is Mueller has hardly indicted anybody for crimes that occurred before he started the investigation. Almost all of these crimes, like this one, occurred during the investigation, they’re process crimes, they're not crimes of substance. Now, in the indictment, Mueller tells an interesting story about WikiLeaks but he doesn't charge him with anything like that. He can't defend himself against that at trial. At trial, he's only charged with lying and tampering with witnesses and obstruction of justice, all of which occurred after Mueller was appointed. So far, Mueller has come up relatively empty on crimes that occurred before he was appointed, which was his mandate. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 1/26/19]

    Complaining about the way the FBI arrested Stone

    On Justice with Judge Jeanine, host Jeanine Pirro ripped into the FBI’s treatment of Stone, characterizing the raid as “Gestapo tactics.” From the January 26 edition of Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine:

    JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): Not a great weekend for Roger Stone, whose over-the-top arrest yesterday morning is the subject of my second opening statement tonight. So the Mueller team gets an indictment against Roger Stone, who is represented by an attorney. But instead of notifying the attorney and requesting he bring his client in for arraignment -- standard protocol in cases like Stone’s -- the Mueller team decides instead on Gestapo tactics. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 1/26/19]

    Later on Pirro’s show, Fox contributor and former Trump official Sebastian Gorka said the Stone arrest was like something that would happen under “a communist dictatorship.” From the January 26 edition of Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine:

    SEBASTIAN GORKA (FOX CONTRIBUTOR): My parents lived under a communist dictatorship, a police state. And back then there was the phrase “Watch out for the 2 a.m. knock on the door.” In Roger Stone’s case, it was 5 a.m., but it’s the same thing. The idea that you’ve got a man who’s a senior citizen, who’s charged with -- what? Perjury? -- and you send 29 agents wearing body armor and carrying AR-15s to bang down his door. Sorry -- you know, judge, better than anybody, before a warrant is served, before somebody’s arrested in their home, there’s a commander of the operation, a threat assessment is made, and in a white collar crime this is not how you do it. This is rank intimidation, this is the corruption that Obama left over in the DOJ, and this is on Robert Mueller’s doorstep. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 1/26/19]

    On Fox & Friends Weekend, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett attacked the raid, saying that Stone “is a white-collar suspect” and “not MS-13.” From the January 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Weekend:

    GREGG JARRETT (FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST): It was an abusive, ridiculous, and embarrassing excessive use of force by the FBI. [FBI Director] Christopher Wray really ought to be embarrassed and ashamed that he allowed his agents to be exploited like that by Robert Mueller. Twenty-nine agents with repeat firing weapons in a pre-dawn raid, storming into a suspect's house. This is a white-collar suspect of process crimes. He is not MS-13. He is not a mass murderer.

    PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): So why did they do it?

    JARRETT: This was thuggish tactics to intimidate the witness. I doubt he will be intimidated by it. But this is what Robert Mueller's investigation has come to -- no principled crimes, only process crimes, which are offenses against the legal process. So these crimes against Roger Stone are actually generated or created by the special counsel. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/26/19]

    On Hannity, host Sean Hannity complained that Stone is “being treated like Pablo Escobar” and that the investigation is “the biggest abuse of power scandal in modern American history.” From the January 25 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): We are witnessing the biggest abuse-of-power scandal in modern American history. It's playing out right before your eyes. More corruption than we've ever seen. Really, a pre-dawn raid? Seventeen vehicles move in, 27 FBI agents in full SWAT gear, guns drawn, home surrounded? For what? Roger Stone is not being charged with any violent crime here. He isn't charged with colluding with a foreign government at all. He's never posed any security threat of any kind. Instead he was indicted on a series of process crimes that never would have happened, yet Robert Mueller started an investigation. This is, in other words, created by the fact that Mueller had an investigation. Why is he being treated like Pablo Escobar? [Fox News, Hannity, 1/25/19]

    Jerome Corsi, who is also wrapped up in Mueller’s investigation, appeared on Hannity to criticize the raid as “Gestapo-like tactics,” complaining that the Mueller team is “determined to terrorize people and criminalize politics.” From the January 25 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

