Who Is?
S4 E1

Who Is Roger Stone? Narrated by Kathy Griffin

Roger Stone is one of the latest inductees in Robert Mueller’s investigation. He’s known Trump for forty years and is the proud owner of a giant back tattoo of Richard Nixon, a frequent pusher of conspiracy theories, and self-described “dirty trickster”.

Roger Stone was born in 1952 in Norwalk, Connecticut to parents he reportedly described as middle-class, blue-collar Catholics. By the time he was twelve, Stone switched from staunch Democrat to hardcore conservative when a neighbor gave him Barry Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of A Conservative”. From there on out, Stone was an ardent supporter of conservatives in many forms.

After high school, Stone attended George Washington University in D.C., but he never graduated. He instead took a job working for the committee to get Nixon re-elected. The young Republican was just 19 when his “dirty tricks” made it to the national stage and caught the eye of the Senate Watergate Committee. Stone used the pseudonym Jason Rainier and donated money to Nixon’s rival on behalf of the Young Socialist Alliance. He then slipped the receipt to the New Hampshire press to show that Nixon’s opponent was a puppet owned by the left. As Politico notes, “Stone’s most successful role as a Watergate trickster was a part he played running a 1972 CREEP operation called “Sedan Chair II,”where he hired a Republican spy to infiltrate the McGovern campaign. After Nixon won and then resigned in the wake of Watergate, Stone believed that the man, who would later adorn his back, was completely innocent.

After a short stint with Bob Dole, Stone stopped working directly with candidates and co-founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee in 1975. NCPAC was one of the first successful PACs. It raised funds and ran aggressive negative campaign ads to oust prominent Democrats from Congress.

In 1980, Stone signed on as Northeast coordinator for Reagan’s second bid at the White House where he met Roy Cohn, the infamous Gotham mafia lawyer, who would introduce him to the man he’d soon shape into a prominent political figure: Donald J. Trump. Trump gave Stone $200,000 in checks made out to "Reagan for President."

After Reagan won The White House, Stone started one of Washington’s first major lobbying firms with his old campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Reagan campaign alumnus, Charles Black. Aside from catering to controversial dictators, the firm also represented Stone’s new friend: Donald J. Trump.

In 1987, Stone urged his buddy to run for president. He organized campaign-like events in New Hampshire, where Trump made a speech about how the country was being kicked around and laughed at. Unfortunately for Stone, Trump didn’t end up running and was allegedly using the platform as a way to publicize his upcoming book: “The Art of the Deal.”

In 1996, Stone’s career took a turn. He was forced to leave as a senior consultant on Senator Bob Dole’s presidential campaign after The National Enquirer revealed that Stone and his second wife posted ads and pictures looking for sex partners in a magazine called Local Swing Fever. Stone’s image was seemingly tarnished after his swinger ads came to light. He was ousted from the spotlight and continued the rest of his career lurking behind the scenes.

Stone worked on the Trump campaign as an advisor for about two months before he was either fired or quit, depending on who you believe. But it’s the time Stone spent in the shadows that was crucial in getting the Donald to The White House.

In August of 2016, a few months before the election, Stone sent out a mysterious tweet about John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” A few months later, in October, Stone again tweeted: “Wednesday, Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.” Just a few days later, Wikileaks dropped thousands of private emails belonging to John Podesta.
In January of 2019, Roger Stone’s dirty tricks had finally caught up to him. Stone was arrested and indicted on seven criminal charges as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Stone was charged with obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering. Stone told the witness to “do a Frank Pentangeli”. Which is a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part ll” who lies before congress. Mueller’s indictment shows a link between Wikileaks’ efforts to damage Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign’s efforts to do the same. That link is clearly Roger Stone.