The Russia Investigation: Roger Stone

Roger Jason Stone Jr. has worked as a political consultant, lobbyist, and strategist since the 1970s. He was part of the Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, and Donald Trump campaigns. His reputation as a political dirty trickster stretches back even further, to his childhood.

In 1980 Stone, along with Paul Manafort, and Charles R. Black Jr founded the Washington DC-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone.  The firm was renamed Black, Manafort, Stone, Kelly in 1984, when they recruited Peter G. Kelly to join the team.  Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Stone engaged in lobbying work through BMSK, as well as worked for a variety of political campaigns.  One of Stone’s high-profile lobbying clients during that time period was Donald Trump.  Stone not only represented Trump’s casino interests, but also was behind Trump’s dalliance with the idea of running for president as the Reform Party candidate in 2000.  Trump and Stone were even fined in 2000 for illegal lobbying activities when “they secretly financed newspaper advertisements opposing casino gambling in the Catskills” — which would have had a negative impact on Trump’s already floundering New Jersey casinos.

Stone worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, as well, going back to at least April 10, 2015.  He officially left the campaign in early August 2015, but continued to work as an unofficial adviser.  It’s under dispute whether Trump fired Stone or he quit.  As reported by CBS News, in a statement, the campaign said that Stone was using Trump for his own personal publicity.

“We have a tremendously successful campaign, and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity.”

Trump’s campaign took issue with Stone and “a number of articles about him recently,” saying that the business mogul “wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again.”

Regardless of the reason for the public split, Stone continued to serve the interests of the Trump campaign.  In late May 2016, on behalf of the campaign, Stone met with Russian Henry Greenberg, as reported here at TheNewsBlender.  The meeting came to light after Stone’s statement following Michael Caputo’s interview with Robert Mueller’s team back in May of this year.  Before that, both Stone and Caputo had repeatedly and quite insistently denied they’d ever met with or been in contact with Russians while working for the Trump campaign or afterward in February 2017, March 2017, April 2017, and July 2017 — when Caputo spoke to CNN about his House Intelligence Committee testimony.

Once the two admitted they met with a Russian this week, they both began to weave a tale that they were set up and that Greenberg was an FBI informant.  While Greenberg has, in fact, served in that capacity in the past, even Caputo’s website hasn’t provided any documentation that Greenberg’s worked for or with the FBI since 2013.  Unfortunately for them, their charge is weak, at best.  According to Stone’s recently penned statement regarding his newly recovered memory of the meeting, Stone claims all he knew beforehand was that Greenberg had information which would be “beneficial” to the campaign, but not what it was or pertained to.

But Greenberg isn’t the only Russian Stone was in contact during his official or unofficial stint with the Trump campaign.  He also boasted of contact with Julian Assange and Guccifer 2.0.  Stone helped spread the story that Guccifer 2.0 was a lone Romanian hacktivist, when, in fact, he’s an officer of Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU).

As reported in a previous article here on TheNewsBlender, Russian hacker groups Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear penetrated the DNC servers as early as summer 2015.  News of the breach wasn’t made public until June 2016.  But in May of 2016, George Papadopoulos was bragging about how the Russians had dirt on Hillary, and Roger Stone was meeting with a Russian to acquire that dirt.  Stone rejected the offer when he claims it came with a $2 million price tag, saying, “You don’t understand Donald Trump.  He doesn’t pay for anything.”  In June, Donald Trump Jr. and Stone’s old lobbying partner Paul Manafort met with Russians in Trump Tower to acquire dirt on Hillary.

On August 8, 2016, during a speech to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, Stone was asked a question about the October surprise, in which he said, “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.”  Stone told Sam Nunberg that he would be having dinner with Assange, and according to the Washington Post, he told an unnamed source in a phone conversation back in the spring of 2016 “he had learned from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that his organization had obtained emails that would torment senior Democrats such as John Podesta, then campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”  In fact, on August 21, 2016, Stone tweeted that Podesta’s “time in the barrel” would come soon.

Stone disputes these charges, though, claiming the tweet was taken out of context and that he’d lied to Nunberg.  After Nunberg’s interview with Mueller’s team, Stone’s even gone so far as to describe him as a “psycho” and a “lying asshole.”

Time will tell who’s being less than honest.

Connected to

Donald Trump

Paul Manafort

Sam Nunberg

Michael Caputo

Julian Assange

Wikileaks

Guccifer 2.0

2016 Republican National Convention

 

 

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