    JEROME CORSI (FORMER WASHINGTON, D.C., BUREAU CHIEF, INFOWARS): I was shocked. I mean, I think this is Gestapo-like tactics. I mean, what's the point in having all these armed police with riot gear bursting into a house at 7 a.m. Wife and Roger in bed. I mean, this is not America. This is not the way we treat people in America who are basically trying just to be political operatives who are earning a living and, I mean, it frightens me to think what the FBI could do bursting into my home with my wife asleep and the family asleep. There is no need for it. And I think increasingly that we're seeing an out-of-control Mueller operation that is determined to terrorize people and criminalize politics. I think it's very frightening for the direction of America. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/25/19; Media Matters, 11/13/18]

    Deflecting to attack former FBI officials

    On Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, Pirro suggested the FBI should indict top former FBI and Department of Justice officials. From the January 26 edition of Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine:

    JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): Stone lying to Congress? Jim Comey lied to Congress. John Brennan lied to Congress. [James] Clapper. And dear Hillary [Clinton] -- that woman lied every time she opened her mouth. Need I go on? [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 1/26/19]

    Hannity ripped into top Justice Department and FBI officials, naming a slew of former and current officials before asking, “When will they get the pre-dawn raid treatment?” From the January 25 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Five counts of lying to Congress and not once lying about emails. Oh, and text messages. All of these crimes occurring after the start of the Mueller investigation. Now, this is nothing more than a political persecution. Now, let's not forget James Comey, he lied to Congress. John Brennan lied to Congress. James Clapper lied to Congress on multiple occasions. Are they going to be charged? When will they get the pre-dawn raid treatment? What about former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, fired for lying to the FBI? When is he going to get the pre-dawn raid? Comey's general counsel, James Baker, well he leaked sensitive information. When is his pre-dawn raid? James Comey leaked bureau memos to the press via a close professor friend -- is he going to get charged with that? Now the biggest of all, we have Hillary Clinton. She mishandled top-secret classified material on an unsecured private server and then -- want to talk about obstruction of justice, not handing over emails, not handing over text messages. Oh, that's what they just charged Roger Stone with. But Hillary destroyed subpoenaed emails, 33,000 of them. Oh, and then she washed her computer hard drive with BleachBit and then they busted up the devices. Where is Hillary Clinton's pre-dawn raid? James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Rod Rosenstein -- they all lied to a FISA court. They never checked the veracity of the charges in the Clinton bought-and-paid-for phony Russian dossier. Are they going to be charged for those blatant crimes? This is sad and this is now going to be the end of real justice in America because this is a two-tiered system of justice. And today after posting bail, Roger Stone, he remained defiant. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/25/19]

    On Fox’s The Ingraham Angle, guest Victor Davis Hanson tore into former FBI officials, saying that Mueller’s “legacy is now there are now two codes of justice.” From the January 25 edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle:

    VICTOR DAVIS HANSON (GUEST): Yeah, well I think what gets everybody -- I don't know Roger Stone what he did or he did not do, whether he’s a provocateur or raconteur. It doesn't matter, the questions, the quality under the law. Cut to the quick, Laura, had he been James Comey and he had gone into a sworn testimony before Congress and then 245 times said he didn't know or he couldn’t remember, he wouldn't be indicted. If he had been the deputy director, Andrew Mccabe, and said he was misunderstood when he lied he wouldn't have been indicted. Had he been James Clapper and said he gave the least untruthful answers, he lied under oath to Congress, he wouldn't have been indicted. Had he been John Brennan, who’s very ubiquitous today, on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and then said the CIA doesn't lie, he wouldn't have been indicted. So what -- Robert Mueller, whether he knows it or not, his legacy is now there are now two codes of justice. There’s for people who are connected and there's people who are not connected but useful for a prosecutor's agenda. I don't think any of us want to live in a America like that. It's Orwellian and it’s third world and it’s disgusting. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 1/25/19]

  • After Roger Stone was released from custody, his first stop was The Alex Jones Show

    Stone: “There is no circumstance under which I would plead guilty to these charges. There’s no circumstance in which I would bear false witness against the president.”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone’s first media appearance following his departure from a courtroom -- where he was charged with several crimes related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation -- was on Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet, which employs Stone as a show host.

    During his appearance, Stone denied committing crimes, repeatedly promoted his legal defense fund, and promised that he would never testify against Trump.

