Part One: Roger Stone: Evil Genius or Sad, Broken Boy?
Hi, I'm Ariel Casten Jonathan Strickland and together, we're going to tell you the stories behind some of the biggest triumphs and failures and business. That's right. We're going to explore situations that tested the medal of entrepreneurs pivotal moments required. Making tough decisions. We'll be talking about some big companies that everybody knows like Disney LEGO and Harley Davidson and together we try to answer the question. What do you do when you find yourself at the brink? Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to your podcasts. I'm Robert Evans, and this is the introduction behind the bastards my podcast where we talk about terrible people and all the things you don't know about them with me today. My guest for this episode is Tim Catan host of they tried to bury us podcast about immigrants coming into the United States. Exactly every week is a different American origin story. So we have a different Imigran every week awesome. It's been great. Well, today, we're not talking about an immigrant, but we are talking about someone who has done on a lot of damage immigrants not directly, but just through the people. He supported sure, yeah. We're talking about Roger stone. Would you know about Roger stone hammer? I I know a little bit about him. I know that he is he lives in the upside down is I think a phrase, I said you outside. Yeah. I think he is a white Malcolm X to me a political version of a by any means necessary. You donate meet like before. Malcolm went to mecca and got balancing in his life without principle without print by any means necessary. I don't care who I heard. I don't care. How often I have to lie. I think that lying is good. I think if you believe in doing things that are virtuous that you're a chump. It's a cancer in our political system. Yeah. And he's a human cancer. I'm -solutely. Now listeners will note that we did a two part episode on Paul Manafort months ago, I recommend checking that out too because they're they're two halves of the same coin. Now, we talked about one coin back in twenty eighteen today were dropping the other side. So let's get into it on August. Twenty seventh nineteen fifty two little baby. Roger stone was born to Gloria rose, and Roger j stone. His mother was a journalist who followed local politics has father drilled wells, Roger grew up in Lewes borough New York and described his family as middle class in blue collar. So so far we're doing fine normal middle American boy Roger was eight years old when he got involved in his first political election. He campaigned for John F Kennedy, and even at that tender age he knew that honesty was not the way to achieve political goals since right? He later recalled to the Washington Post, quote, I remember going through the cafeteria line and telling every kid that Nixon was in the favor of school on Saturdays. My first. Critical trick which is cute. It's fun. It's so it's like an origin story of a villain. Yeah. Yeah. Where he learns the power of arcs disinflation. I think he was quoted about that story said that's where I learned the power of disinformation. Yeah. That you can just if you just and it's speaking as a toll white guy, this is some I battle with my whole life. I really like telling a good lie to people like like a like jokingly like I'll make up a fact about history or something like in the love seat it to a friend, and you hear him tell it in like a party or something. And it's it's a really funny joke for just you. You're not a great thing to do. But if you're confident in you have the right sort of look in this society, at least because it works, particularly well in the United States, the same reason why like if you've got a mixed race group of people and someone has to go talk to the cops. You pick the guy who looks like me. Yeah. I go talk to the cops. And I it's it's it's fine. I think Roger stone had that realization and decided to make that his whole life rather. Than be like what if I just made some jokes at parties? Yeah. It's it's such a bizarre thing. Like you. If this was a show about a nice normal responsible family. There would be a massive teaching moment. That was missed. Yeah. Where like Andy Griffith sat down young Roger stone. And was like, well, I know you won that classroom election. But you know, here's why it's bad. The light of everyone union. It's like winning a beauty pageant by going topless. Like it's against the rules. Yeah. Can't do that. Yeah. Oh, roger. Okay. So it is entirely possible that that anecdote is a lie. I do want to note that because we're talking about Roger stone. And every time we talk about it literally one hundred percent of the things in this. There's multiple versions of sure. So I have tried to coal the versions of reality that coincide the most with what I can back up with objective facts. And multiple people have said, but like if you do your own research on Roger stone, you'll run into different variations of everything here because I think he's just been lying consistently for about seventy years hundred percent agree. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's a negative version of one of my favorite. My Angelou quotes where she says people may not remember what you do or say. But they'll always remember how you made them feel. Yeah. And he he'll make people the right people feel the right way, regardless of if mission is true or false or damaging or hurtful or even leads divide. Yes, doesn't care. He just does not care who. So Roger did start out supporting JFK, which basically everyone did as an interesting note nineteen sixty one we do surveys like the pew and whatnot do surveys, unlike people's level of trust in government, nineteen sixty one is the peak in American history of people trusting the federal government. So so weird that like everybody's on board with JFK in this election. Now, Roger stone claims that his personal political ideology took a rightward turn for the first time at age eleven when he read bury gold waters, the conscience of a conservative very Goldwater for those of you who don't know was the kind of the Trump before Trump. I think he was a better at appealing to like intellectual conservatives than Donald Trump was, but he, you know, the reason that like you're not supposed to a psychiatrist psychoanalyze a presidential candidates called the Goldwater rule because like so many people thought he was crazy when he's running. So this guy's book is what like lights a spark. In. Roger stone's brain at age eleven we next year. He started volunteering or the Goldwater campaign at age twelve so he's like a very young volunteer for this hard right presidential candidate. And while he's doing all that he comes across a book called a Texan looks at Linden. Now, this book was self published by self-described ultra conservative named J F at Haley Haley argues that LBJ was a lifelong criminal and a