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Roger Stone

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  • Nevada GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian will hold fundraiser with Vegas shooting conspiracy theorist Roger Stone

    Stone is a misogynist and racist who is being investigated by Robert Mueller

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Nevada congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian is set to attend a fundraiser with misogynist and racist dirty trickster Roger Stone. Stone is a conspiracy theorist who has speculated that the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting was a botched government gun-running operation and the shooter was a government agent.

    Stone is set to be the "special guest" at an October 29 fundraiser in Palm Beach, FL, for Tarkanian. The Republican is running to represent Nevada's 3rd District, which includes a portion of Las Vegas. Tarkanian bizarrely told Axios that "he 'didn’t know' Stone would be there because he doesn’t plan the events." 

    Stone is a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and works as a paid host for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Special counsel Robert Mueller has been closely examining Stone’s activities related to the 2016 election. Stone has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself regarding matters related to the Russia probe.

    Jones and his Infowars network have spread conspiracy theories about numerous tragedies, including wild and irresponsible claims about the October 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Jones has said that the shooting was “as phony as a three dollar bill or as Obama’s birth certificate” and “has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies.”

    Stone has also forwarded conspiracy theories about the Vegas shooting. During an October 4 appearance on Infowars, Stone said the shooting “is beginning to smell more and more like some kind of gun-running operation. Isn’t it odd that this fellow has no history whatsoever of any social media contact? That would be typical of a government agent, an FBI agent, for example, or a DEA agent.”

    ROGER STONE: I think you put it right in the first, in the opening here, this is beginning to smell more and more like some kind of gun-running operation. Isn’t it odd that this fellow has no history whatsoever of any social media contact? That would be typical of a government agent, an FBI agent, for example, or a DEA agent. That he has no record as a gun enthusiast, yet he has a veritable arsenal in his room, an arsenal no one saw him bring in, and no one saw him bring ammunition or any of the other necessary pieces, the elaborate filming apparatus, and so on. How very strange. And then we track him undeniably to an anti-Trump rally, actually, two different anti-Trump rallies, two different events. I think that that’s a pattern --

    ALEX JONES (HOST): This is like Lee Harvey Oswald at the communist rallies.

    STONE: Well, it very well. He could have been put there as a plant, that’s entirely possible.

    During another October 4 appearance on Infowars, Stone said that Paddock had “no social media, very typical of someone who’s either in the mafia or a federal agent” and “seems to have some record of leftist and anti-Trump activism.”

    Stone’s claim about Paddock being involved in anti-Trump activity is false. The conspiracy theory that the Vegas shooting was a botched government gun-running operation has been pushed by conspiracy theorist media. Investigators concluded that Paddock acted alone and did not carry out the attack as part of a wider plot.

    Stone has promoted numerous other conspiracy theories over the years, including claiming that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) father was tied to the John F. Kennedy assassination; saying that the Bushes and Clintons have murdered or attempted to murder numerous enemies; and relating that he advised Trump that “there’s a lot of questions” about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

    Stone has a history of racist rhetoric. He’s called Black media commentators "stupid negro," "fat negro," "arrogant know-it-all negro," and “Mandingo.” He's also called Hispanic and Black commentators "quota hires." Stone tweeted that he’s a “nigga” with a Nixon tattoo.

    He also has repeatedly used sexist rhetoric. His remarks about female media and political figures include lobbing attacks such as "elitist c*nt," a “self-important, nasty cunt,” and “every man’s first wife.” He also told a journalist, "DIE BITCH."

    (For more on Stone, read Media Matters’ comprehensive guide.)

    Tarkanian has associated with other conspiracy theorists. In April of this year, he went on the program of Wayne Dupree to promote his candidacy. Like Jones, Dupree is a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, having claimed that the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “hoax” that involved “crisis actors.” Tarkanian’s website promotes his appearance and he posted it on his Facebook page as well, thanking Dupree for "a great time.”

    In November 2017, Tarkanian gave an interview to online host Jack Belgarde, who has claimed that the Vegas shooting was “an inside job.” 

    Media Matters previously documented that Tarkanian was listed as an administrator of a racist Facebook group. He left shortly after information about him publicly surfaced.

  • Right-wing media go all-out to denigrate Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh assaulted her

    Ford said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were high school students, but many media conservatives attacked her or say Kavanaugh should be confirmed anyway

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Christine Blasey Ford had written a letter this summer to a Democratic lawmaker saying that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both high school students. Soon after Ford’s account was published, right-wing media figures and outlets began attacking her credibility, publicly discounting her story, or calling on Kavanaugh to be confirmed by Republicans anyway.

    Details from the letter, which she wrote to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), leaked out several days earlier, and then Ford “decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.” From the Post’s story:

    Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

    While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

    “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

    Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

    Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

    Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a “rape attempt” in her late teens.

    Kavanaugh has denied the report after Ford went public, calling it “a completely false allegation.” He previously said, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation.” The immediate reaction from many conservative media figures was terrible: Many cast doubt on her account, others suggested they might believe her but said Kavanaugh should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice anyway, and others impugned her motives, suggesting a political or personal grudge.

    Conservatives who cast doubt on Ford’s account

    FoxNews.com’s Stephen Miller: “This was not a sexual assault. … Hold the vote. Confirm him. … It was drunk teenagers playing seven minutes of heaven.”

    Breitbart’s John Nolte: “GOP blows Kavanaugh, falls for this, they will be massacred in November.”

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones mocked Ford’s accusation: “Brett Kavanaugh in 1986 came to Dallas, TX, and I was in high school, and he raped me.”

    Trump ally and conservative political operator Roger Stone: “This is a woman looking for her Anita Hill moment. This is her 15 minutes.”

    Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens: “Nothing to see here, folks,” Ford is “just another woman who conveniently tripped and fell out of amnesia.”

