Can sociopaths have friends? Donald Trump and Roger Stone, two of the most gleefully deranged political criminals alive, have by all accounts been close friends with each other for most of their lives. They also don’t seem to get along particularly well, or think much of each other. Now that Roger Stone is on the verge of being indicted and arrested, he’s insisting – as loudly as possible – that he’ll never sell Trump out.
That’s an interesting notion, because corrupt criminals don’t generally manage to stay in business for this many years while being selflessly loyal to each other. Roger Stone somehow managed to survive working for Richard Nixon’s infamously criminal 1972 campaign, which led to sixty-nine of Nixon’s people being indicted. Do you think he pulled that off by being loyal to anyone involved? To this day, Stone plays up his worship of Nixon, but it’s all too easy to make hay by publicly aligning yourself with someone who isn’t around anymore to have any say in it.
Then there’s Donald Trump. Each time one of his underlings gets nabbed for committing crimes on his behalf, Trump claims he barely knew the person. Trump has been stunningly, if not surprisingly, disloyal to his former henchmen like Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. When the time comes, does anyone think Trump won’t throw Stone under the bus as well? Stone can’t possibly be so naive as to think Trump will try to bail him out. So why, then is Roger Stone bothering to blow so much smoke at Donald Trump’s derriere?
Well, for one thing, it’s a convenient way to pad his criminal defense fund. In his social media posts, Stone isn’t even trying to hide that he’s hoping Trump’s fans will take care of his legal bills. But once the indictment comes down and Stone sees that he’s monumentally screwed, that “loyalty” to Trump will fade like the facade that it is. Stone will do whatever he thinks is best for himself, whether it be fighting the charges or cutting a deal against Trump. And of course Trump will insist that he barely even knows Stone. After all, sociopaths don’t have friends.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report