Longtime GOP strategist and Trump ally Roger Stone said Donald Trump’s presidency was the “greatest single mistake in American history,” in footage obtained by The Washington Post.
The Washington Post said it had viewed 20 hours of footage of Stone filmed by Danish filmmakers for an upcoming documentary titled “A Storm Foretold.”
Stone was filmed for two years, including on January 6, 2021, as the Capitol riot unfolded.
The footage reveals that Stone was furious with the outgoing president for failing to issue a blanket pardon to protect himself and other Trump allies who had tried to overturn the 2020 election. Stone had even created a “pardon wish list” that included Michael Sessa and Victor Orena, former members of the Colombo crime family serving life sentences for murder and racketeering convictions in the 1990s, according to The Post.
On Inauguration day, Stone was filmed talking to a friend and savagely criticizing Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner – “he needs to have a beating” – before rounding on the former president dubbing him the “greatest single mistake in American history.”
Stone was also recorded saying he would support Trump’s impeachment in a video published by The Post.
“I’m done with this president. I’m going to go public supporting impeachment. I have no choice. He has to go. He has to go. Run again! You’ll get your fucking brains beat in,” Stone said in the clip, appearing to mock any future presidential runs by Trump.
However, a few weeks later, Stone said he would support a Trump 2024 presidential bid.
In the footage, Stone seemed especially enraged that the former president had on that day pardoned his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was facing federal fraud charges, The Post said.
Stone and Bannon have long feuded after the latter testified in Stone’s 2019 obstruction trial, which resulted in him being sentenced to 40 months in prison. Trump later commuted Stone’s sentence and then issued a full pardon.
Stone denied any involvement in the Capitol riot
The footage obtained by The Post helps piece together Stone’s activities following the 2020 election, as he worked to help overturn the results, and his involvement in the January 6 rallies in Washington culminating in the Capitol attack.
Stone worked behind the scenes to promote the “Stop the Steal” movement, which spread false election fraud conspiracy theories, and galvanized Trump supporters in the lead up to January 6, the outlet reported.
While Stone was initially billed as a top-tier speaker at the January 6 rally, footage filmed by the Danish filmmakers reveals that Stone ultimately did not attend because organizers had not secured him VIP access to reach the stage.
The filmmakers filmed Stone in his hotel room at the Willard Hotel, packing up to leave DC as he watched the riot unfolding on TV.
Stone appears to condemn the riot, saying: “I think it’s really bad for the movement. This hurts. It doesn’t help.”
However, he repeated false claims about the 2020 election being stolen and suggested that violence was inevitable, The Post said.
The footage also reveals that Stone met with and corresponded with members of far-right militia groups, including Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, before and after January 6.
The cameras captured Stone being guarded on January 5 by multiple Oath Keepers, including Joshua James and Brian Ulrich, as well as James inside Stone’s suite in the hours before the riot, The Post reported.
Stone denied any involvement in the Capitol riot in an email to The Post.
“Any claim, assertion or implication that I knew about, was involved in or condoned the illegal acts at the Capitol on Jan 6 is categorically false and there is no witness or document that proves otherwise,” he said.
He also suggested without proof that the video clips of him could be “deep fakes.”