    Stone was arrested the morning of January 25 and charged with five counts of making false statements, one count of obstructing a proceeding, and one count of witness tampering. He had been under investigation by the special counsel’s office over whether he had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 election cycle.

    Stone, who co-hosts the Infowars program War Room, gave a lengthy phone interview to Jones, which he started by saying, “I can say I’ve had greater, better moments -- better mornings, shall we say.” He went on to describe the early morning raid of his home and denied committing any crimes.

    Claiming that the special counsel’s office tried to “destroy [him] financially” to force him to plead guilty to “completely bogus” charges, Stone asked viewers to contribute to his legal defense fund. For his part, Alex Jones claimed the charges are part of an effort to “mak[e] journalism illegal.”

    Stone went on to say, “There is no circumstance under which I would plead guilty to these charges,” and added, “There’s no circumstance in which I would bear false witness against the president.” Trump previously encouraged Stone not to testify against him, leading to accusations of witness tampering.

    When Jones asked if he had a statement for Trump, Stone said, “Once again, there is no evidence of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration, and I’m not charged with doing anything inappropriate or illegal to assist in his election, even though I think I’m being persecuted for being a 40-year friend and supporter of his.”

    During a later segment, Stone again promoted his legal defense fund, claiming he will have $2 million in legal fees. There were technical difficulties on Stone’s phone line that interrupted the interview, and Jones speculated that someone might be breaking into his phone or cutting his line to silence him.

  • With one terrible tweet, Greta Van Susteren helped fuel a conspiracy theory that made its way to the president, who repeated it within hours

    There’s no reason to believe CNN was “tipped off” about Roger Stone’s arrest.

    Blog ››› ››› PARKER MOLLOY


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On Friday morning, the FBI raided the Florida home of Roger Stone, a longtime associate and informal adviser of President Donald Trump. Stone was arrested on seven counts of obstructing justice, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress. The raid comes one day after a rare Thursday meeting between the special counsel’s office and the grand jury. In fact, Washington Post legal reporter Spencer Hsu noted that the January 24 convening of the grand jury was the first non-Friday meeting since July 12, 2018, the day before Robert Mueller’s office announced the indictment of 12 Russian agents. When Stone was arrested, CNN cameras were recording outside his home. 

    On Twitter, former Fox News and MSNBC host Greta Van Susteren tweeted that the “FBI obviously tipped off CNN,” adding that “even if you don’t like Stone, it is curious why Mueller’s office tipped off CNN.”

    There’s one major problem with Van Susteren’s assessment: She’s wrong. It’s not obvious that anybody “tipped off CNN.” In fact, based on the above information -- how rare it is for the grand jury to be called to meet on a Thursday, what happened the day after the last Thursday meeting, and the fact that Stone has spent months publicly worrying about the possibility of getting indicted -- it makes complete sense that a news organization like CNN would send someone to stake out Stone’s home to see if there were any arrests today.

    Nevertheless, Van Susteren repeatedly insisted that CNN had been tipped off.

    In an extraordinary display of Van Susteren’s lack of self-awareness, she added, “Before you get more information, facts, I would suggest you don’t jump to conclusions or take sides. Facts make a difference.” This, just seven minutes after she falsely asserted that CNN had been given a heads-up on the raid.

    Nearly three hours later, Van Susteren conceded that she might be wrong about CNN acting on a tip. Even so, the original tweet, which had accumulated thousands of retweets, remained up and continued to be shared. The new tweet, correcting her mistake, had just 95 retweets at the time of this writing.

    Posting a separate tweet “correcting” misinformation does not stop the continued spread of misinformation. As a journalist and someone who apparently considers herself knowledgeable enough about social media to write a book on the topic, Van Susteren should know better. This is a widely recognized problem that newsrooms have tried to address in various ways. She misled the public and, so long as her original tweet remains up, is continuing to mislead the public.

    Naturally, right-wing media picked up on the conspiracy theory almost instantly.

    “Coincidence? Comey's Former Assistant Went to Work for CNN -- And CNN is Only News Org to Get Tip on Roger Stone Raid,” tweeted Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, linking to a piece on the site.

    “How did CNN get this video exclusively of Stone’s arrest? Did somone (sic) at the FBI or Team Mueller tip them off? Just curious,” wrote right-wing pundit Harlan Hill.