murderer. Roger stone would go under write his own book about LBJ's role in the Kennedy assassination accusing the former president of at least eight murders. She says, oh, yeah. Yeah. It's it's a nutso book. Not that. I don't think LBJ had some people murdered because he was LBJ. He definitely did. But this is why you see the start of like two things that are going to be through lines. And Roger stone's live here. One of them is of course, hard right conservatism. And one of them is really likes conspiracy theories, which is probably how he's gonna wind up in the info wars orbit a little later in the story. So young Roger spent a lot of his childhood alone in reading this period of time. Seems to have crystallized the ideology that would carry him through to the rest of his life quote from Roger will you have to understand. There were no kids my age, male or female for twenty five miles. I suppose it could have thrown a football with my dad, but my old man left at five AM and came back at nine pm, but he ate his supper and felt a bed and he was covered with grease from head to foot and he never complained a day in his life. You have to amuse yourself is the way Roger tells a story and kind of how he presents his show, Americana. Yeah. Yeah. So it is my dad never talked to me because he was working all the time. And this is good. He never complain that he didn't have time to raise a child. How can you tell that story? And not be like, I me that's not a healthy culture mean that's not ideal. Like anyway, stone amused himself by engaging in politics as often as possible, he volunteered for the Goldwater campaign at age twelve as I said, but he also stayed active in his schools political process near the New York Times as a junior then vice president of his northern Westchester high school. He manipulated the ouster of the president and his own succession running for reelection. As a senior I left nothing to chance. He said, I built alliances and put all my serious challengers on my ticket than I recruited the most unpopular guy in the school to run against me. You think that's mean? No, that's smart. So yeah, when he was thirteen Roger stone's started taking the train into New York City on weekends to volunteer for the mayoral campaign of William F, Buckley junior that campaign did not work out. But the experience of traveling from small town America into its largest city to work in politics had an impact on young Roger as well. Quote. The key thing I remember about Louis borough has small hometown is that it was just across the border from new Canaan so early on. I saw myself as living in a kind of bridge between two cultures the white working class and the white upper class. Very specific about white there. Yeah. Yeah. Now stone believed both groups fundamentally hated the government. So they were natural bedfellows. Should all be able to get on board of this? Whether or not we're poor or rich white people that white people is pretty clearly sure. Angling towards now nineteen seventy stone senior Europe high school. He attended the Connecticut state young Republican convention, the younger publicans were more conservative than the mainstream of the party at that time. They're trying to push the party further to the right Roger hadn't been able to afford to book a hotel room for his trip. So he'd showed up just sort of assuming he could meet someone and convince them to take care of it stones best friend at the time guy named Dolan introduced him to another teenage young Republican named Paul Manafort. Yeah. Really is. Yeah. Villain origins. Yeah. Yeah. Crazy these young guys. Meaning they're both wearing ill-fitting suits. Nobody's got a lot of money at I knew he was involved in politics, really young. But my God seven from the age of seven, I know his family had to be involved in this like tick kinda like directionally at least push them in a direction at seven years old. He doesn't talk about that not that I found. So you think you got one or two possibilities? Either his mom and dad were both way more political than he lets on. And he was pushed in that direction or he didn't have much supervision at all in way, more white collar, by the way. Yeah. Way more white collar changes. His story makes them a little bit less likable, especially if there's more money in the picture and talk about how many guys at work at oil rigs while he's in a farm, miles, wells wells. Yeah. Miles and miles away from neighbors where his family's going you should get into politics. Yeah. There. There's holes in the story. He's making mythology. He's definitely making mythology. And again, this is the picture he wants to maybe didn't fuck do anything. But he was never involved in young. I I don't know where we're trusting Roger Fisher. And it's why I've seen pictures of him as a young Republic. Yeah. That stuff is real this stuff is definitely real once we get to where he's in high school. And he's with like Manley that stuff there's a lot of people. But like when he's talking about being eleven twelve years old and stuff like who knows? Yeah. Yeah. This might just be the image. He wants to sure, you know. Anyway, here's how the Washington Post wrote about the first meeting of Roger stone and Paul Manafort, I'm just gonna say the greatest friendship of all time. Hey, kid, how you doing stone recalled Manafort saying before getting down to sussing out. Why are you supporting weaker Manafort was referring to low a weaker a moderate Republican candidate for US Senator Manafort clearly was testing the kid you think I give a fuck about weaker. I'm here to elect Mesko stone shot back meaning Thomas Meskel a conservative gubernatorial candidate in mired by youthful Republicans. So that's like how they get started is like manafort's like you like this fucking rhino Republican name owning only stones like, no, I only like the crazy people. Like, that's where I wanna go is like the furthest, right? We can possibly so. Bizarre. Yeah. So Roger stone, Paul Manafort were instant buddies and would be not quite inseparable, but frequent collaborators over the next like thirty some odd years. How old were they at this point? They would have been like seventeen eighteen just just baby. Yeah. Their babies be at their personalities held firm. I've too strong opinions here one of them is that you shouldn't be able to join the military unless you thirty and the other is that you shouldn't. Be allowed to participate in any kind of politics until you're kid. You start doing drugs when you're twenty Twenty-one. Amen. Yeah. Yeah. Let's give him nine years of experimenting take without ingredients. You know what? I mean, make people make these huge moral decisions before they've lived life. You're absolutely right. There's you look at this stuff. Ben Shapiro is reading when he seventeen he's like advocating war crimes Neff ghanistan. Don't let a seventeen year old right about politics. You know, how fucked