    Conservative radio host Erick Erickson: “If the GOP does not stand up to this character assassination attempt on Kavanaugh, every judicial nominee moving forward is going to suffer last minute sexual assault allegations.”

    Erick Erickson: “I do not believe Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser. I do believe there is a Democrat PR firm working this story.”

    Erick Erickson: “People who want to keep killing kids really shouldn’t be throwing Jesus in the face of those who don’t believe the accusation against Kavanaugh.”

    Fox News’ Tomi Lahren: “Decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh come out just days before a vote….victim or opportunist?”

    Tomi Lahren: "Female empowerment is NOT using sexual assault allegations to torpedo someone you disagree with politically."

    Fox contributor Tammy Bruce: Report of assault by Kavanaugh is “an attempt at a political assassination.”

    Newsmax’s John Cardillo: “No, 35+ year old dubious allegations about a non-crime made by a left-wing activist … do not hold water.”

    NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield: “I have no idea if Judge Kavanaugh pushed this woman down on a bed at a high school house party where she wriggled free and ran away or not. What I do know is in the 35 years since, not one other woman has raised such an allegation. Sixty-five other women have, in fact, now come to his defense.”

    Fox Business host Dagen McDowell: “You have to press [Ford] on any potential bias that’s there” against Republicans.

    Fake news site TruthFeed: Ford’s story has “more holes than a slice of swiss cheese.”

    The despicable Democrats are pulling out all the stops to try and derail the Judge Kavanaugh vote for SCOTUS.

    They’re now claiming that Judge Kavanaugh attacked a woman in high school, nearly killing her. The woman, whose story has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese, claims there was a man in the room who witnessed the entire thing.

    One big problem. That man, says it never happened.

    Facebook page Silence is Consent posted a meme misleadingly claiming Ford was “so ‘devastated’” by incident “she contacted Feinstein 35 years later.”

    Fox Business host Bob Massi:The thing that’s remarkable to me” is that someone “with amazing credentials, amazing resumes, and an allegation like this comes out … and their entire career credibility is gone. … That’s the trouble with this.”

    Sean Hannity radio show guest David Schoen: "The real crime here that happened" is Sen. Dianne Feinstein "presenting this thing under ... this veil of mystery."

    Fox News host Sean Hannity cast doubt on Ford's accusation because of "everything else you see about Judge Kavanaugh's life ... this is a guy that spends a lot of time feeding the homeless."

    CRTV's Gavin McInnes: Ford is "clearly full of crap." 

    CRTV's Mark Levin on Ford's accusation: "This whole thing to me sounds like a sham and a setup. ... This is an entire political scam and sham as far as I'm concerned."

    Ethics and Public Policy Center Lance Morrow's Wall Street Journal op-ed likened Ford's accusation to Salem Witch Trials, diminished alleged rape attempt: "No clothes were removed, and no sexual penetration occurred."

    The Salem witch trials turned on what was called “spectral evidence.” That was testimony from witnesses—either malicious or hysterical—who claimed the accused had assumed the form of a black cat or some other devilish creature and had come visiting in the night in order to torment the witness with bites and scratches, or to rearrange the bedroom furniture, or to send the baby into paroxysms.

    ...

    Three hundred twenty-six years later, an anonymous woman—a spectral and possibly nonexistent woman, for all that one knew when the story emerged—accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, when he was a high-school student. It seemed as if the American constitutional process might be drawn back to the neighborhood of Salem, Mass. According to this phantom testimony, 17-year-old Brett held the girl down, pawed her and tried to force himself upon her, and held his hand over her mouth when she screamed, until a second prep-school devil piled on top, they all tumbled to the floor, and the girl managed to slip away. The boys were “stumbling drunk,” according to the account.

    ...

    The thing happened—if it happened—an awfully long time ago, back in Ronald Reagan’s time, when the actors in the drama were minors and (the boys, anyway) under the blurring influence of alcohol and adolescent hormones. No clothes were removed, and no sexual penetration occurred. The sin, if there was one, was not one of those that Catholic theology calls peccata clamantia—sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.

    The offense alleged is not nothing, by any means. It is ugly, and stupid more than evil, one might think, but trauma is subjective and hard to parse legally. Common sense is a little hard put to know what to make of the episode, if it happened. The dust of 36 years has settled over the memory. The passage of time sometimes causes people to forget; sometimes it causes them to invent or embellish. Invention takes on bright energies when its muse is politics, which is the Olympics of illusion. 

    Conservatives who indicated that whether or not they believe Ford, Kavanaugh should be confirmed

    Federalist contributor Tom Nichols: “I’m good with the story being true,” but it shouldn’t “derail [his] nomination.”

    Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh: Ford’s report can’t be proven, “so he should be confirmed.”

    Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro: “The Senate should just vote” on Kavanaugh.

    The Federalist: Kavanaugh “should be confirmed” despite Ford’s report.

    Townhall.com editor Guy Benson: “Absent additional evidence, I don’t know how it would be remotely just to derail the nomination” of Kavanaugh.

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested Ford possibly misremembered "in the cauldron of a therapy session to rescue a marriage," and stated that letting Ford's accusation "stop Mr. Kavanaugh's confirmation would ratify what has all the earmarks of a calculated political ambush."

    The woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of a drunken assault when both were teenagers has now come forward publicly, and on Monday it caused Republicans to delay a confirmation vote and schedule another public hearing. Yet there is no way to confirm her story after 36 years, and to let it stop Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation would ratify what has all the earmarks of a calculated political ambush.

    ...

    Mr. Kavanaugh denies all this “categorically and unequivocally,” and there is simply no way to prove it. The only witness to the event is Mr. Kavanaugh’s high school male friend, Mark Judge, who also says he recalls no such event. Ms. Ford concedes she told no one about it—not even a high school girl friend or family member—until 2012 when she told the story as part of couples therapy with her husband.