    CNN’s Oliver Darcy noted that articles had already popped up on far-right sites Infowars, Newsmax, and Drudge Report.

    Darcy also linked to a video from the January 24 edition of CNN Tonight, in which CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz explained that there was reason to believe indictments could be coming on Friday morning and that they could be related to Roger Stone.

    That evidence aside, conservative media used the situation as their latest attempt to discredit the Mueller investigation by suggesting there was some sort of untoward relationship between his team and CNN. The story, in their world, was no longer about Roger Stone being indicted; the story was about a likely nonexistent leak within the Mueller team.

    Of course, this all got capped off with a tweet from Trump, demanding to know “Who alerted CNN to be there?”

  • Fox News tries to find a silver lining in Roger Stone’s indictment

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, was arrested Friday morning on seven counts: one charge of obstructing Congress, five of making false statements to Congress, and one of witness tampering. Stone becomes the latest in a long line of close Trump associates to be charged with or plead guilty to crimes as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. But if you turned on Fox & Friends, the president’s favorite morning news program, in the hours after news of the arrest broke, you learned that Stone’s indictment is actually good news for Trump.

    “When you look at these seven counts,” co-host Steve Doocy said during the pro-Trump network’s first segment on the story, “ … once again, where is the Russia collusion?” “Right,” replied national correspondent Ed Henry. “Is it a process crime based on the investigation?” After laying out the charges during a subsequent segment, Doocy added, “But there is no Russia collusion, which is what the whole investigation was about.” Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent turned frequent Fox guest, responded that Stone had been charged with “another process crime, where the Mueller investigation … has produced the crime.” Then he speculated that the special counsel had rushed the indictment to get out ahead of bad news.

    Fox & Friends’ effort to find the bright side in the indictment of someone who has advised the president for decades is absurd, if unsurprising. The co-hosts' take is in line with that of Stone's lawyer, who subsequently declared that Stone "is vindicated by the fact there was no Russian collusion."

    In fact, the core of the Stone indictment touches quite directly on Russia collusion. Mueller alleges that in the summer of 2016, Trump’s presidential campaign asked Stone to act as a proxy to contact WikiLeaks and gather information about “potential future releases” of tranches of emails that had been stolen by Russian intelligence in order to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The indictment says that he did so and that he lied to cover that up.

    From the indictment:

    After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1.

    Stone’s alleged obstruction and false statements to Congress and his alleged witness tampering all appear aimed at preventing investigators from assembling a full picture of how the Trump campaign responded to the Russian effort to interfere with the election.

    His alleged obstruction involved falsely telling the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he had no documents relevant to the committee’s inquiry when he in fact possessed a trove of emails and text messages related to his attempts to contact WikiLeaks through intermediaries about the stolen documents. His alleged false statements to Congress include lies about whom he had used as an intermediary to contact WikiLeaks (he had two but claimed to only have one) and whether he had discussed their conversations with the Trump campaign (he said he had not, but he had). His alleged witness tampering involved trying to keep one of his intermediaries from contradicting him by testifying about their communications.

    The Trump campaign’s response to the Russian government stealing documents and releasing them through a third party in order to damage Clinton’s presidential campaign was to try to turn that to its advantage, using Stone as a conduit. When it became apparent that that fact could rebound unfavorably on Trump, Stone seems to have done everything he could to keep it from coming to light.

    Even in a vacuum, that fact is remarkably damning.

    But the Stone indictment does not come in a vacuum. Trump’s longtime political guru joins his legal fixer, campaign chair, national security adviser, and other key campaign aides on the list of Trump associates who have pleaded guilty to crimes brought by Mueller or been charged with crimes by the special counsel.

    Fox keeps trying to find ways to explain to its audience why it’s no big deal that the president seems to surround himself with criminals. The network has constructed a seamless alternate reality in which all the news coming out of the Mueller probe is actually good news for Trump, while the real story is the purported misdeeds of the “witch hunt.”

  • A comprehensive guide to indicted Trump ally Roger Stone, a racist, sexist conspiracy theorist

    Stone has a history of dirty tricks, violent rhetoric, racist taunts, sexist screeds, fringe conspiracy theories, and discredited research

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    A federal grand jury has indicted Roger Stone on seven counts, including obstruction of a proceeding, false statements, and witness tampering.