up that? It's so crazy. Yeah. I mean, that's how we get Paul Manafort, Roger stone. So in addition to the young Republicans stone joined the teenage Republicans, the college Republicans and young Americans for freedom might have noticed theme there. He became tightly wound up in Republican party politics enough. So that in nineteen seventy two the year of president Richard Nixon's reelection campaign nineteen year old Roger stone was selected to be one of Nixon's henchman. Now stone was the youngest member of the committee to re elect the president literally known by the acronym creep, which. Does nobody like checked on this stuff? Nixon just as like side of the creek. That's good. That's what we call it. Go commit crimes. Stone recommended that creep higher guy named Theodor Brill who was a college classmate, and friend of his he recommended that creep pay Brill one hundred fifty dollars to spy on radical groups stone claims that his worked for creep was all kid stuff. None of which was legal at the time and all of which would have been done with or without him, unfortunately for Roger stone. But fortunately for the concept of truth. The FBI was keeping tabs on him back then to there exists on this hellish internet of ours. A website called property of the people. They host government documents retrieved by foia requests, and the like they had a Superfund article, titled FBI documents on Roger stone, reveal sabotage espionage and the life of a serial bag, man. I got I'm going into an a death spiral. Right. After this is a great website. Yeah. Well, check him out. Please do now my favorite thing about that title is that Roger worked for Nixon as a literal bag man in one point taking a sack containing a jar of money to donate on behalf of Republican. Presidential candidate Paul McCloskey to the young socialist results. Dimes and quarters. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Just a jar change in a sack. So he donates on behalf of this Republican presidential candidate, Paul McCloskey to the young socialist association stone claimed that he was the young socialist associations treasurer now this was all a lie, obviously designed to make McCloskey look bad torpedo his chances of primary. Ing Nixon the original FBI documents about this dirty trick or interesting because they give us some insight into the precise nature of young. Roger stone's moral compass, quote, stone met with porter in his office at creep where porter asked him if he would be willing to travel to Manchester to make a cash contribution to the mcclosky campaign headquarters Puerto wanted stone to disguise himself as a member of the gay liberation movement. When making this contribution stone flatly rejected this proposal. However, he concurred with the basic theme of this tactic. So basically that's Roger stone's line at age nineteen. Yes, I I'll pretend to be a young social. List, but not a member of the galas. Unbelievable. I mean, you see the pattern right? You see the pattern from such a young age. He's like I see the power of disinformation. Yeah. And then fast forward a decade later, and he still doing the doing the same thing in the same shit. Did you ever see seven up the British documentary? No, it's amazing. It was like one of the first reality shows, and they interviewed kids at seven years old and then at fourteen and then at twenty one and then twenty every seven years. Wow. Now, they're in their sixties. Oh, wow. They've been doing it the whole time, but it was a study on social classes. Yeah. And the interesting thing they found is when wealthy kids were seven years old. And they asked him what he want to be. They were really specific. They're like I'm going to Cambridge on being a barrister bubble all this stuff. And they did. Whereas the kids in the poor neighborhoods. Like, I'm going to be a space, man. Yeah. Or like, I'm going to be a truck. I don't know. One of human was so keys one of those where they knew such an early age. They were just and he doesn't pick. I wanna be in politics. He picks. I wanna be a dirty tricks guy. Politics. Like, I would be like the filthiest version of a political guy. It's it's remarkable that that's his only ambition in life ever. Yeah. Now, a researcher named ima best found ten separate document releases from the F B I, all which mentioned Roger stone. According to property of the people's right up, quote, the documents detail Roger stone's role is a bag man for the Nixon campaign, which he pulled over twenty five thousand dollars equivalent to one hundred fifty thousand dollars in twenty eighteen to fund political intelligence gathering and other dirty tricks, including Mowlam bedding and a mysterious payment related to the Watergate break-in. The documents include a copy of the FBI's interview with stone as well as other statements to the bureau about stone, and Jason Reynier the alias stone used for his anti-democratic spy operations, so stone paid another operative the modern equivalent of sixty grand surveillance, sabotage the campaigns of Nixon's democratic rivals after the Watergate break ins, he put together a payment of almost a hundred grand and modern dollars for an oil executive Nixon fundraiser named Darius Keaton far from being minor acts of political. Malfeasance as stone sort of presented them. Roger stone seems to have been an enthusiastic and prolific dirty trickster. Happy to do almost anything for Richard Nixon quote in one case stone sent two hundred Democrats invitations to a non existent primary campaign breakfast in another stone directed democratic campaign literature intended for the black community to be sent to union workers and literature intended for union workers to be sent to the black community. And yet another stone saw to it that phone lines used by democratic primary campaign were tampered with this resulted democratic failure to connect with many potential voters will other. Yeah. So well, this is the way he works. He works at age nineteen you know, what's interesting about him twos. He never as big as ego. God for guy whose dad never talked to him. He always looked to another man to please. Yeah. He never said. I'm going to be president. No, he never chase it himself. He was always I'm going to please, dad. Yeah. He all he's always picked a bigger manned allies, which for most of his life has been Nixon a bigger than life, man. And even now imitate. It's Nixon with the peace signs that throws up of this weird ass Winky arms. It seems like he's a case study for like a broken brain like a father son fracture. I mean, you know to get real here this podcast behind the bastards because just as well be called daddy issues. But really almost one hundred percent of these guys had real fucked up times with their fathers like I don't they just strip like everybody else. You know, Roger stone actually might have been able to do that. He's a bodybuild self-proclaimed. We'll know if you've seen I've