By Jennifer Cohn 2/11/22
Even before the 2016 presidential election, Roger Stone was a dark force, screwing with voters’ perceptions of reality and corrupting politics from behind the scenes.
In 1972, at just nineteen years of age, Stone belonged to then “President Richard M. Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President, better known as CREEP,” according to the Washington Post. As a member of CREEP, Stone recruited someone to spy on several Democratic presidential campaigns. He also made a campaign contribution in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to one of Nixon’s Republican challengers. Stone then sent the receipt to the media.
Stone has acknowledged that, in 1980, the late mob lawyer Roy Cohn (who was a mentor of both Stone and Trump) had him deliver an apparent cash bribe (Stone didn’t look in the suitcase) to the Liberal Party of New York. Stone believed that whatever was in the suitcase was meant to persuade the Liberal Party to run a spoiler candidate to siphon votes from President Jimmy Carter, who was running for reelection against Ronald Reagan. The Liberal Party then ran such a candidate.
During the eighties and nineties, Stone partnered with a political operative named Paul Manafort — who would later serve as Trump’s campaign manager — in a lobbying business.
Trump was one of their big clients.
The business came to be known as the Torturers’ Lobby for its willingness to represent brutal dictators, including President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. In 1986, Marcos called a snap election that was reportedly rigged to ensure a Marcos victory, sparking a revolution. The late Warren Mitofsky, a renowned pollster, traveled to the Philippines with CBS News to monitor the election. He later told the Atlantic that a “representative of Manafort’s firm had asked him, ‘What sort of margin might make a Marcos victory legitimate?’” “The implication was clear,’” Mitofsky said. “‘How do we rig this thing and still satisfy the Americans?’”