Fred Grimm

Donald Trump’s dirty trickster may lie, but hey, he’s damn entertaining

In a season beset with Roger Stone outrages, Roger Stone came up with yet another outrageous allegation.

“Yesterday, Hillary Clinton shows up in Broward County, slips into a private meeting with the woman who runs the board of elections,” Stone said. “You’ve got to wonder, why is the Democratic presidential candidate having a closed-door meeting with the supervisor of elections in one of the largest Democratic counties in the state and a county that has had a history of problems with their voting process?”

A secret meeting between Clinton and Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes would amount to prima facie evidence that the forthcoming election has been rigged, a theory that Stone has been flogging for weeks now on behalf of Donald Trump.

Not that anyone would actually believe Stone, the most mendacious meddler in American politics. Anything this guy utters is liable to be bent.

And consider his forum. Stone made these charges on Oct. 26 on the internet show “Infowars,” where host Alex Jones, when he’s not preoccupied with those murderous Clintons, nurtures an array of conspiracy theories that hold the U.S. government responsible for 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and any domestic mass shooting that comes to mind. By the way, Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered just to clear the way for Hillary in case the election goes to the Supreme Court.

Alex Jones is the crazy uncle America would have kept locked in the attic. Except someone invented the internet. Roger Stone and his political conspiracies are a regular feature on “Infowars.” (Birther-in-chief Donald Trump has also been a favorite guest,)

Like I said, no one in the sane world would pay attention to Roger Stone and his Brenda-meets-Hillary story. Unhappily, sanity didn’t make the cut in 2016.

The meeting story reverberated around the media. As if Stone were a reputable source. Brenda Snipes called the allegation “a big fat lie.” But she would say that, wouldn’t she?

Stone told “Infowars,” “Notice, by the way, that nobody in the traveling press entourage — and no one in the Florida press — has reported this private meeting.”

The obvious reason the reporters missed the secret confab was that it never took place. Stone did promise photographic evidence of the secret meeting. Which, of course, never materialized.

PolitiFact Florida dutifully examined the Stone statements and declared his pants a blazing inferno. He even admitted to Politifact that he had erred, but then added a new fabrication. “In fact, I was off by a county. The Clinton entourage pulled up behind the West Palm Beach office of the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections. … Palm Beach is, of course, ground zero of the Democrats’ vote-stealing operation.”

That’s the trouble with chronicling Stone. By the time fact checkers untangle one lie, he’s off on the next. And yet, mainstream political journalists still report his utterances as if he were a credible and worthy observer of our civic life. Roger Stone has become Exhibit A in what the hell has gone wrong with American political reporting.

Stone, 66 — the most infamous resident of Fort Lauderdale since his onetime boss, Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, was carted off to prison — has been a America’s foremost political dirty trickster since Dick Nixon roamed the earth. He’s especially famous hereabouts for orchestrating the so-called Brooks Brothers riot at the Miami-Dade Government Center in 2000. His gang of preppy posers, young Republican operatives imported from Washington, masqueraded as outraged locals demanding that the county shut down the Bush-Gore recount. It worked.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel not only hired Stone four years ago as a political operative but hired several of Stone’s associates to work for BSO. The local theory was that Israel wanted to preempt his political enemies before they could hire Stone.

Stone’s shenanigans on behalf of Trump this year have been particularly special. He was Trump’s surrogate liar, pushing stories that Donald’s rival Ted Cruz was a serial adulterer and that his father had plotted the Kennedy assassination with Lee Harvey Oswald. Stone famously tweeted: “100% correct about Ted Cruz father’s connection to Lee Harvey Oswald! Eat it Lyin’ @tedcruz.”

It was Stone who came up with the theory that Clinton was on “jacked up on something” during a debate. “I assume some kind of methamphetamine.” And that the Gold Star Khan family were secret Muslim radicals.

He was behind the press conference just last week featuring Danney Williams, the 30-year-old black man who claims he is Bill Clinton’s love child — a claim debunked 17 years ago when his DNA was tested as part of a deal his mother contrived with a tabloid newspaper.

On Wednesday, Stone (along with Trump and the Republican Party) was named in a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party accusing him of directing a “coordinated campaign of vigilante voter intimidation” aimed at minorities.

That was the same day Stone tweeted a fake Wikileaks email revelation saying John Podesta had written that Hillary Clinton smells “of a combination of boiled cabbage, urine and farts.”

By the way, last August, Stone said he had been in touch with WikiLeaks founder and fellow Clinton hater Julian Assange. Who knows? That may actually have been true.

Stone has been banned from CNN, Fox News and MSNBC for his racist, misogynist and otherwise unseemly tweets. Yet his name is everywhere this political season.

Maybe it’s enough in 2016 that the dapper Stone, in his tailored suits and matching fedoras, is always good for an outrageous quote or two.

He might be lying. He might be sabotaging democracy. But, like his favorite presidential candidate, he’s always entertaining. Apparently, in 2016, that’s all that matters..