    The vagaries of memory are well known, all the more so when they emerge in the cauldron of a therapy session to rescue a marriage. Experts know that human beings can come to believe firmly over the years that something happened when it never did or is based on partial truth. Mistaken identity is also possible.

    ...

    This is simply too distant and uncorroborated a story to warrant a new hearing or to delay a vote. We’ve heard from all three principals, and there are no other witnesses to call. Democrats will use Monday’s hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women. Odds are it will be a circus.

    ...

    Letting an accusation that is this old, this unsubstantiated and this procedurally irregular defeat Mr. Kavanaugh would also mean weaponizing every sexual assault allegation no matter the evidence. It will tarnish the #MeToo cause with the smear of partisanship, and it will unleash even greater polarizing furies.

    Conservatives who attacked Ford’s motives

    Mike Cernovich: “Christine Blasey is a far left wing activist. ... this is straight activism on her part.”

    The Gateway Pundit: Ford is a “far-left activist.”

    Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: Ford is an “unhinged liberal professor who former students describe as dark, mad, scary and troubled.”

    Fox News host Laura Ingraham: “Apparently this accuser was fine with leaving Brett Kavanaugh on the second highest court of the land. … But it was when he was up for the Supreme Court that suddenly the stakes got higher.”

    Laura Ingraham: "This all has the whiff of a political smear masquerading as a sexual assault allegation."

    Fake news site RedstateWatcher: Ford is a "registered Democrat and Democrat activist.”

    Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh: Ford is "a political activist. She's an angry political activist. She's much more than just a victim of alleged attempted rape."

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson: "Does anyone really believe this story would have surfaced if Brett Kavanaugh had pledged allegiance to Roe v. Wade? Of course it wouldn't have."​

    Right-wing Facebook meme pages and groups engaged in a smear campaign against Ford

    Many right-wing meme pages attacking Ford falsely painted her as a Democratic political operative. [1, 2, 3, 4]

    Some pages tried to undermine Ford’s allegations by questioning her timing in coming forward and her memory of the incident. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

    A woman from a Shuttershock photo of an anti-Trump protest in New York City was falsely attributed as Ford. [1, 2]

    Alex Kaplan and Natalie Martinez contributed research to this post.

  • Maine Senate nominee Eric Brakey sponsored a fundraising message to Roger Stone’s email list

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The campaign of Maine Republican Senate nominee Eric Brakey sponsored a message to the email list of dirty trickster Roger Stone that asked for support and donations.

    Stone works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network and has been a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump. Stone is a vicious racist, misogynist, liar, and conspiracy theorist whose activities are being scrutinized by special counsel Robert Mueller.

    On September 6, Stone forwarded a sponsored message to his email list on behalf of Brakey, a Maine state senator who is challenging incumbent Independent Sen. Angus King. A disclaimer before the fundraising pitch stated: “We are excited to share with you a special message from one of our sponsoring advertisers, Brakey For US Senate. It is also sponsors like them that help fund Stone Cold Truth. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our sponsor alone, and not necessarily the opinion of Roger Stone.”

    The sponsored message was written by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and asked readers to “please join me in supporting Eric by chipping in a donation to help him knock off Angus King.” The end of the email stated that it was “paid for by Eric Brakey for U.S. Senate.”

    Media Matters has documented that Stone has sent sponsored emails on behalf of other Republican campaigns, including Dan DeBono for Congress, Rick Scott for Senate, and Geoff Diehl for Senate.

    Strangely, DeBono denied paying Stone or his Stone Cold Truth website for advertising and reportedly “speculated that Stone Cold Truth may have used his letter on their own because ‘they need content.’” Scott’s campaign told The Associated Press that the email “was a vendor mistake - they are not advertising with Stone or paying him to send out emails on their behalf.” By contrast, Diehl touted Stone’s endorsement of him -- which came after Diehl advertised with Stone -- on Facebook.

    Brakey’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

  • How Alex Jones is circumventing his Facebook ban

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Alex Jones is continuing to conduct live broadcasts on Facebook and use the platform to make money, circumventing Facebook’s ban of four pages associated with Jones several weeks ago.

    On August 6, Facebook announced it had "unpublished" four pages connected to Jones -- “the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page” -- for repeatedly violating the website’s hate speech and bullying policies.

    This action by Facebook did not affect a page associated with War Room, a show produced by Jones’ Infowars outlet. The three-hour weekday broadcast, hosted by Infowars’ Owen Shroyer and President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone, airs on Infowars.com, terrestrial radio, and several online broadcasting platforms including Facebook and Periscope.

    Jones appeared on War Room for about 25 minutes during its August 21 broadcast following a wild afternoon of breaking news that included reports that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen were both convicted of multiple felonies. The episode aired live on Facebook and Periscope, a broadcasting platform owned by Twitter, whose seven-day suspension of Jones for inciting violence in a broadcast ended last night.

    During his appearance, Jones commented on the breaking news in part by ranting about the supposed existence of a gigantic left-wing pedophile conspiracy and doing an extended impersonation of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

    While Shroyer and Stone were co-hosting, Jones appeared unannounced and started talking into a microphone on the side of the set. Jones said that there are “leftists infiltrating every university, every institution with their pedophile rings,” arguing that attention should be paid to that rather than to Cohen admitting to violating campaign finance laws at Trump’s direction by paying hush money to women. Jones said that “Trump never said he wasn’t a ladies man” and that in the media’s eyes, Trump’s crime is that “he’s heterosexual.” Jones went on to say, “There’s not a thousand raped kids by Trump. There’s not one. There’s not one.”