seen shirtless pictures of monies young he was reasonably swell, even in his late forties, really fit looking guy. And if you see the modern pictures of his back tattoo, you can see in the building shoulder really broad Bill. He could've stripped shirt, which is a noble and honest career. I spent I worked with real bodybuilders at gold's gym. He his cemeteries all off he's got like baby calves. We realize faces. Weird's phases. Weird. His hairs everything's where they all have weird hair. It's like Paul Manafort where spend a hundred thousand dollars on suits that look like hundred dollar suits just to just to know that it's I dunno. They're a weird guys. And that's fine unless you ruining the world which case, it's exactly yeah. Now, all the unfathomable shadiness of Richard Nixon's. Reelection campaign led to congressional hearings in nineteen seventy three during those hearings. Roger stone's secret. Identity is Jason Reynier young socialist became public. Knowledge was also revealed that stone had hired someone to spy on the McGovern campaign at the time of the hearing stone had gotten a job on Bob Dole staff. He was fired for this seems to have taken the job losses a sign that a man of his temperament was better served by working as a consultant than working for the government in two thousand eight interview with the New Yorker, titled the dirty trickster stone reminisced about his time with creep and justified his actions by saying the Democrats were week we were strong. He was by the way, the youngest person caught up in the Watergate. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Which is a they they had one one of the charts in the core. The show that he'd taken money. Yeah. Yeah. That's how he starts his career. So in the mid nineteen seventies after Nixon's impeachment. The Republican party was most assuredly not strong stone seems to have elected not to waste his time on the doomed presidency of Gerald Ford. History's greatest monster. Instead he worked to insinuate himself ever deeper into the right wing organizations that clustered around the GOP Paul Manafort on the other hand made the air of backing Gerald Ford in the nineteen seventy six elections when Ford loss did did serious damage to manafort's reputation as a political strategist Pryatta Ford's loss he'd been the clear pick for president of the young Republicans. Clear prick. Oh, I'm glad that you did. You know, what that works? Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. No. Yeah. So we're gonna we're gonna talk about what happens after Gerald Ford's fall from grace is the wrong word on the. He was ever quiet there. Yeah. Yeah. We'll we'll get into that. But I are you a fan of some products share servicer to sure. Well, that's what is happening. Now, let's pay the bills. Adds time. Hi, I'm Robert host of behind the bastards. And if you're a fan of my podcast, then like me, you probably suck it money. If so you should check out the new podcast how to money toasted by best friends, Matt and Joel two neighbors who know a lot about money and money hacks and are gonna sit down and explain to you how to be better with your personal finances on their Superfund podcast how to money so check out how to money listen to it on the stuff network wherever fine podcasts are hosted. We're back. We just produced some products and services to few services. I'm feeling good. Already today back in here. I love the economical energy. It's perfect. I'm I got three things to say about economics. Okay. Back to this podcast. To jail that words, Paul Manafort was suddenly persona. Non grata amongst the young Republican in intelligencia, whatever you wanna call showing either a surprising amount of loyalty to his friend or just confidence that Manafort would eventually wind up on top. Roger stone worked with congressional aide. Charlie black on a scheme stone ran for president of the young Republicans winning and basically acting as a a stand in for Paul Manafort to preserve his access to the halls of power. So you see Roger stone, basically agreeing to become a figurehead leader of this party. So that Paul Manafort can continue to have influence, which is you don't run into a lot of things Bridgestone doing something for someone else. It's so true. It's so interesting his career. There's been so many times or he's been fired. But kept as an adviser. Yeah. So outside of all the trickster stuff. He really is legit political strategist. Well, that is actually the question we're going to have to answer over the course of both parts of this podcast is whether or not he's actually any good because it's kind. Of a mystery. He certainly has managed to stay in contact to a lot of power people over the years the question of whether or not he actually did very much is really hard to answer. So we're going to we're going to dig into that here. Okay. So Manafort blackened stone all worked on Ronald Reagan's nineteen eighty presidential campaign. Roger stone managed the northeast United States and earned acclaim for successfully turning much of that region against the Democratic Party during that election he did. So by appealing to groups who are committed democratic voters black and Hispanic people Jewish people and Catholics stone had stayed in touch with Richard Nixon because he just loved the guy so much and he was successful at bringing the former president and definite criminal in as a strategist for the Reagan campaign. Nixon is purported to put together the Ohio strategy, which is less impressive than it. Sounds it boiled down to spending a shitload of money in Ohio for its twenty five electoral votes. Stone would later make a big deal out of this essentially as a way of reinforcing his reputation as a political kingmaker, but Ronald Reagan won forty nine states in that election. So. It's kinda doubtful that the Ohio strategy and specific did that much. He didn't really need Hieaux. It was kind of a blow out still Roger destoned had performed well in a winning presidential campaign. He was offered a sweet gig in the Reagan administration. But turned it down saying, quote, I would never take a job in government. I'm interested in politics while that's what pieces of shit say. Yeah. Yeah. In one thousand nine hundred eighty Roger stone and his friends also letting us now. Yeah. And we think that they play is not the game that we recognize. No, he's not about beliefs. It's about winning and preserving access to power, Honey and stuff, you know. I'm I'm sure every one of Mr. Roger has one or two things he believes in but to call him like ideologically a Republican or anything else now. Yeah. He believes Roger stone's should be influential. Yeah. Libertarian now. He's been claiming that for a while fairness, and that is a vague enough ideology might say exactly Roger stone's show. It's it's open ended enough. Like, yeah, you probably are Roger called meals. The one party that hasn't rejected him. Yup. That need him more than any other party problem. No. I mean, they he and John McAfee could make a powerful presidential combo. Don't scare me McAfee stone. Twenty twenty enough hair out of my head the last two years combined twenty indictments between us don't eat more. Nightmares? Oh god. It's it's crazy that that would almost be an upgrade, you know. It would be would be at least I'm pretty sure they can both spell. We don't need to get political in this political podcast about politics. Remember, we're not interested in government. We're interested. Wait. Sure. What? Roger stone's set troop, Trump doesn't govern. He's still campaigning. