In the latest sign that Donald Trump is struggling to hold his own political coalition together in the face of mounting pressure over the Russia scandal, Trump’s longtime close friend Roger Stone is launching an all out offensive – against Trump’s own people. Last week Stone went after Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner, and now he’s going after Trump’s own hand picked CIA Director.
Roger Stone’s beef with CIA Director Mike Pompeo centers around international cyberterrorist group WikiLeaks. Donald Trump spent the election praising WikiLeaks and encouraging it to continue releasing secrets that had been stolen from his political opponents. Stone has admitted to having backchannel communications with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as communications with Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0, who supplied much of the stolen campaign info to WikiLeaks.
But with the Russia scandal now weighing more heavily on the Trump administration by the day, Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo publicly condemned WikiLeaks yesterday as being a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” This stood out as bizarre, as Pompeo had spent the campaign aligning himself with WikiLeaks alongside Trump. But now that the Trump administration is trying to throw WikiLeaks under the bus to stave off the Russia scandal, Roger Stone is erupting.
Stone now says “I think [Pompeo] should resign. I really think he should resign. This really raises questions about his qualifications and his ability to do the job” (source: Mediaite). By throwing WikiLeaks under the Russia bus, Pompeo (and by extension Trump) are essentially leaving Stone out to dry, as his connections to WikiLeaks are already well established. Stone seems to know he’s being scapegoated.
This comes just a little more than a week after Roger Stone began publicly attacking Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, openly accusing him of leaking dirt about White House rival Steve Bannon to MSNBC host Morning Joe (link). How many more of Trump’s allies will Stone attack before Trump begins attacking Stone? Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report