    Throughout his appearance, Jones veered through a number of topics (and donned a Bernie Sanders mask for several minutes at one point). His comments included dehumanizing statements about people who are homeless, claiming that they are giving people “gifts” of “droppings of syphilis and -- what’s the one that eats your liver -- hepatitis” by defecating in public.

    The broadcast also demonstrated that Jones continues to use Facebook to make money through his business selling “overpriced and ineffective” nutritional supplements. Shroyer announced the launch of a new Infowars product called “Ultimate Female Force” during the show and played a commercial featuring Jones as an over-the-top pitchman for the product:

    Returning from a commercial break, Jones said, “This hour is brought to you by Female Force.”

    Media Matters reached out to Facebook for comment on whether Jones is still allowed to broadcast on the platform and will update this post if we receive a response.

  • GOP candidate paid to use Roger Stone's email list -- and then Stone praised that candidate on Facebook

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Roger Stone endorsed New York Republican congressional candidate Dan DeBono on Facebook shortly after his campaign paid to send a sponsored message to the dirty trickster's email list. It’s at least the second time that Stone has supported a Republican candidate after receiving sponsorship money.

    Stone is a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and currently works as a host for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Stone is also a vicious racist, misogynist, liar, and conspiracy theorist who is currently caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

    On August 7, Stone forwarded a sponsored email to his list on behalf of DeBono, a Navy SEAL veteran and Huntington, NY, committeeman who is the Republican congressional nominee in New York’s 3rd District. A disclosure stated: “We are excited to share with you a special message from one of our sponsoring advertisers, DeBono For Congress. It is also sponsors like them that help fund Stone Cold Truth. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our sponsor alone, and not necessarily the opinion of Roger Stone.”

    Stone also posted a link to a fundraising page for DeBono the following day on Facebook, writing: “Please support this Pro-Trump Navy Seal for Congress! #maga.” His post contained no language suggesting it was an advertisement.

    The DeBono campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

    Other campaigns have rented Stone’s email list, including Republican Senate candidate Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts. Similar to the DeBono situation, Stone endorsed Diehl in a Facebook post shortly after the rental. In response to Media Matters’ article about the endorsement, Stone said 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 documented last month that Stone forwarded a July 26 message from Republican Rick Scott’s Senate campaign to his email list, along with the same disclosure statement that the email reflected “the opinions and representations of our sponsor alone, and not necessarily the opinion of Roger Stone.” The Scott campaign subsequently told The Associated Press that the email “was a vendor mistake - they are not advertising with Stone or paying him to send out emails on their behalf.” (Stone has publicly criticized Scott and has not endorsed him.)

    UPDATE: Newsday reported on August 24 that DeBono said 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.'" His response is strange: as Media Matters noted, Stone wrote that "DeBono for Congress" was "one of our sponsoring advertisers." The message Stone forwarded also stated at the footer it was "authorized and paid for by DeBono for Congress." 

    DeBono said he has an email campaign underway, but 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.” Stone did not return calls for comment.

    DeBono said he briefly met Stone once last February at a Queens GOP event headlined by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

    “I really don’t know who he is; he’s of another generation,” said DeBono, 49, of Northport, now an investor.

    But “if he’s a Republican strategist I’m not surprised he wants to support a Republican candidate who wants to make the world a better place.”

  • Roger Stone's swastika meme previously appeared on 4chan, Twitter and Reddit

    Stone has since deleted the post

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Longtime Trump affiliate Roger Stone posted to his Instagram account a meme mocking the administration's proposed Space Force that had previously appeared on 4chan, Reddit, and Twitter. The image showed Trump, Stone, and others in space suits with swastikas on them, and Stone wrote, "I love this - proud to be in this crew."

    The meme features Stone, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Fox News host Sean Hannity dressed as astronauts with swastikas on their uniforms (a swastika also appears in the top-right corner of the image). Text below the image reads “Space Force” and “in space no can hear you lie...” -- likely a reference to the planned Space Force the Trump administration recently announced. Stone wrote in the caption, “I love this - proud to be in this crew - but the only lies being told are by liberal scumbags #maga #republican #infowars.” Stone has since deleted the post.

    About two days before Stone posted the meme, some Twitter accounts had tweeted it in reply to tweets about the Space Force from Pence and the White House.

    The meme was also posted on 4chan’s “politically incorrect” message board.

    And the following day, it was featured in a subreddit on political humor.

    This is not the first time Stone has shared a meme that featured far-right imagery. In 2016, Stone said he was “proud” to be part of a meme -- which he also shared -- featuring him, Trump, other Trump campaign surrogates and supporters, and Pepe the Frog, a symbol of the alt-right. The meme had likely originated on 4chan.

  • A list of the right-wing amplifiers of the QAnon conspiracy theory

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. , NATALIE MARTINEZ, TALIA LAVIN & ALEX KAPLAN

    While the unhinged conspiracy theory known as “QAnon,” or “The Storm,” has been gaining traction online among President Donald Trump’s supporters since October 2017, it was Tuesday night when it finally jumped to the mainstream in the form of shirts and signs that were prominently visible at a Trump campaign rally in Tampa, FL. Supporters of QAnon believe “a high-level government insider with Q clearance” is anonymously posting clues informing the public of Trump’s master plan to undermine the “deep state” and dismantle pedophilia rings supposedly linked to powerful celebrities and politicians.

    While the theory has its murky origins on 4chan and 8chan -- message boards best known for serving as the source of hoaxes and organized harassment campaigns -- many prominent right-wing figures, websites, and social media accounts have helped amplify QAnon. And the consequences of its unfettered growth could be dangerous. A man is facing terrorism charges in Arizona for using an armored vehicle to stop traffic on a bridge near the Hoover Dam with demands and letters clearly inspired by QAanon. Similarly, “Pizzagate,” a pedophilia-focused conspiracy theory fueled by Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential election, inspired a man to open fire inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.