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, he's he's never stopped campaigning. Yeah. Although in a little bit of fairness, that's kind of how being president works. Now. Like, you're always running until he's done it because level I never seen. Yeah. But I feel like it just gets escalated every single like the fundraising that starts the year after the election like that. You know, there's a lot to say about, you know, the compromise. Obama made in the Affordable Care Act in order to not get a shitload of insurance industry money thrown against his campaign twenty twelve which is like at least more principled than anything Trump's done. But like there's a lot of gross problems in politics. Yeah. Speaking of which Roger stone perfect say. In one thousand nine hundred Roger stone, and his friends formed black Manafort stone, a lobbying organization spy magazine would later declare the torturers lobby. You'll wanna listen to our two parter on Paul Manafort, if you're interested in that story because while Paul instantly, abandoned beltway politics to work for dictators. Roger stay burrowed deep within the warm cash-rich bosom of the Republican party. So stone makes money off of these. We talk a lot in the Manafort episode. There's guys like the Marcos regime Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, and there's a bunch of different dictators that Paul Manafort worked directly with during this period of time. Roger stone is making profits off of that. And I I'm sure he has some degree because they're having meetings regularly and stuff. So I'm sure he has some input here. But it really is Manafort who's doing the direct work with these dictators and stone and black are more involved in domestic politics in the United States. But yeah, so he's profiting off of murderers, but he's not working with them to this. Same extent that Manafort is for whatever it's worth Manafort is an objectively worse person, Roger stone. Now Roger stone became known during the nineteen eighties as the gatekeeper to Richard Nixon, which is a debatable honor. He hosted the series of dinner parties and interviews with the now elder statesman right up until the president's death in nineteen ninety four in that New Yorker interview Roger made what I think is an unintentionally hilarious statement quote. The reason I'm Nick Knight is because of his indestructible and resilience never quit. His whole career was all built around his personal resentment of elitism is the poor me syndrome. John F Kennedy's father bottom is how seat is Senate seat in the presidency. Knowing about Nixon, anything Nixon resented that. He was very class conscious. He identified with the people who ate TV dinners watched Laurence Welk and love their country. I love this. Because literally the most famous thing Nixon did was quit being president, exactly. Listen to quit. And also saying no one ever bought him anything when it was your job to by people for Nixon during the reelection campaign. That was literally what you did Roger this. And he like, the creator of the super PACS like he's one of the he's he's the of that of lobbying like black Manafort and stone was the first really modern lobbying firm of cancer in our political system because in addition to helping dictators lobby the US government for foreign aid. They kind of invented the idea of working with both sides elections. All no matter who wins. We've got someone who can then sell access to like unbelievable. Yeah. We go into a lot of detail about in the Manafort podcast. It's American it's anti everything. But the couple of dozen people who make money off of it. It's I don't know why the Republican party attacks only people on who isn't isn't made in America. But the Democratic Party doesn't enough attack people who isn't made of America. It's so un-american what he's doing. It's against the policies of the. People that founded this country. Well, I mean, the only correction I might say is that like, it's what you and I don't want to be American. But there's a lot of people who want it to be American, and that's like the great conflict of our time. Well, if all of us voted, I think they vote my like if the number I think the numbers are on our democratic side. I would agree. But twenty sixteen taught us the numbers ain't nearly everything. They ought to be. Yeah. Yeah. In Roger stone is probably one of those people who like Mitch McConnell does not want there to be a federal voting holiday. Yeah. Yeah. Amen. Your he's terrified of that. Got people vote. Yeah. Yeah. I also love Roger stone's embrace of like how down to earth Nixon is considering the Roger stone is a man so infamous for his love of expensive clothing that he calls suspenders braces. Which dude, dude? I know he swept chimneys when he was five. Braces raises these British. It's like, yeah. I got a whole rant about waistcoats. Invest that's not this is not the place for that. But nineteen eighty-five Roger stone's reputation as a series political player seemed to be fairly solid. I found a new Republic article from December of that year that referred to him as the on Terry of northeastern politics. Yeah. Quote, stone is widely credited with making the difference in Thomas canes narrow victory in the nineteen Eighty-one New Jersey governors race. This was a chief by portraying the liberal Republican contender as a conservative supply-sider stone convince keen to campaign on the promise of a tax cut once elected keen, raise taxes, yellow convinced prominent friends like Kemp to television spots for Kane assuring him victory in the Republican primary. I don't advocate candidates changing their positions. Just trimming their sales. Stone says I do have principals. Oh now that sounds like Roger now stone bragged that he had created a plan to basically build a permanent Republican majority in New Jersey back in nineteen eighty-five. You may note that that did not work out entirely. But as the new Republic article made clear stone. Greatest, and perhaps only real gift was in dropping negative dirt on his rivals to the press. What is an expert at dropping stuff? Unfavorable to his opponent says a political writer who has used and been used by stone for years, and he is very accurate. You don't last long that game? If you leak bullshit. So this does seem to be one of the through lines of his career. He had like outside of the dirty tricks and stuff thing he's really good at is figuring out dirt on and getting it to the right person. You could it's it's the Intel inside of the Trump campaign. Yeah. He's a Pentium processor all the stuff. He says is a soft Trump's repeats the birther thing that was Roger stone. Well, it was Jerome Corsi. Who is Roger stone contact didn't Roger stone advise Trump to use that language? It's possible. I mean, he definitely will. We'll get into some more later about like what he did with Trump. But like one of the guys really responsible for king off the birther thing was Jerome Corsi who was probably Roger stone's contact with WikiLeaks. And who Roger stone had a job at info wars? And so is very. Likely that there there that was one of the anyway, but it's also possible it goes back to the same little jacuzzi. Yeah. Eight or nine it's a small apartment in New York's. