Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2015
There’s so much crazy in the current Trump-versus-the-GOP saga, and such a rich variety of worthy targets. Just the charges & countercharges in the “business” venues could fill volumes…
Stone says a Trump third party campaign would be like 1912!!!
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 8, 2015
— Matt Lyke (@MattLyke) August 8, 2015
— Josh (@Joshiswrite) August 8, 2015
Theory: likeliest reason Roger Stone split with Trump? He has a book coming out. He needs Fox to promote it.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) August 8, 2015
The Daily Beast, of course, can always find a few kind words for a professional
ratfvcker spinmeister like Roger Stone:
A few days ago, Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Roger Stone, suddenly left the campaign. Stone insists he resigned, and that Team Trump simply caught wind of his imminent departure, and leaked word he had been terminated.
I’ve known the legendary strategist for years, and have interviewed him numerous times. I caught up with him for a quick phone call on Monday morning. As always, Roger Stone is both quotable and colorful. Enjoy.
Good to talk with you, as always. What the hell happened this weekend?
I wasn’t fired. I quit. And I quit because I felt I was having no impact on the direction of the campaign, which got off to an extraordinarily good start. I think he’s unique, in that he has the stature and the media access and independence to drive a reform message all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
They claim you were fired.
The claim that I was fired was quickly disproved…I left on my own volition, but I continue to strongly support Trump because I think he has a unique opportunity here, and it would really be tragic if he doesn’t realize his full potential.
Right, but somebody on his campaign presumably lied about this. Aren’t you pissed?
This is the oldest fight in American politics. It’s the advance men and the merchandisers versus those men and women of ideas. I think politics is about sweeping big ideas, and a few memorable phrases to get people to remember them. It’s not about minutiae…and I just think it is tragic that the Trump campaign appears to have gone into this cul-de-sac where we’re bickering with Megyn Kelly—who is not running for president…
Protip: Never use the same escort service or brothel as Roger Stone.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 8, 2015
In the National Memo, Joe Conason, who’s been cataloging the crimes of Repub “strategists” for many years, casts a colder eye:
The tumultuous split between Roger Stone and Donald Trump – allied since their introduction more than 30 years ago by the late and legendary right-wing attorney Roy Cohn – erupted from internal divisions that have troubled the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign almost from the beginning, according to knowledgeable sources. Among the figures who may seek to fill the strategic vacuum left by Stone’s abrupt departure is none other than David Bossie, who runs the Citizens United Foundation and has long been associated with disreputable figures on the Republican right…
Behind the media histrionics and dueling Twitter messages, however, were intrigues that sources trace to the hostility between Stone and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, an ambitious former Capitol Hill staffer and employee of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ political operation.
On August 2, Lewandowski arranged the firing of Sam Nunberg, a Stone protégé bounced from the campaign after an anonymous informant sent an email about racist posts on Nunberg’s Facebook page, including a 2007 post mocking the daughter of Rev. Al Sharpton, to the political editor of Business Insider. Under Stone’s direction, Nunberg had almost singlehandedly prepared all of the Trump campaign’s position papers, talking points, and written materials…
Stone had developed a low opinion of Lewandowski well before the Fox debate, telling friends that “due diligence” ought to have precluded Trump from hiring the campaign manager. Lewandowski has no previous presidential-level experience but his résumé undeniably does include stints with former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who went to prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to corruption charges in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and former Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), who lost his seat in 2002 after angering fellow Republican senators and GOP leaders in his home state. In fact, Lewandowski managed Smith’s embarrassing, doomed campaign.
To those who know Stone, whose experience in national politics dates back to the 1968 Nixon campaign, his irritation at being overruled by someone of such lowly political stature was understandable. The Trump campaign, as he saw it, had become dominated by mediocre climbers who would never speak honestly to the casino mogul.
The Bossie connection also troubled Stone, according to the same sources. Trump had hired Lewandowski after meeting him at a New Hampshire event for Republican presidential hopefuls sponsored by Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity, where Bossie reportedly recommended the 40-year-old operative to Trump. Stone may suspect that Bossie – a disreputable GOP operative who runs profitable email response campaigns — might have designs on the tens of thousands of valuable names and email addresses of conservatives who have contributed money on the Trump website. In only two days, tens of thousands had signed up for a “matching campaign,” making donations that the Manhattan developer promised to double…
The old lion — wolverine? — is challenged by a young wanna-be! Is there no honor among
thieves GOP campaign operatives? Bring on the world’s tiniest violin orchestra!
Meanwhile, Head Mustelide Trump rises above the clamour of the minions, making his own treaties. Per Gabriel Sherman, at NYMag:
Until Thursday’s GOP debate, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Donald Trump had been executing one of the most successful examples of media synergy in recent memory. But the Trump-Ailes alliance — which helped generate a record debate audience of 24 million — has been in tatters ever since Fox’s debate moderators peppered Trump with critical questions onstage in Cleveland. From the moment Trump faced reporters in the post-debate “Spin Room,” he’s been attacking the network’s treatment of him, with special venom reserved for Megyn Kelly.
Now, it appears both sides want peace. [Monday] morning, Trump tweeted that Ailes called to assure him that Fox will cover him “fairly” going forward. According to two high-level Fox sources, Ailes’s diplomacy was the result of increasing concern inside Fox News that Trump could damage the network. Immediately following Thursday’s debate, Fox was deluged with pro-Trump emails. The chatter on Twitter was equally in Trump’s favor. “In the beginning, virtually 100 percent of the emails were against Megyn Kelly,” one Fox source, who was briefed on the situation, told me. “Roger was not happy. Most of the Fox viewers were taking Trump’s side.” …
In recent days, Ailes got a glimpse of what a Trump-less Fox News would look like. On Sunday, Trump called in to the four other public-affairs shows; this morning he gave interviews to Today and Morning Joe. Inside Fox, this was alarming. “This thing with Megyn got way ahead of Roger and bigger than he must have thought,” one Fox personality said. “Roger wants this to blow over,” another source added. “He’s upset that conservatives are mad at Fox.” Online, Ailes also took flak. Both the Drudge Report and Breitbart News carried pro-Trump headlines…
Apart from wishing (further) confusion to our enemies, what’s on the agenda for the day?