I reached out via a text message on January 18 to Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s long-time associate, to ask him for an interview for Washington Babylon. Over the following week or so we had a lengthy text exchange and then a phone call.
I had initially asked Stone to do an interview about political dirty tricks, and to ask him if he was still in the game what sort of stunts he would pull on on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donald Trump. I also hoped he would endorse the Petunia/Bella Robinson 2000 presidential campaign.
It was clearly intended to be tongue-in-cheek and I thought at first that I would write it under the byline of Morris Shenker, a deceased, alleged mob attorney who covers the Petunia campaign for Washington Babylon.
Stone said that given his precarious political circumstances — more below — he probably shouldn’t talk about dirty tricks even in jest. He proposed we do an interview about his hopes and plans for the national legalization of marijuana, which he hoped Ocasio-Cortez would support.
We were supposed to conduct the interview this weekend to run today, but Stone was indicted on seven counts last Thursday by a federal grand jury in Washington, at the behest of former FBI director and Russiagate special counsel Robert Mueller. He was arrested Friday morning during a raid by an FBI SWAT team on his home in Florida.
Mueller alleged in the indictment that Stone “sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks in coordination with Trump campaign officials,” according to the ghastly cable TV network CNN. The network claims it was staking out Stone’s house because it suspected he would be arrested. My guess, and it’s obviously only a guess, is that someone in or close to Mueller’s office or law enforcement tipped CNN off so it could be on hand to film the armed circus of Stone’s arrest.
Stone has had a colorful career in politics and there’s plenty not to like about him, depending on your political point of view. (There are certainly Democratic operatives every bit as “dirty” as Stone or worse, like Clinton family hack Sidney Blumenthal.) Personally, I find a lot of what Stone has done in the past to be repugnant but I also can’t help but admire his cleverness and political brilliance, and generally I love rogues.
Also, let me state clearly and forcefully that whatever you think of Stone this raid was a disgrace and police state shit that is intolerable. No one, whatever their political beliefs, should support it. Mueller is out of control and the whole Russiagate investigation is a farce — which is clearly seen in Stone’s indictment, which Andrew McCarthy of National Review brilliantly laid out in this story. (Disclosure: I dislike Trump and Hillary Clinton in equal measure and loathe Bill Clinton more than loathe of them.)
Naturally, liberals and #TheResistance cheered Stone’s bogus arrests. I expect they won’t be so supportive of police state tactics when Trump or another (future) right-wing president employs them on these very same liberals.
Stone was released on $250,000 bond — an option not available to poor African-Americans or anyone else arrested on non-violent drug charges, by the way. I messaged him while he was in custody to voice my support for him but I also sent him a very critical story I’d published about him by Sydney Leathers, Washington Babylon‘s Senior Contributing Writer. He was supremely pissed so it looks like our interview is off.
Therefore, I am publishing a lightly edited and shortened version of our text message exchange below, beginning with my courting of him for the interview:
Me: I have written dozens if not hundreds of stories denouncing the farce of Russiagate.
Me: I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t vote for Trump and I dislike about 80% of what he stands for but I sure as fuck didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.
Roger: You seem to have a miss impression of me as someone who agrees with Trump on everything which is far from the mark. I’m a libertarian and I fully understand Donald Trump having spent 40 years in his orbit. Anyway you slice it he’s better than that epic criminal Hillary Clinton.
Me: I totally agree with you and I have written that many times. I wrote a piece about the Clinton Foundations disgusting work in Columbia and they attacked me viciously as they had many times before.
Me: And I sort of figured you were not really in total agreement with all of Trump’s positions but I just didn’t know.
Me: But again to be honest, I am for AOC. She can’t run for office or at least the presidency in 2020 but I’m a big fan of hers. I see her as the left-wing Donald Trump and I expected even if you don’t like her policy is you have to admire her rhetoric and balls.
Roger: Personally I am hoping that AOC cosponsors legislation with Matt Gaetz in the house to legalize marijuana. He is a right wing congressman from Florida who happens to be a pro marijuana.
Roger: (After I bragged about having worked with Alexander Cockburn.) Always liked Cockburn Even though I would’ve had to send him to a prison camp.
Roger: (After his arrest and after I sent him Sydney’s story.) That story is hateful. Perhaps you should be more concerned that the FBI raised my home with a 29 member swat team and then I opened the door to be faced with assault weapons pointed in my face. They came 17 vehicles, helicopter and two boats because my home backs up on a canal. I was handcuffed and shackled while they terrorized my wife who is deaf. They then ransacked my entire home looking for evidence that does not exist. They most certainly could have contacted my lawyer and I would’ve turn myself in voluntarily. The existence of a CNN camera to record my arrest and particularly the issuance of a search warrant violates the law. Tell Sydney Leathers to go fuck herself.
Me: I did. And I will reflect your point of you in my Monday story. Take it easy. I don’t censor my writers.
Roger: Your writer is a talentless cunt.
Me: I’ll tell her you said so. And honestly, I totally agree with you about the raid and CNN and I am going to nail the fuck out of them on that.
Me: I’ll write a story Monday. I’ll send you the link and sincerely, good luck and I will take you out for a drink next time you are available. All you have to do is check me out on Facebook and Twitter and you will see I think you got fucked.
Me: I’m really sorry your wife had to witness that. Fucking police state bullshit.
By the way, when I talked to Stone on the phone last week before his arrest he said that Obama could have passed progressive measure on weed with the stroke of his pen but had been too cowardly to do so. I asked him if Trump might support the efforts of Congressman Gaetz — it didn’t sound like he had had any contacts with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez — and he said he thought he might. “Trump recognizes that the real crisis we have is related to opioids,” he said.
*By the way, there is a very small chance that I was never communicating with Roger Stone. I originally got his phone number from a Republican operative so it’s possible he have me the contact information for someone who was impersonating Roger Stone, and I was the victim of a hoax. But that seems pretty doubtful. But if I was set up, I’ll let you all know.