    Stone is a racist, misogynist, and conspiracy theorist. He has been a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and currently works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

    Media Matters has extensively covered Stone and first documented that he said during a Republican event on August 8, 2016: “I actually have communicated with [WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange.”

    The following is a comprehensive guide to Roger Stone (this guide was originally published in 2016 and has been updated periodically). 

    Roger Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump

    Stone’s shady behavior related to Russian interference in the 2016 election

    Stone has a long history of political dirty tricks

    Stone’s violent rhetoric: calls for killing of public figures, fantasizes about media figures dying

    Stone’s racist commentary: “nigga,” "stupid negro," “token,” “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” “house negro”

    Stone’s misogynistic rhetoric: “cunt,” “every man’s first wife,” “nice set of cans”

    Stone has been banned from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC

    Stone has peddled conspiracy theories about the 2016 election, 9/11, JFK assassination, the Clintons and Bushes committing murders, and more

    Some GOP politicians have paid Stone to send sponsored messages to his email list for the 2018 elections

    Stone pushes research that is “discredited,” “pants on fire” false, and plagiarized

    Not even right-wingers trust Stone

    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, 4/19/11The New York Times10/6/00]

    Stone: “I chaired trump's presidential exploratory committee in 2000 and wanted him to run in 2012.” [Media Matters4/14/16]

    Stone worked for Trump campaign in 2015. Stone worked as a paid consultant to Trump’s presidential campaign before leaving in August. [Media Matters7/20/15The New York Times8/8/15]

    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 Matters4/14/16Rolling Stone4/18/16]

    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 Matters4/14/16, 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 Matters4/14/16]

    Wash. Post: Stone and Trump had “a series of calls … over the length of the campaign.” From a Washington Post piece about Stone’s contacts with Trump:

    A review of the phone contacts that Trump’s team turned over to Mueller showed a series of calls between Stone and Trump over the length of the campaign, according to people familiar with the records.

    They spoke from “time to time” during 2016, the people said, but there was no “flurry” of calls at any particular period. A handful of calls were lengthy. The vast majority involved short calls by Stone to Trump’s assistant Rhona Graff that lasted roughly 30 seconds.

    Trump has told some advisers that he no longer talks to Stone, according to people familiar with his statements. But people close to Trump say he has occasionally talked to him in the White House. [The Washington Post, 11/28/18]

    Trump praised Stone for saying he “will never testify against Trump.” From a December 2018 tweet:

    [Twitter, 12/3/18]

    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’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 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, PoliticoWeekly Standard, and Scotsman.com. Politico notes that Stone "publicly embraces his image as a dirty trickster." [StoneZone.com, accessed 10/13/15Politico8/6/15]

    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 Yorker6/2/08]

    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.

    Trump's campaign did not comment. At the time of the settlement, his lawyers said it was cheaper to settle the case than to go to court. [New York Times10/6/00Daily News3/8/16]

    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 Times8/23/07]

    Stone helped push Michelle Obama “whitey tape” rumorPolitico 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. [Politico6/2/08]

    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 Matters4/5/164/6/16The Washington Post4/8/16]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 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 Matters5/2/16]

      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 Matters2/24/164/22/16]

      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, 2/22/166/7/16]

      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 Matters4/22/16Sun 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 Matters10/14/15]

      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 Matters2/23/16]

      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 Matters4/5/16The Washington Post4/7/16]

      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 Matters10/30/17]

      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 Matters4/12/16]

      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 Matters3/1/164/20/16; 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 Midnight3/9/16Popular Mechanics8/20/08]

      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 Matters4/12/16]

      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, 9/7/18Media Matters5/3/16]

      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 Show4/27/16]

      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 Matters4/12/16]  

      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 Matters9/3/15; Twitter.com, 5/3/165/3/165/3/16

      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 claimed that Clinton aide Huma Abedin "is most likely a Saudi spy.” [Media Matters, 6/13/16, 6/15/16]

      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 Observer11/30/15]

      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 Herald10/14/14

      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 Matters4/26/16]

      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 Post6/16/86]

      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 Yorker6/2/08]

      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 Program4/15/16]

      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 Matters4/6/16]

      *This post has been updated with additional material about Stone.