    Below is a growing list of right-wing media figures, politicians, websites, and social media accounts that have carelessly amplified QAnon by either evangelizing its tenets to their followers or neutrally presenting the conspiracy theory through their influential platforms without clarifying to their audiences that the whole thing is a baseless canard.

    Amplifiers include:

    Right-wing media figures

    Alex Jones, founder of conspiracy theory site Infowars

    Jones went all in on QAnon, even claiming “the White House directly asked” Infowars correspondent Jerome Corsi to be on the “8chan beat” covering QAnon. After QAnon followers began criticizing Corsi and Jones’ opportunistic hijacking of the conspiracy theory, Jones attempted to backpedal his initial enthusiasm, justifying his distancing by claiming that the identity of the anonymous poster who goes by Q had been “compromised.”

    Mike Tokes, co-founder of NewRightUS

    Rodney Howard-Browne, right-wing Christian preacher and evangelist

    James Woods, actor

    Roseanne Barr, actress

    As documented by The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, Barr was among QAnon’s early high-profile supporters. Barr often tweets about the conspiracy theory and has also focused on its pedophilia-related offshoot known as “Pedogate” (derived from Pizzagate) and she recently asked a skeptical follower “what exactly” about Q “is doofus”?

    Roger Stone, notorious right-wing dirty trickster

    Stone promoted a QAnon video on his Facebook page.

    Curt Schilling, former baseball player and Breitbart podcast host

    Schilling has repeatedly tweeted about QAnon, claiming to be “proud” to provide a platform to amplify the conspiracy theory, which he did during his Breitbart show, The Curt Schilling Podcast.

    Jerome Corsi, Infowars correspondent and prominent “birther” conspiracy theorist

    Corsi repeatedly amplified QAnon, both from his platform at Infowars and from his Twitter account. Infowars claimed that Corsi was “working directly” with the moderators of 8chan’s The Storm forum.

    Sean Hannity, Fox News host

    On January 9, Fox’s Sean Hannity tweeted from his account that his followers should “watch @wikileaks closely! Tick tock.” The tweet quoted another tweet that claimed that “out of nowhere, Ecuador suddenly offers to mediate a resolution for #JulianAssange,” with the hashtag “#QAnon.”

    Bill Mitchell, Trump sycophant and host of Your Voice America

    Jack Posobiec, One America News Network correspondent and prominent pusher of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory

    While Posobiec has referred to the conspiracy theory in neutral terms, it isn’t clear if his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers know how he feels about it. Is he serious about the conspiracy theory or just trying to surf its popularity while remaining neutral to claim plausible deniability when inevitably, the consequences become dangerous?

    Liz Crokin, pro-Trump troll and conspiracy theorist

    Pro-Trump troll and self-appointed “citizen journalist” Liz Crokin has expanded on the QAnon conspiracy theory to speculate that “The Storm” includes a crackdown on elite pedophiles. Crokin has gone on to accuse model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, singer John Legend, of pedophilia. Recently, she also claimed John F. Kennedy Jr. had faked his death and is behind the Q posts.

    Charlie Kirk, executive director of Turning Point USA

    On a now-deleted tweet, Kirk spread bogus statistics that seemingly originated in the QAnon universe.

    Mike Cernovich, pro-Trump troll and notorious Pizzagate pusher

    Like Posobiec, Cernovich has made neutral mentions of the conspiracy theory on his Twitter account without clarifying to his followers that it’s baseless.

    Political figures

    Eric Trump, son of President Trump

    Eric Trump liked a tweet of a slogan linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

    The official Twitter account for the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee

    On July 4, a Twitter account that identifies itself as belonging to the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee of Florida tweeted out (and later deleted) a YouTube explanatory video of QAnon.

    Paul Nehlen, candidate in the Republican primary for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district

    Social media accounts

    Facebook

    RT America

    Conservative Post

    The American Patriot

    National Conservative News Network Canada

    YouTube: Channels extensively covering Q

    The following are channels YouTube has allowed to proliferate that cover and interpret every post Q signs (ordered by number of subscribers):

    Websites

    YourNewsWire

    Fake news site YourNewsWire took the QAnon pedophile conspiracy theory to Facebook with baseless accusations targeting celebrities Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

    The Blacksphere

    Freedom Outpost

    The Trump Times

    The Deplorable Army

    Neon Nettle

    From an archived version of a since-deleted post that appeared on Neon Nettle, a fake news site that has also pushed the conspiracy theory on Twitter:

    WorldTruth.TV

    Neon Revolt

    The site features a tag devoted to QAnon-related content.

    Exopolitics.org

  • UPDATED: Rick Scott’s Senate campaign rented Roger Stone’s email list

    Stone previously criticized Scott for being personally responsible for fraud

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Update: A spokesperson for Scott's campaign claimed that the Stone email "was a vendor mistake - they are not advertising with Stone or paying him to send out emails on their behalf," according to Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout. Regardless of the campaign's explanation, as Media Matters documented below, Stone's website sent a sponsored message that contained a fundraising pitch for Scott; Stone's website identified "Rick Scott For Senate" as "one of our sponsoring advertisers"; and Scott's message contained the text: "Paid for by Rick Scott for Florida."

    Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) U.S. Senate campaign rented Roger Stone’s email list for a fundraising pitch.

    Stone is a vicious racist, misogynist, liar, and conspiracy theorist. He is caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe; was disinvited from a Florida GOP event because he called former first lady Barbara Bush a “nasty drunk” after she died; and tried to recruit wrestler Hulk Hogan to challenge Scott because of “his personal responsibility for $1 billion in Medicaid fraud" (Scott's company previously paid a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud). 

    Stone is a right-wing operative and commentator who describes himself as “a 40-year friend and advisor of Donald Trump.” Mueller is examining the activities of Stone and his associates with regard to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Stone has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself on issues related to Mueller’s probe.