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, Dr responsible for fucking this democracy. So yeah, it's really remarkable. Roger was not particularly loyal to the people. He worked with which is perhaps not surprising, given black Manafort and stones reputation for working both sides of the political aisle in nineteen Eighty-four. He wound up working for Mary mockery and a New Jersey senatorial race, one of his colleagues recalled quote, Roger was characteristically badmouthing his client saying she wasn't up to it. He was being paid to say she would do well and already who's working to dissociate himself from her in Washington. Now, the article noted that stone was also famous in the beltway for bragging about the work. He'd done for Richard Nixon's campaign, David Keene lawyer and lobbyist said quote, Roger Lexi, ARA having done something bad in his past. You get the feeling that he sorry. It was so minor. He likes to say watch me. I'm a tough guy as one of the truth things. I've run. To someone saying about Roger stone. Yeah. In nineteen Ninety-six during another interview, Roger stone listed ROY Cohn. Richard Nixon and the Duke of Windsor as his biggest political idols. Now, ROY Cohn was a former McCarthy aid and famed political dirty trickster himself, the Duke of Windsor was a literal Nazi. It was right code who would later proved to be. Roger stone's liaison, the infamy and nine hundred eight while working for President Reagan's reelection campaign. Roger was given ROY cones contact information on a list of President Reagan's friends in the city since virtually olive Ronald's friends were dead. And since Roger was a big cone fan. He reached out to the elder craftsman for some advice would cone told him would set into motion a series of events that have irrevocably altered the course of all life on this planet, ROY comb told Roger you should talk to this guy. Fred Trump and his son Donald now, Trump had met at a members only Manhattan club called creatively. The club back in nineteen seventy three according to Washington monthly quote. He Trump asked cone the government is just filed suit against our company saying that we discriminated against blacks. What do you think? I should do cone advised him to tell them to go to hell and fight the thing in court, and let them prove you discriminated. It's out Donald had hired Cohn to represent them and cone became something of a mentor to Trump as well. He taught the future president number. Of things including his lessons on legal conflict lessons like this. No matter. What happens? No matter how deep in the muck you get claim victory and never admit defeat. Yeah. Now stone met with Donald and wound up getting one hundred thousand dollars out of him for mono Reagan's reelection campaign. Christine Seymour who worked for cone as a switchboard operator wrote in her notebook at the time about how stone referred to Donald Trump quote. Roger did not like Donald Trump or his new house told me they were losers. But if ROY used them he would too. So this depiction of events put forward by Washington monthly is not consistent with other descriptions of the beginning of the Trump stone relationship is one of the many things there's debate about an NPR interview with Morgan pay me or Pame one of the directors of the documentary. Get me Roger stone put forward this version of events. Instead, quote, Roger was the first person to suggest to Donald Trump that he should run for the presidency back in nineteen eighty seven. Then he spent the next twenty nine years cultivating Trump's candidacy until he was triumphant. I think he believed from day one that Trump was a legitimate. Candidate. Now, certainly Trump's previous flirtations with running for the president. It's hard to look at anything other than publicity stunts, but Roger was always dead serious about the effectiveness that Trump could conveys a candidate. Now stone himself put for this version of events as recently as two thousand sixteen when he was interviewed on the floor of the Republican national convention. Convince presidents. You convince onto right provides started in nineteen eighty eight that is true. You were there. I'm trying to trying to get him to run for a long time. Trying to get run eighty eight tried to get him running two thousand and get running twelve he could've beat Romney. Although Romney had long star you push that. Alan. So it's hard to say where the truth lies here to my thoughts. I think the cone switchboard operator is probably closer to accurate that all this stuff about Roger stone, recognizing Donald was a perfect presidential candidate is a lie. It was kind of like everything else in his career. He just sort of went with things as they rolled and certainly in nineteen eighty four when he met Donald on the much respect for the guy, and there's evidence that Trump didn't like him very much either until pretty recently, but you know, going into more of that later now in nineteen Ninety-six, the National Enquirer published an expose on. Roger stone stone had been posting ads in a number of swingers, magazines and websites. I heard about he and his wife Stearns touch on wanted. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He and his wife were looking for single men and couples to join the group sex stone described himself as a bodybuilder there's a lot of detail on stones love life that I'm not gonna get into here. Because I I don't really care. I don't think that's anybody's business like genetic. They weren't like molesting kids or. Anything? They just doing weird sex. That's fine. But the uproar over all this forced Roger stone's retire from Bob Dole's presidential campaign. Roger initially denied the rumors claiming I that they'd been placed to frame him. And then that some help at his house like basically like a cleaning lady or something had like leaked this stuff to the press to discredit him or whatever. But he later admitted that the ads were his and that he'd only denied them because his grandparents were still alive at the time. He cheerfully admitted from nineteen Ninety-six on to being a libertarian and a libertine in an interview about all this. He also said some very strange things about famous homosexual and aids victim ROY Cohn. Well, ROY was not gave he was a man who liked having sex with men gays were weak effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blonde boys around. It just wasn't discussed. He was interested in power and access. He told me his absolute goal was to die completely broken owing millions to the IRS he succeeded in that. You just want to note that Roger has reiterated several times that ROY Cohn is his idol and the person he aspires to be like she thinks he's gay. I doubt that he's bisexual. Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. Maybe. Maybe dipping toes. It's such a bizarre. I'm always fascinated by people who are hardcore Republican staunch Republicans who don't live the life at all. But then you go. Okay. Well, the he's just doing whatever he needs to do to win. Yeah. I mean, you doesn't matter. You've got that staunch economic wing of the party a lot of whom you know, are super socially like whatever like can meet him at like kinky eyes wide shut fuck party. Never know that they're like supply-side economics guys. You don't want it. Confused me. Yeah. Because I thought he might have empathy. No, no. That's what normal human being has. And it would be hard with someone with empathy to to participate in a gay lifestyle. And then do things that hurt gay people. Well, I don't I don't know what the stone ever did. But that's certainly good criticism of ROY Cohn because he was a big batch of of the Reagans the worst presidents in history for gay picture, you know, and county. In the aids epidemic. Like, yeah. But when we get back, we're gonna talk about Donald Trump's first presidential campaign, and how Roger stone helped make that a reality. But I the only reality listeners of this podcast. Need is the reality of the wonderful products and services that support this program, and or content module? If you haven't checked out my new series the end of the world with Josh Clark. The now's a great time to start the holidays are over the doldrums of winter had begun. And there's no better time to explore existential dread than right now. But wait, there's more to the end of the world than that. Yes. The series is about exit -sential risks. But it's also about hope the threats that are coming our way that could wipe humans right out of existence. Could also be just the thing that makes us band together. In a way that humanity never has before in the end of the world. I take you on a journey across time and space from the moment and asteroid collided with earth and set off a chain of events that wiped out the dinosaurs to the post biological future where we live in a digital format. If we don't already we'll explore big questions like whether we're alone in the universe and exactly how artificial intelligence could take control of our world from us. It also has a beautiful score and cinematic sound design. So it's an. Adventure for your mind. Which is just the thing to snap. You out of the winter blondes all ten episodes of the end of the world with Josh Clark are available for you to binge now on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get podcast. We're back. So a little bit earlier we were talking about sort of the competing theories about win. Roger stone wanted dump Trump to run for election and the guy who did the get me. Roger stone documentary was like he saw him as a serious candidate from from the beginning. Always even though the the first campaigns weren't all that serious. Roger believes it him. This story is why I think that's bullshit. So in nineteen ninety nine Roger stone got another chance to help a Republican presidential candidate. And finally make use of this friend Donald Trump that year, Pat Buchanan announced that he would be running for president under the Reform Party ticket this worried Republicans because third party candidates are always scary. We're dealing with that right now with Schultz in, you know, the democratic primaries and stuff so Rogers strategy was to neutralize Pat Buchanan by using Donald Trump to run against him from the left Roger head Trump embraced gun control and universal healthcare as well. As cues Pat Buchanan of being a Hitler lover, which is actually kind of fair Trump dropped out soon after but the campaign did its job as the weekly staff. Matt Labus wrote a weakened Buchanan went on to help the Reform Party implode. Republicans suffered no real third party threat. So it does seem that in nineteen ninety nine. At least Donald Trump was just a convenient tool for Roger stone, not a serious presidential candidate. He represented a good way to deal with a third party candidate who might have threatened, George W Bush's election. Roger stone would go on to play another major role in the election of the man, the world would come to know as W Bush to electric blue blue and a literal war criminal stones first job to the Bush campaign was helping them win and Florida he did this by buying advertising at a number of Spanish language radio stations. He and his Cuban-American wife would show up and push a conspiracy theory, quote from Roger the idea we were putting out there was that. This was a left-wing power. Grab by gore the same way. Fidel Castro did it in Cuba. We were very explicitly dragged this analogy Al Gore to make it a violent power grab. I'll go to the dictator. I have trouble. Imagining Al Gore like even shooting three. Pointer. That's too aggressive. Al gore. I didn't even Al Gore is such a like you such a love. I I feel like he's just made to hug he was born without bones, his real hugger, no bones of that. But if a dog bit him, he wouldn't even pull his hand away. Just I'm just be like out just be like you stretched by leg. This is a problem. Oh, how gore only you'd had any charisma at all poor guy? Poor guy poor guy who would have really helped us avoid some problems. Yeah. Now during the infamous two thousand election recount, Roger stone claims to have been the organizer of the infamous Brooks brothers riot. This was essentially a bunch of Republican operatives swimming, south, Florida and Miami to protest the ongoing recounts. It's called the Brooks brothers riot. Because they all wore Brooks brothers, suits. Sure. Here's that New Yorker article quote at one point on November twenty second stone said he heard from an ally. In the building that gore supporters were trying to remove some ballots from the counting room. One of my pimple faced contact said. Two. Commissioners have taken two or three hundred dollars to the elevator. Stone said I said, okay, follow them. Have you guys? Go on the elevator and half. Go in the stairs. Everyone got sucked up in this. They were trying to keep the doors