Trump said dirty trickster Roger Stone should be trusted for standing by him, but Stone just admitted in court to being a huge liar.
Trump insists that Roger Stone, his ally and long-time informal political advisor, is a man of great integrity who would never tell "lies" about Trump or turn against him in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — unlike, say, former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.
"'I will never testify against Trump.' This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about 'President Trump,'" Trump wrote in the wake of reports that Cohen had struck a plea deal to reveal his secrets to Mueller. "Nice to know that some people still have 'guts!'"
But it turns out that even as Trump was praising his friend's "guts," Stone was in negotiations to settle another lawsuit by admitting that he told some huge lies. And this admission won't make Stone, or Trump, look good when it comes to the Mueller investigation.
Stone is a long-time Republican dirty trickster and conservative activist whose work to help Trump during the 2016 election has come under scrutiny by Mueller. And one of Stone's dirty tricks on a separate issue has backfired on him in the form of a defamation lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages.
In order to settle that lawsuit, Stone publicly admitted Monday to promoting blatant lies about Chinese businessman Guo Wengui on Infowars, the outlet run by conspiracy theorist and Trump booster Alex Jones.
Guo had sued Stone for falsely claiming that Guo was convicted of financial crimes, and falsely claiming that he broke U.S. election law by donating to political campaigns, including Hillary Clinton's, despite being a foreign national.
At first, Stone dismissed Guo's lawsuit as "political" and "meritless." But in the end, Stone was forced to admit not only that the lawsuit had merit, but that Stone had been "irresponsible" to spread these lies about Guo without vetting them first. As part of the settlement, Stone will also have to run ads in national newspapers and on social media retracting his false statements.
In other words, Stone only came clean about lying once he was backed into a corner and threatened with financial ruin. Before that, he insisted he had done nothing wrong.
That will give Mueller even more reason to be skeptical of Stone's claims that he didn't collude with Russia, or help Trump do so, in order to improperly influence the 2016 presidential election.
Stone is already on Mueller's radar thanks to a series of phone calls between Stone and Trump at the height of the election.
Around that same time, Stone was also in contact with WikiLeaks as the organization released stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, which had been hacked by Russian intelligence and released at a time when they would cause maximum damage to Clinton's campaign.
The Washington Post reports that Mueller's team is looking into what Trump may have learned from Stone about this email dump.
Stone has made a career out of lying about Democrats, particularly Clinton. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Stone pushed lies and conspiracy theories meant to hurt Clinton's campaign and boost Trump, much in the same way he has now admitted to doing with Guo.
Stone helped make Trump who he is today. He has advised Trump on politics for decades and formed a presidential exploratory committee for him in 2000. He also tried to get Trump to run in 2012 against President Barack Obama, and placed Paul Manafort — who has since been convicted of federal crimes — as Trump's campaign chairman in 2016.
Stone's latest admission further illustrates the grotesque and goonish caliber of people in Trump's inner circle.
That Trump would offer a serial liar and conspiracy theorist as his character witness as the walls close in speaks volumes about Trump's own character.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.