    Stone has also frequently targeted Republicans and conservatives with typical Stone-level rhetoric. For instance:

    • Stone called former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) an "arrogant know-it-all negro"; commentator Herman Cain “mandingo”; and Education Secretary Ben Carson an “Uncle Tom.”
    • Stone mocked the late Charles Krauthammer for being paralyzed, tweeting: “Hey Krauthammer--stand the fuck up!”
    • Stone called CNN commentator and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) aide Ana Navarro a media “quota hire” and tweeted that “black beans and rice didn't miss her.” He has stood by his remarks, saying that he “fat-shamed her.”
    • Stone has claimed that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) father is connected to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy and that the "Bush Crime Family" had “tried to kill” President Ronald Reagan and was involved in murders and drug-running with the Clintons.
    • Stone said that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will “die in disgrace as his antics are exposed for the American people. He’s not a hero, he’s a traitor. It’s very sad.”
    • Stone called former first lady Barbara Bush a “nasty drunk” after she died, and added that she “drank so much booze, if they cremated her ... her body would burn for three days.”

    Stone’s remarks about Barbara Bush caused the Okaloosa Republican Executive Committee in Florida to uninvite Stone from headlining its annual fundraising dinner. (Stone had used similar rhetoric about Bush prior to her death.) 

    Stone’s website Stone Cold Truth forwarded its followers a July 26 message from Scott’s campaign with the statement: “We are excited to share with you a special message from one of our sponsoring advertisers, Rick Scott For Senate. It is also sponsors like them that help fund Stone Cold Truth. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our sponsor alone, and not necessarily the opinion of Roger Stone.”

    Scott’s email asked for donations and ended with a picture of Scott with President Donald Trump.

    The Scott campaign’s decision to pay Stone is even more odd given that Stone has publicly rebuked him. In January, Stone said that he was “focused on persuading Hulk Hogan” to challenge Scott in the Republican primary, adding that at “a minimum, I hope to convince Hogan to body-slam Scott in every debate. If the governor is under the impression that his personal responsibility for $1 billion in Medicaid fraud is no longer an issue, he’s wrong."

    Other campaigns have rented Stone’s email list, including House candidate Omar Navarro in California; unsuccessful House candidate Richard Mack in Arizona; and Senate candidate Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts.

    Shortly after Diehl’s campaign rented his list, Stone endorsed Diehl’s campaign. In response to Media Matters’ article about the endorsement, Stone stated on Newsmax TV 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.”

  • Roger Stone has lied or contradicted himself regarding Russia probe matters on countless occasions

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself on numerous issues related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

    Stone is a vicious racist, misogynist, liar, and conspiracy theorist who describes himself as “a 40-year friend and advisor of Donald Trump.” He worked as a paid consultant to Trump’s campaign for part of 2015 and has since advised him in an unofficial capacity.

    He was banned from CNN, MSNBC, and even Fox News in 2016 because of his vitriolic rhetoric. However, all three networks have since welcomed him back as a guest. Stone also writes commentaries online and works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

    Nothing Stone says should be taken at face value. Even staunch right-wingers don’t trust Stone, calling him “a sleazeball” (Fox News host Mark Levin); “a little rat” (pro-Trump super PAC head Ed Rollins); and “one of the worst people in the world” (radio host Glenn Beck).

    Stone’s career as a dirty trickster has come back to haunt him in the form of Mueller’s investigation.

    Sources told CNBC that Stone “is apparently one of the top subjects of the Mueller investigation into potential collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.” ABC News recently reported that “at least seven people associated with” Stone have been contacted by “Mueller, according to interviews with witnesses and others who say they've been contacted.” Stone was also likely one of the unnamed people whose activities were mentioned in Mueller’s July 13 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for election interference.

    As he has on so many other topics, Stone has lied and contradicted himself regarding numerous matters related to Mueller’s Russia investigation. For instance:

    • 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" WikiLeaks founder Julian 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 this month 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 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.

    Stone repeatedly and falsely claimed that he never had any contact with Russians

    Stone had contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign. As Stone acknowledged, he met with “Henry Greenberg,” a Russian national who claimed to have damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in May 2016. Stone also communicated online with Guccifer 2.0, “the digital persona alleged to have been set up by Russian military intelligence,” as The New York Times wrote.

    Stone told ABC News that he only publicly disclosed the meeting with Greenberg last month because he "just didn't remember. 2016 was a pretty busy year." He also claimed that the Greenberg meeting was “a failed Obama FBI sting operation” and has denied that Guccifer 2.0 is Russian.

    Stone repeatedly claimed he didn’t have any contact with Russians. Here are 10 examples of his claims:

    • “I have no Russian contacts, I have no Russian money. I have no Russian influences. I do like Russian vodka. This thing is a canard.” [Time magazine, 2/3/17]
    • “I have no connection with the Russians.” [The Guardian, 2/15/17]
    • “I’ve never been in touch with anyone in Russia.” [NBC, Today, 2/16/17]
    • “Sure they’ll get my grocery lists, they may get the emails between my wife and I, but here’s what they won’t get -- any contact with the Russians.” [CBS News, 3/3/17]
    • “I am not in touch with any Russians. don't have a Russian girlfriend, don't like Russian dressing and have stopped drinking Russian Vodka." [Business Insider, 3/10/17]
    • “Therefore my previous statements to CBS that I had contact with NO Russians is accurate with the possible exception of an innocent exchange [with Guccifer 2.0] ... before I was aware of these allegations that he may be a Russian asset.” [CBS News, 3/13/17]  
    • “I reiterate again, I have had no contacts or collusions with the Russians. And my exchange with Guccifer 2, based on the content and the timing, most certainly does not constitute collusion. My brief exchange with him is six weeks after the hacking of the and publication of the DNC documents, which I'm accused of colluding with him on. In other words, I would need a time machine in order to collude.” [ABC, This Week, 3/26/17]
    • “To be clear, I have never represented any Russian clients, have never been to Russia, and never had any communication with any Russians or individuals fronting for Russians, in connection with the 2016 presidential election.” [House Intelligence Committee written testimony, 9/26/17]
    • “I will repeat what I have stated verbally and in print, repeatedly, over and over and over, including under oath before your soul-sister [Rep. Adam] Schiff [D-CA] and the entire House Intelligence Committee: I have NEVER had any contacts with any Russians in any way whatsoever having anything to do with my work for the Trump Campaign or any campaign or any business or professional or even personal undertaking, EVER.” [StoneColdTruth.com, 2/26/18]
    • “I never had any contact with any Russians.” [MSNBC, Meet the Press Daily, 3/6/18]