being closed. Meanwhile, they were trying to take the rest of the ballots into a back room with no windows. I told her guys to stop them. Don't let them close that door. They're trying to keep the door from being closed. There was a lot of screaming and yelling. In fact, the New Yorker notes the gore official. And the elevator. Joe Geller was carrying a single sample. Ballot. Now, the dual scenes of chaos both inside and outside. The building prompted the recount officials to stop their work. The recount Miami was never restarted depriving gore of his best chance to catch up overall state tally. So the Brooks brothers riot is pretty consistently across the board considered an important fact in Bush's winning, and you know, gore didn't they eventually get to the number is like months after people prove the gore won the popular vote never entirely, but it's pretty like. Yeah. Basically essence now Brad Blake meant a lobbyist and political consultant for the Bush campaign claims that Roger stone is lying about his involvement in this. Obviously the Brooks brothers, right? It happened. But Blake meant says Rogers just taking credit for something. He didn't do you think he'd be sued for that? Like, you know, it's not anything ranging. It should be you. That's his whole career is not a legal the Roger stone's store interfered with the democratic process, you interfered with the voting process, I have some issues with the get me Roger stone documentary. And I do think a better title would have been is that not a legal is that really? That's what might stop for a second. How does he know the law better than I don't think he does? I think he's gotten lucky enough in the past that his or maybe it was a legal what he was doing. But like nobody charged him with it. And like, I think he's he it's called the first mover advantage in essence, like if you're willing to take that you got like two animals, and there's like a food resource in between them the animal. That's most likely to go for it. You know, sometimes he might get challenged by the other animal, and he might get beaten up, but it's more likely that other animal back off and not want to have a fight. And so it's good to just try and lunch for the food which Roger stone. Always does. Yeah. Okay. So Brad Blake says claims he was the guy in charge of the Brooks brothers riot says, quote, Roger did not have a role that I know of his wife may have been on the radio, but I never saw heard of him which again reinforces one of the most common patterns when you talk about the life of Roger stone. It's really hard to tell if he's legitimately influential operator or just a prolific liar. I doubt most of the people who have hired him can truly tell you. Ed rollins. Former political director for Ronald Reagan told the New Yorker in two thousand eight Roger was a fringe player around town. He always had this reputation of being a guy who exaggerated things who pretended. He did things. Roger was never on Nixon staff was never on the White House staff. I don't think you'll find anyone in the business who trust him. Roger was always a little rat in a two thousand eight interview Donald Trump echoed that sentiment. Roger is a stone cold loser. He always tries taking credit for things. He never did. Everyone who writes talks about Roger stone winds up dealing with this issue. Eventually, no one can seem to agree on whether or not he's any good at his job. Even people who talk about him being a good as job at one point. We'll talk about him being a liar and a fraud at other points. I found one Washington Post article that noted quote in a post profile one Republican luminary called him the party's single best consultant and another dismissed him as one of the great all-time frauds of American politics. Sure. I mean, it's hard to praise someone who hurt you. And it might be the you know, what I mean like, I think they're part of it too. There's a lot going on all these guys. I mean, there's so many times. Where something has happened in American politics in American history. I'm like, that's crazy. Yeah. It's fraudulent. It's wrong. It's corrupt and there. He is. Yeah. He's always there. And it's it's a lot heart with like with Paul Manafort, you've got a bunch of cases where like there's this. This war going on forget the name of the dictator, but there's this war going on in like central Africa. And like the USSR's backing one side and the US is backing other side than the USSR pulled their military aid. And everyone's like, okay. The civil wars going in these guys Jonas Savimbi's the guy was backing and these guys are going to stop, and then Manafort goes directly to the federal government and lobbies and get Savimbi to continue having weapons for another ten years half a million more people dying. Okay. That's a direct thing. Paul. Manafort, did undeniably extended the length of that war by his lobbying. It's never that clear with Roger stone. There's always multiple people. So that's part of the thing. That's difficult is like Roger stone because of just the kind of dirty tricks. He gets up to is a lot slippery or or at least he wasn't. Well, recently. So that is where we're going to leave offer today when I come back. We will be talking about some things that are in arguable about Roger stone, mainly his foundational role in the Trump campaign and all of his many many many dumb crimes so Thursday the day after tomorrow. No, Sophie, we don't edit this podcast. What is time? You can't edit audio the most basic rule of this on you doing the lifting. Oh, all right listeners. I am the bastard this week because I made Sophie sad. By a t shirt on T public. It's the only thing that brings you joy is our T shirt sales t- publ UC T publicity of accent a soundbite because with t public. That's our sound by now there, you go you you feel free anytime just me going to pulled Luke. To me. Are you wanna plug your plug Ables before we can out for the next couple of minutes? Sure if you guys are looking for live comedy. Do you wanna see Arab American who grew up in east LA thrown his thoughts out? You can follow me at Tampere Catan dot com for all my shows at Tama cat on Instagram. And then of course, I'm the creator in a host and of my podcast called they tried to bury us along with my mom where we made a new immigrant every week here. They're American origin story. Check out. They try to bury us checkout. Hammer on Twitter. You can find this podcast on the internet and all of the sources buying the bastards dot com. You can find us on Twitter and the Graham as the kids call it these days at faster pod. I have a book called a brief history of ice where I hurt my friends with dangerous drugs until Thursday, Roger stone. Hi, I'm Ariel Casten. I'm Jonathan Strickland and together we're going to tell you the stories behind some of the biggest triumphs and failures in business. That's right. 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