Roger Stone says of all the people who deserve credit for Donald Trump’s victory, don’t discount Matt Drudge and Alex Jones.
Stone explained why during the latest episode of “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast, where the longtime political confidant of the president-elect also discussed Trump’s potential cabinet, the alt-right, whether he thinks Trump is moderating and much more.
- Talking to Trump election night (4:08)
- Mitt Romney for Secretary of State? (12:12)
- Is Trump moderating? (30:17)
- On Trump’s conflicts of interest (38:18)
- Defending Alex Jones (40:18)
- Stone on the alt-right (43:55)
- What Stone will do during the Trump administration (47:29)
- Who were most responsible for Trump’s victory? (52:00)
- Best restaurants in New York City (57:36)
- Where to go to get a nice suit (59:47)
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Speaking of Internet media mogul Drudge and conspiratorial Infowars founder Jones, Stone said they “played crucial roles” in Trump’s victory.
“Drudge particularly but Alex deserves a place only because particularly in the nomination phase when you have conservatives who view Trump as a populist conservative, not a dogmatic conservative, and they’re looking for a verifier, they’re looking for somebody, some third party to say, ‘Yeah, this guy’s a good guy,'” Stone explained.
Stone also named Fred Trump (“first and foremost”), Roy Cohn and Steve Bannon as key figures in Trump’s unlikely victory.
Trump’s late father, Stone said, “instilled in Donald a persistence, a work ethic and a persistence, that you never stop fighting.”
Stone said Bannon, who headed Breitbart News before taking over as Trump campaign CEO in August, was critical to Trump’s victory because he was in large part responsible for shaping the campaign’s message.
“The way the message was shaped in the final days was almost letter perfect,” Stone said. “Elections are about dominating the dialogue and insisting on your narrative and not responding to the other candidates’ narrative. I think Bannon did that for him.”
As for Trump’s late mentor Roy Cohn, Stone credits him for teaching Trump the ins-and-outs of politics. (RELATED: What Roy Cohn Taught Donald Trump)
“I would have to put Roy Cohn on the list,” Stone said. “I know that will make some people gnash their teeth but Roy was Donald’s lawyer. He was a very tough guy and frankly Donald Trump’s the only guy I’ve ever met who may be tougher than Cohen.”
While Stone also credited Ivanka Trump and Trump’s second campaign manager Paul Manafort for helping Trump win, he ultimately said Trump himself was the person who was most responsible for his victory.
“I actually think to a certain extent he was elected despite his campaign,” Stone said. “Meaning his campaign was a grassroots guerilla-type affair, which had far more intensity than the well-oiled Hillary machine. They had more people, they were better organized but their task was harder ’cause they had to drag out people who didn’t wanna vote for her. So I think Trump made up for in intensity what he lacked for in experience and organization.”
Stone, who left Trump’s official campaign shortly after it got off the ground but has been a fierce defender of Trump in the alternative media, says he is among the Trump advisers who is arguing against picking Mitt Romney to be secretary of state.
“I think that just the fact that he invited the guy in for a cup of coffee shows that he’s inclusive and not bearing a grudge,” Stone said of Romney’s meeting with Trump after the election. “I do think that there’s something to be said for reaching out to people who weren’t for you as you start a new administration but I don’t think — look you can invite a whore to church but don’t ask her to lead the choir.”
Stone said he believes Trump is “generally speaking a non-interventionist” and therefore thinks Trump should choose a secretary of state who matches his foreign policy ideology.
“He’s been handed a very difficult situation, but Mitt Romney is not the right man to carry out the Trump foreign policy because he fundamentally doesn’t agree with it and because just on a loyalty basis he savaged Trump in a way that I think crossed a line,” Stone said.
But are people like Rudy Giuliani or retired Gen. David Petraeus — other names reported to be under consideration for secretary of state — non-interventionists?
“I don’t know why we should assume that we know the name of every candidate,” Stone replied. “Trump himself said only he knows the finalists. Did you know that Nikki Haley was going to the UN before she went there?”
Stone has long been a critic of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. After Cruz deliberately refused to endorse Donald Trump while speaking at the Republican convention, Stone mused about finding a primary challenger to defeat the Texas firebrand in 2018. But when asked whether Trump should consider Cruz for the Supreme Court, Stone shot back: “One way to get rid of him.”
“Well, he certainly would meet the ideological test,” Stone explained, adding the caveat that Cruz was not on the list Trump said he plans to select his first Supreme Court nominee from.