Politics

‘I had Thanksgiving with Roger Stone.’ The man as seen by his favorite provocateur.

Roger Stone says he’ll plead not guilty

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone says he believes his arrest in the special counsel’s Russia probe was “politically motivated” and he’s vowing to plead not guilty and fight the charges.
Up Next
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone says he believes his arrest in the special counsel’s Russia probe was “politically motivated” and he’s vowing to plead not guilty and fight the charges.

Roger Stone’s favorite food is Italian. So when conservative provocateur Laura Loomer’s supporters planned a “Friends Giving” in her honor at Casa Calabria in Fort Lauderdale the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving last year, she invited her longtime mentor and friend.

“Roger Stone is one of my personal heroes,” Loomer told the Miami Herald after Stone was arrested Friday morning on charges of obstructing the FBI investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russians trying to influence the 2016 election. Loomer called the arrest part of a witch hunt against conservatives, whipped into a frenzied scandal by the “fake news media.”

Stone has frequently referred to Loomer, the 25-year-old provocateur, as his “favorite freedom fighter.”

“Maybe he saw some of himself in me. And maybe that’s why he took such a liking to me.” Loomer said. “He always used to say that I have bigger balls than any man in this movement.”

The godfather of a multigenerational group of conservative provocateurs, a master in narrative and spin, and staunch ally of Trump, Stone is perhaps most famous for puppet-mastering the “Brooks Brothers riot” and ultimately ending the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. He always told Loomer it was better to be talked about than not talked about.

“I’m the same way. People may trash me but at least they’re talking about me,” Loomer said.

Loomer recently made headlines for breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California home to set up a “sanctuary city” complete with allegedly undocumented migrants she tricked into coming in to set up the tent — a stunt she says Stone called “hilarious.”

Officially retired from his career as a political fixer, Stone still treated political manipulation as a hobby through the 2018 midterms. Part of Stone’s playbook includes deploying hand-picked rabble-rousers to political hot zones, where they whip the conservative base into a frenzy that Stone can leverage to his advantage.

Loomer said the two talked every week, and she often bounced her ideas for political stunts off of the man she called a master of the craft. She said she did so recently while stirring the pot in Broward County during the recount in the midterm elections. She said talking to Stone was like talking to her dad.

Thanksgiving dinner didn’t go quite as planned, however. Loomer arrived late and upset after receiving notification that she had been banned from Twitter for comments she made about Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Both she and Stone have been banned from the social media platform for life as part of the platform’s efforts to crack down on hate speech, an effort Loomer says is part of a left-wing conspiracy to silence conservatives.

Before going in to split a huge plate of veal parmesan and celebrate Thanksgiving with their admirers, Loomer says, Stone pulled her aside and gave her a pep talk.

“He was telling me this is what they do. They want to destroy us,” Loomer remembers. “He said, ‘Look what they’re doing to me.’ ” He referenced the ongoing FBI investigation into his finances and associates.

In December, she and Stone recorded a video message in which Stone looks at the camera and says to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, “We’re coming for you.”

Stone said Friday that he will not plead guilty to the charges.

IMG_1279.JPG
Laura Loomer, left, and Roger Stone pose at Thanksgiving dinner with Loomer’s father, who was obscured by Loomer before she published the photograph. Courtesy of Laura Loomer

“I love Roger Stone,” Loomer said. “He’s very provocative and I like that about him. He’s not afraid to take risk and he’s not afraid to say things.”

Loomer attended Barry University in Miami Shores but was expelled after she secretly recorded professors, portraying them as having a “pro-ISIS meeting” on a video published with Project Veritas. She is a self-described “Islamophobe”—though she questioned the accuracy of the term, saying her fear of Islam is not irrational. She says feminism has been hijacked by man haters, and #MeToo is a movement of women seeking revenge. Loomer later worked at the Canadian far-right website The Rebel Media.

Both conspiracy prone — Stone wrote a book saying President John Kennedy was murdered by his successor — the friendship between the well-known political fixer and his young protégé blossomed after Loomer confronted Hillary Clinton on camera at a book signing last year. Both Loomer and Stone hate the Clintons, according to Loomer. They have often participated in promoting conspiracies about the family.

Loomer says she doesn’t believe a word of what special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team has said about her mentor. She called the investigation a witch hunt against Trump supporters.

“I’ve talked to Roger about it, and it’s ridiculous. Why is it that Roger Stone and Trump associates are being held to such a high standard?” Loomer said. “He’s actually a very nice person. He has a big heart.”

This article has been updated since it was originally published to include Loomer’s history with Project Veritas, and Roger Stone’s political strategy.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments