When news broke Friday that a grand jury had approved its first indictments in Roger Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone lashed out hard at the messengers. The South Florida resident exploded on Twitter at CNN's Don Lemon and the New York Times' Charles Blow — and now has been banned from the site for his tirade.
But the news, in this case, was far from fake. This morning, Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager and Stone's former business partner — along with Rick Gates, his longtime aide and another top Trump campaign official — turned himself into federal authorities.
In a text to New Times this morning, Stone declined to comment on Manafort's indictment until he learned more about the charges, but he's also threatened Twitter with legal action over his ban from the site, calling it a "systematic effort by the tech left to censor and silence conservative voices."
For now, though, Stone joins his pal and fellow alt-right booster Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter's lifetime blacklist. The tweets that landed Stone in Twitter jail targeted Lemon and Blow, whom Stone accused of covering up Hillary Clinton's role in a uranium deal with Russia:
As multiple Twitter users pointed out, though, Stone's furious criticism seemed to cross the line into threats against Lemon:
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Twitter agreed and on Saturday banned Stone permanently from the site under a policy that "crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user's voice."
Stone tells Politico he has endured far worse on the site — including death threats to him and his family — and in light of the fact that Twitter has failed to police outright Nazi egg accounts that constantly target journalists via sinister threats, he's probably right on that count at least.
Stone's longtime business partner has far bigger legal concerns this morning than a social media spat, though. Manafort and Stone were partners for years in a powerful conservative lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., and Manafort lists his permanent residence as a $1.5 million home in Palm Beach Gardens. State records show he has incorporated numerous businesses in Florida, including at least two active companies headquartered at that house.
The feds haven't released the charges against Manafort, who ran Trump's campaign as he rose from outsider to frontrunner in the GOP primary, though he's expected to face tax fraud charges. Manafort made millions by lobbying on behalf of a Ukranian political party funded by Russian oligarchs with deep ties to Vladimir Putin and reportedly had a web of offshore bank accounts funneling the proceeds.