Did Donald Trump Ever Really Fire Roger Stone?

Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via ZUMA

How many of your remember this story from three years ago?

Donald Trump’s campaign said Saturday it has fired top political adviser Roger Stone — who promptly denied being let go and insisted he had quit.

….“Mr. Trump fired Roger Stone last night. We have a tremendously successful campaign and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity. He has had a number of articles about him recently and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again,” a campaign spokesperson said in a statement.

Stone, however, told CNN that he “categorically denies” being fired, and provided what he said was his resignation letter.

Allegedly, Stone quit because he was unhappy about Trump’s “food fight with @megynkelly” taking attention away from “core issue messages.” Please raise your hand if you ever believed this. Roger Stone lives for televised food fights and has less than zero interest in policy messaging. I know that Trump and Stone had supposedly been bickering for weeks, but even if that were true, it’s hardly credible that the Megyn Kelly affair would have been the thing to finally tip him over the edge.

Anyway, that’s what I remember thinking at the time: that this whole thing was a prearranged sham. Stone was more comfortable and more effective doing his thing while being able to claim that he had no connection to the Trump campaign, so he and Trump arranged a loud parting of the ways that no one could ignore. From that point on, Trump could disclaim any knowledge or connection to anything Stone did.

In the end, that didn’t help Stone, who was arrested and indicted yesterday over charges of lying to Congress about WikiLeaks, tampering with witnesses, and obstructing a House investigation into possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia to tip the election. But will it protect Trump? Stay tuned!

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

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