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Roger Stone

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  • 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.)

  • 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 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.

  • MSNBC helps Roger Stone sell books after previously banning him for his abusive behavior

    Blog ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN

    Roger Stone appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports to promote his new book, even though MSNBC previously announced that Stone would be no longer welcome on the network. Stone had been banned for making abusive comments about MSNBC personalities.

    Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump and a long-time conspiracy theorist who is now an Infowars correspondent, was banned from all three major cable news networks because of his sexist, racist, and threatening rhetoric. He was also locked out of his Twitter account in April 2017 after he threatened a Media Matters employee, and he was permanently suspended from the platform in October following attacks on several CNN employees.

    MSNBC previously confirmed that Stone -- who twice offered a cash reward to anyone who "punches out" network host Chris Matthews and who called host Al Sharpton a "professional negro" who ate fried chicken, and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow "Rachel the muff-diver" -- would not be welcome on the network.

    But MSNBC and CNN have both recently decided to give Stone a platform to promote his new book, Stone’s Rules. In Stone’s May 8 appearance on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Mitchell asked him to comment on Trump’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and pressed him about his connections to WikiLeaks, but she also plugged the book.

    The decisions to reverse bans on hosting Stone might be defensible if he were in the news or there were some other newsworthy reason. In this case, they’re just helping him sell books.

  • CNN seemingly abandons its official policy banning Roger Stone from appearing as an on-air guest

    Despite its long-standing and publicly announced policy, CNN hosted Stone to promote his upcoming book

    Blog ››› ››› JOHN WHITEHOUSE & MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    CNN hosted President Donald Trump confidant and Infowars conspiracy theorist Roger Stone to promote his new book, reversing a decision the network made in 2016 to no longer host Stone on its airwaves.

    For years, Stone regularly leveled sexist and racist attacks (often via Twitter) against politicians and members of the media, including current and former CNN personalities. He called CNN political commentator Ana Navarro an "Entitled Diva Bitch," a "pompous shithead," "borderline retarded," and "a rabid Pekinese," and wrote, "Black beans and rice didn't miss her." Stone also attacked CNN analyst Roland Martin when Martin was still at CNN, referring to him as a “stupid negro," a "fat negro," and "CNN's racist moron--dumb, embarassing (sic), token," and asked him, "Who made you God, Fattass? Eat somemore Popeye's."

    By February 2016, Stone’s vile Twitter attacks on CNN personalities resulted in an indefinite suspension from the network, with a CNN spokesperson telling Politico, “He will no longer appear as a guest on CNN.” In April 2017, Twitter briefly locked Stone’s account after he threatened a Media Matters employee. And in October 2017, Twitter permanently suspended Stone’s account “following a series of derogatory and threatening tweets from Stone to CNN personalities.”

    Stone’s May 7 appearance on New Day suggests an apparent reversal of CNN’s 2016 decision, as the network not only chose to provide a platform for the prominent conspiracy theorist and Infowars host, but also gave him an opportunity to hawk his new book.

    Media Matters has asked CNN for comment on this and will update with any response.