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So wait, Roger Stone is an admitted swinger who openly goes to swinger clubs?


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Republican operative Roger Stone, out on a $250,000 bond on witness tampering charges Friday morning, joked during his post-court press conference: “I've always said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

 

There is certainly no shortage of things to say about Stone, 66, or his almost half-century in Republican politics. The stylish 66-year-old bodybuilder boasts about his reputation as an unscrupulous political hitman, sports an upper-back tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face, and openly frequents swingers clubs.

Permanently tanned and invariably dressed in a bespoke suit, he has been tied to scandals ranging from Watergate and the Bush-Gore recount protests to the downfall of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer for soliciting prostitutes.

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Perhaps surprisingly, Friday marked the first arrest of the man once described as a "professional lord of mischief." The charges related to Stone's communications with WikiLeaks intermediaries about hacked DNC emails in 2016 are the first time he has faced a reckoning with the law for his political activities.

His first taste of politics in first grade while campaigning for President John F. Kennedy in his elementary school’s mock election. He claims — the lines between truth, hyperbole and fiction are always hard to locate with Stone — he spread rumors to students that Kennedy’s opponent, Richard Nixon, would pass a law forcing kids to go to school on Saturdays. The story goes that Kennedy won the school vote.

Stone’s adult political career began in 1972, when he was hired out of college to work on Nixon’s re-election campaign. By this time, Stone had joined the Republican Party and split his time during the campaign between working as Nixon’s scheduler and “trafficking in the dark arts” of opposition politics.

This included falsifying donations to a Republican primary opponent’s campaign under the name of a group called the Young Socialist Alliance. “Stone then sent a receipt to the Manchester Union Leader, to ‘prove’ that Nixon’s adversary was a left-wing stooge,” reported Jeffrey Toobin in a 2008 New Yorker profile entitled "The Dirty Trickster." Stone also reportedly hired an operative nicknamed “Sedan Chair II” to infiltrate Democratic opponent Hubert Humphrey’s campaign and act as his chauffeur.

Numerous officials on Nixon’s re-election would ultimately be indicted in the Watergate scandal involving the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Stone, who was 19 at the time, managed to avoid being directly implicated.

Nixon resigned in disgrace, but Stone remained his loyal supporter through the years. Stone’s home office is plastered with Nixon memorabilia — plus a picture of Stone posing with legendary porn actress Nina Hartley.

Stone went on to work for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. But while serving on Dole’s campaign in 1996, he was hit with a controversy of his own. The National Enquirer revealed that Stone and his second wife Nydia, a former model, had placed ads for group sex partners in swingers magazines and online. Stone also frequented Capitol Couples, a former swingers club in D.C., according to the Enquirer and other publications.

“Hot former model seeks exceptional, in shape muscular … studs for threesomes with herself and body builder husband,” read one ad, which including topless photos of Stone and his wife. Another ad specified: “No smokers or fats please."

Stone initially denied the Enquirer story, claiming the ads were fabricated by political enemies, but he was forced to resign from the Dole campaign due to the controversy. He later acknowledged that the ads were indeed his.

Unrepentant, Stone made a political comeback a few years later during George W. Bush’s presidential campaign against Al Gore. He helped coordinate the so-called “Brooks Brothers Riot” in Miami during the 2000 election recount — a Republican protest mob that stormed the recount offices after learning that Democratic officials were counting ballots without supervision.

Stone also played a key role in the 2008 downfall of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer on prostitution charges. The Republican operative met a call girl at a Miami strip club who told him Spitzer frequented prostitutes. Stone tipped off the FBI in a letter — adding that the governor allegedly kept his socks on during the sex acts. Spitzer’s involvement with call girls went public as part of a larger prostitution investigation, forcing him to resign.

In a 2007 Weekly Standard profile entitled "Roger Stone, Political Animal," Matt Labash theorized: "Naïfs might say he's a cancer on the body politic, everything that is wrong with today's system. But maybe he is just its purest distillation: Politics is war, and he is one of its fiercest warriors, with the battle scars to prove it."

Stone returned to national attention during the 2016 election when he served as an aide to his longtime friend Donald Trump — whom he had been urging since the 1980s to run for the White House. Although Stone officially left the campaign in August 2015 — Trump claimed he was “fired” — the two stayed in close contact and Stone continued to act as an informal adviser.

He allegedly contacted an intermediary to WikiLeaks after the news outlet published hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in the summer of 2016, according to an indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. The indictment claims Stone misled investigators about these contacts and encouraged another witnesses to lie to congress. Stone pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday.

Flashing a Nixonian "V for victory" sign and looking almost preternaturally calm, Stone proclaimed he would plead not guilty and would never "bear false witness" against Trump. On what for most people might have been a day of dark foreboding — he faces spending the rest of his life in jail - Stone appeared to be loving every minute.

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