    Stone contradicted himself on whether he “communicated with Assange”

    Media Matters first documented that Stone said during the 2016 campaign that he “communicated with [Julian] Assange.” He said on August 8, 2016, regarding what an “October surprise” in the election could be: “Well, it could be any number of things. I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there's no telling what the October surprise may be.”

    On August 12, he repeated that he “was in communication with Julian Assange.”

    Stone has repeatedly contradicted himself about Assange, now claiming he “never communicated with Assange.” Here are just a few examples of his contradictory statements:

    • “I have not spoken to Mr. Assange. I have not met with Mr. Assange. And I never said I had. I said we communicated through an intermediary, somebody who is a mutual friend.” [CSPAN, 8/18/16]
    • “I do have a back-channel communication with Assange, because we have a good mutual friend.” [WFOR, 10/12/16]
    • “I have never said or written that I had any direct communication with Julian Assange and have always clarified in numerous interviews and speeches that my communication with WikiLeaks was through the aforementioned journalist.” [House Intelligence Committee written testimony, 9/26/17]
    • “When I spoke of a back channel to WikiLeaks in a rousing Tea Party rally in 2016, I was probably over dramatizing the role of progressive talk show host, comic, impressionist, and activist Randy Credico. … It was Randy Credico who first brought to my attention in mid-July 2016, the public claim of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that he had significant material on the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and would publish those documents. Up until this time, I had not been paying much attention to WikiLeaks and was not following the WikiLeaks or Assange feeds on Twitter.” [StoneColdTruth.com, 3/9/18]
    • “The allegation that I met with Assange, or asked for a meeting or communicated with Assange, is provably false.” [The Washington Post, 3/13/18]
    • “What I actually said in my testimony was that I had never communicated with Assange. That is correct.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 4/6/18]

    Stone claimed “he had communicated with WikiLeaks via an ‘intermediary,’” but private messages show they “communicated directly”

    The Atlantic reported on February 27 that Stone has contradicted himself on whether he communicated directly with WikiLeaks. Reporter Natasha Bertrand wrote:

    On March 17, 2017, WikiLeaks tweeted that it had never communicated with Roger Stone, a longtime confidante and informal adviser to President Donald Trump. In his interview with the House Intelligence Committee last September, Stone, who testified under oath, told lawmakers that he had communicated with WikiLeaks via an “intermediary,” whom he identified only as a “journalist.” He declined to reveal that person’s identity to the committee, he told reporters later.

    Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic show that Stone and WikiLeaks, a radical-transparency group, communicated directly on October 13, 2016—and that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won the election. The existence of the secret correspondence marks yet another strange twist in the White House’s rapidly swelling Russia scandal. Stone and Trump have been friends for decades, which raises key questions about what the president knew about Stone’s interactions with Wikileaks during the campaign. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. [The Atlantic, 2/27/18]

    Stone has claimed, both before and after The Atlantic piece was published, that he “never” communicated with WikiLeaks.

    He told CNN's Andrew Kaczynski on March 27, 2017: "Since I never communicated with WikiLeaks, I guess I must be innocent of charges I knew about the hacking of Podesta's email (speculation and conjecture) and the timing or scope of their subsequent disclosures. So I am clairvoyant or just a good guesser because the limited things I did predict (Oct disclosures) all came true."

    In late May, Stone responded to a Wall Street Journal story by telling Politico: “The emails referenced [in that story] fell outside the precisely worded scope of the House Intelligence Committee request -- I had no obligation to turn them over and the content of them merely confirms my claim that I was utilizing a back channel and never communicated directly with WikiLeaks or Assange.” 

    Stone contradicted himself by claiming he “wasn’t in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign”

    Reacting to the July 13 federal indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials, Stone’s initial instinct was to claim that he couldn’t be one of the unnamed people referenced in Mueller’s indictment because he “wasn’t in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign.”

    Stone told CNN by phone, "I don't think it is me because I wasn't in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign," although he was in contact with Donald Trump himself.

    Referring to remarks from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday, Stone said, “Look, Rosenstein said in his comments that they knew of no crime by US citizens. They included my exchange with Guccifer which is now public, in the indictment. And it’s benign. So I don’t know that it refers to me.”

    He added, "Based on timing, content and context, they're benign. They certainly don't provide any evidence of collaboration or collusion."

    Stone went on to closely parse the language of the indictment, arguing, "My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials."

    Stone later told CNN’s Chris Cuomo “that he ‘misunderstood the reference.’ ‘I never denied that it was me, I just didn't understand the earlier reference.’”

    Regardless of whether he’s mentioned in the indictment, Stone is contradicting himself about his contact with the Trump campaign in 2016.

    For instance, on a July 10, 2016, appearance on a radio program, Stone said: “I spoke yesterday to Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, an incredibly able fellow, an old friend of mine, former business partner of mine, in fact.” He appeared on a radio program on August 17, 2016, and said he “spoke to” Manafort about the hiring of former Breitbart.com head Steve Bannon.

    Stone also said he communicated with Trump campaign communications official Michael Caputo during the campaign, who helped arrange a meeting with Russian national "Henry Greenberg" in 2016. 

    Stone lied that subpoenaed associate “has not worked for me for three years” 

    In June, Mueller subpoenaed Stone associate Andrew Miller regarding the Russia investigation. Stone criticized the subpoena by claiming that Miller “has not worked for me for three years” and “did not work for me during the 2016 campaign, although he did fly in for the Republican National Convention to work on my scheduling." 

    Stone also said during a June 28 appearance on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle: “Andrew Miller, who hasn't worked for me since 2013, three years ago, did come and help me at the Republican National Convention for a week. … But if he didn't work for me other than at the convention, it reinforces my view that this is some kind of effort to frame me for some extraneous offense to silence me, or to get me to testify against the president.” He added: "When he worked for me, and it was three years ago, he did scheduling. He traveled with me as a wing man. He did some I.T. work. But, again, he remains a good friend of mine."

    Stone’s response is a lie. 

    In 2016 and 2017, Miller’s contact information was on press releases for Stone. On January 31, 2017, Miller appeared on a podcast and said he was “on Stone’s insurance plan.” When the host Tim Preuss asked if he’s still Stone’s “employee technically,” Miller replied: “Yeah, technically, I guess.” 

    Stone’s political organization, Committee To Restore America's Greatness, paid $9,000 to Miller’s research firm over three months (May, June, and August) in 2016 for “expense reimbursement” and “consulting,” according to Federal Election Commission records. 

    Another Stone group, Stop The Steal, also paid Miller’s firm $5,000 in “consulting fees” on October 13, 2016 -- months after the July Republican National Convention -- according to IRS records.

    “Stone has contradicted himself” on his “legal defense fund”

    In recent months, Stone has been attempting to raise money for his “legal defense fund.” But CNBC reported on May 2 that “Stone has contradicted himself on what he's paying for and how much he's projected to pay” in legal costs.

    A website for Stone’s fund claims that it’s “becoming clear that Special Counsel Robert Mueller intends to frame Roger Stone for some bogus ‘offense’ unrelated to Russian collusion, Wikileaks, or perhaps even the 2016 election.” A notice on the page states: “Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all contributions to the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund are considered gifts to Roger Stone.”

  • Right-wing media are defending Rep. Jim Jordan against accusations that he knew about -- and ignored -- sexual abuse at Ohio State University

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been accused of knowing about, and failing to act on, sexual abuse by the team doctor during his tenure as assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Multiple former athletes have accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexual misconduct and have claimed that Jordan knew or must have known about the abuse yet failed to act.

    Jordan, who is also the co-founder of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, has denied the accusations, claiming he was unaware of any abuse. During a July 6 appearance on Fox News’ Special Report, he was quick to attack multiple accusers, criticized CNN for hosting a former wrestler to discuss the claims, and stoked conspiracy theories by claiming that “the timing” of the accusations “is suspect” because he’s about to launch a campaign for speaker of the House. Allies of the conservative congressman have been equally resolute in their defense, with both President Donald Trump and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) backing Jordan, and the entire Freedom Caucus voting to officially support him.

    Unsurprisingly, right-wing media have also jumped to Jordan’s defense, suggesting that the accusations are no more than a politically motivated smear. Here are some of right-wing media’s defenses:

    • Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized Ryan for failing to immediately defend Jordan from “suspiciously timed smear campaigns.” He also called the accusations “a smear campaign of the vilest sort” and said Jordan has been “dishonorably attacked by the left."

    • The Daily Caller ran an article attacking some of the accusers, arguing that their “sketchy history” raises questions about their “authenticity.”

    • Fox News contributor David Bossie tweeted that Jordan is “an honest man of unparalleled integrity” and “the scurrilous allegations against him are absurd - perpetrated by the fake news media and liberals with an agenda to stop Congressman Jordan.”

    • Radio host Wayne Dupree claimed the accusations were a “hit job” and argued that the story “seems like an inside job from our side that doesn't want a conservative becoming Speaker of the House.” He also called the accusations a “sex smear” and said that they have solidified his “unequivocal support” for Jordan.

    • Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter called the accusations “sudden” and “convenient,” claimed multiple times that the story was “bullshit,” blamed the victims, and suggested there was a “coordinated” liberal response to the wrestlers’ claims.

    • Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell said the accusations reek of “dirty tricks” and implied that they were made to derail Jordan’s campaign to join Republican House leadership.

    • During Rush Limbaugh’s July 6 radio show -- titled “With Paul Manafort in Solitary, Deep State Targets Jim Jordan” -- the radio host argued that the accusations against Jordan are just the result of “opposition research” and claimed they emerged “because he’s had a successful interrogation period with [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein and is being mentioned for possible speaker.” Limbaugh also attacked the victims’ histories and stoked conspiracy claims by noting that the “the leading Democrat law firm in all of fascist Democrat America,” Perkins Coie, is investigating the wrestlers’ accusations. Gateway Pundit made similar accusations, blaming the deep state, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also told Dobbs that the deep state was to blame.

    • The Daily Wire ran an article that called the “timing of these allegations… suspect,” because they have come out only when “Jordan was considering a run to replace Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker of the House.”

    • Infowars’ Owen Shroyer claimed “intimidation tactics” were being used against Jordan, argued there are “a bunch of holes in this” story, and said, “It seems to me like this is just another case of the Clinton crime machine trying to intimidate Americans who are standing up to them.”

    • Infowars’ Roger Stone rejected the accusations as a “smear tactic” and “a hit piece” and argued that Jordan is being targeted for his criticism of Rosenstein.