Florida marijuana advocate, campaign-donation rainmaker, and possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Morgan refuses to drop longtime political shyster Roger Stone from his national marijuana-advocacy team. Morgan has been warned repeatedly that Stone's presence will end up tanking the entire project (not to mention Morgan political reputation), but Morgan maintains that Stone is one of the few people able to sway President Donald Trump on marijuana reform.
But so far, the Fort Lauderdale operative hasn't been able to keep himself out of trouble. Yesterday TMZ cornered Stone at Los Angeles International Airport, and Stone did what any normal, responsible human would do with a news camera shoved in his face: casually hinted that any lawmakers who hypothetically voted to impeach Trump would be murdered. The guy knows how to command eyeballs.
"Try to impeach him, just try it," Stone said. "You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you've never seen."
"You think?" the cameraperson responded.
"No question," Stone said. "Both sides are heavily armed, my friend." (That's not quite true.) "Yes, absolutely. This is not 1974. The people will not stand for impeachment. A politician who votes for it will be endangering their own life. There will be violence on both sides. I'll make this clear: I'm not advocating violence, but I'm predicting it."
New Times, which has reported on Stone's antics regularly since he helped incite a fake riot at Miami-Dade County Hall during the Bush v. Gore recount, reached out to the Dark Bringer of Chaos himself via text, and he denied that his comments might encourage any of his far-right followers to attack American congresspeople.
"If you watch the entire interview you will see that I clearly do not advocate and specifically renounce violence but I do foresee it if the president is illegitimately impeached," Stone texted.
Couldn't some of his followers interpret that prediction of violence as more of a suggestion? "Such a charge would be false and inaccurate," Stone texted. "Nice try though."
Earlier this week, Stone casually retweeted an out-of-context video originally posted by a neo-Nazi who advocates killing Jews, to give you a sense of what sort of audience he's been reaching since he became a regular Infowars commentator:
There appears to be something in the water when it comes to South Florida conservatives calling for government insurrection: Broward County radio host, recurring Fox News guest, and violence-peddling demagogue John Cardillo has also repeatedly suggested we're already in a civil war. The far right has been pushing this narrative for months, and as we saw with armed militia groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, these people are a hop, skip, and a jump from getting people killed:
This was a targeted attack and should concern all on the right. The left is willing to kill. I keep telling you, the civil war has started. https://t.co/QF9MVqasql— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 20, 2017
As the expert Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone chronicled, decades of political thuggery and dirty tricks dating back to the Richard Nixon administration have made Stone a very wealthy and powerful man. He lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and his Nixon bong collection. Stone has been involved in damn near every GOP political controversy since the 1970s: He had a small hand in Watergate (and has an image of Nixon's face tattooed on his back), helped jump-start the political-action committee industry in the 1980s, and played a role in the "Brooks Brothers Riot" in Miami that helped ensure George W. Bush won the presidential nomination in 2000.
By the mid-'00s, he'd largely fallen out of the public eye and briefly managed the campaign for a stoner comedian-turned-Miami Beach city commission candidate in 2011. (He also was deeply tied to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme scandal.) Trump brought him back into the limelight.
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Stone tried to persuade his personal friend Trump to run for president for decades and briefly worked for the Trump campaign before leaving amid controversy. Stone maintains he quit, while others said he was fired, but it's clear he despised other members of the campaign staff, especially Corey Lewandowski. (Stone was recorded in his recent documentary slamming Lewandowski to other reporters.) His old lobbying partner was none other than Paul Manafort, who is now one of the central figures in the FBI's Trump-Russia collusion probe. Stone himself has also been called to testify in front of Congress after bragging he communicated with the alleged Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0.
Stone himself, by all indications, is not an outright racist or fascist. But he seems to be such a conscience-free operative that he's willing to align himself with racists and/or fascists in order to maintain power.
Following in a grand tradition of conservative thinkers, Stone simply believes you're a fool if you fall for his shenanigans. But social media and Alex Jones have given him a public platform he never really had before, and he's using it to spread outright conspiracy theories and harass the families of dead people. As this latest clip proves, Stone's willingness to pander to the gullible could actually get people hurt. At the very least, it's time folks like John Morgan quit propping him up.