Attributes of a fake friend

Takes from you but never gives back.
Undermines you when you need them most.
Gossips about you to the FBI when you do crimes.

Roger Stone is only guilty of having fake friends

(And probably a bunch of other stuff too.)

Of all the right-wing grifters who have emerged from subdivisions, cigar lounges, and retirement communities to piggyback off Donald Trump, there is no one more iconically fraudulent than Roger Stone. He dresses like a steampunk sex addict, engages in casual election tampering, and would very much like you to buy his book about how LBJ killed Kennedy.

Throughout his illustrious career, he has been accused of publicizing former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s visits with sex workers, feeding Dan Rather fake documents related to George W. Bush’s military service, and using Donald Trump to destroy the Reform Party (which, lol). And now, Stone has been arrested, accused by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller of pulling his craziest stunt yet: lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his communications with Julian Assange regarding Wikileaks’ release of Hillary Clinton’s emails which he may have lied about having!

The vagaries of the American legal system may never definitively prove whether Stone had a hand in one of the 5,000 factors that led to Trump beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. After all, he is being tried for lying about Assange and Wikileaks and pressuring others to do the same, not the underlying events themselves. However, I believe that Roger Stone is only guilty as hell of one thing: having fake friends. And using publicly available court records consulted by The Outline and this Thought Catalog article that lists the attributes of fake friends, I will list and discuss them here.

Fake Friend One: Randy Credico

Crime: Gossiping Endlessly About Others

Randy Credico is a comedian, radio host, and one of those weird left-wing people who was so invested in Hillary Clinton’s failure that he accidentally became pro-Trump. More than that, he is a flake who failed Roger Stone when he needed him the most. Mueller’s indictment of Stone cites emails and texts exchanged with Credico, an on-and-off Stone ally for years, in which Stone called him “a rat” and “a stoolie” who “backstab[s] your friends.” Sure, Stone might have been publicly implying that he served as his backchannel to Julian Assange and then threatened to steal his dog for speaking with the FBI in an attempt to clear his name, but then again, as Thought Catalog tells us, it’s “a major red flag” to have a friend who gossips. “If they’re constantly talking about other people, just imagine what they’re saying behind your back. That’s a terrible thought to have lingering in your mind.” Damn. Too true.

Fake Friend Two: Jerome Corsi

Crime: Puffing Up His Own Importance

Speaking of which, Thought Catalog says that the No. 1 red flag in a friend is if they compete with you for no reason. And after the right-wing crank and professional conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi went on MSNBC accusing Stone of launching a smear campaign against him and then sued him for $25 million dollars, I think we can all agree that even though his initials are J.C., he’s not exactly the “Jesus Christ” of friendship. The pair have a lot in common: Both are under the microscope due to their vague associations with the Trump campaign, both have legal defense funds to which they would like people to contribute, and both have written books in an attempt to capitalize on their fringe involvement in this affair. But instead of celebrating how they’re alike, all Corsi wants to do is tear Stone down!

Corsi’s suit alleges that Stone is using his show on InfoWars, The War Room, (more on that when we deal with this list’s next fake friend) to smear him, going on the air to claim that Corsi is an alcoholic who got fired from his last job and “[is] willing to testify against me and help the deep state bury me.” Why can’t Jerome Corsi just be proud that his friend Roger is lucky enough to even have a show on InfoWars to defame him on? Always focusing on the negatives is a total fake friend move. “We all want to share what happened throughout our days,” Thought Catalog tells us. “If you have to actively search for [validation] in your so-called ‘friend,’ then perhaps you should find a new friend.” In other words: Ugh! It’s not always about you, Jerome!

Fake Friend Three: The Honorable Judge Amy Berman Jackson

Crime: Expecting People to Drop Everything So You Can Cater to Their Needs

True friends will always let you be you. It’s like the saying goes: You don’t have to be crazy to be my friend, but it sure helps. But there is one “friend” of Stone’s who thinks he is acting too out of hand, and that friend is the judge presiding over the case brought against him by Mueller. Recently, D.C. Circuit Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson informed both the prosecution and defense that she was considering prohibiting Stone from speaking about the case in public so that his statements wouldn’t bias potential jurors.

Given that the main forums that offer Stone an opportunity to talk about his case without challenging him are InfoWars, Fox News, and conservative talk radio, this would be pointless. These outlets are peddlers of the most toxic right-wing propaganda, so any potential juror who frequents them would already be sympathetic to Stone. Further, implying that Stone is the problem and not the platforms themselves confers undue legitimacy upon them. Maybe that’s just me quibbling, so I’m going to yet again defer to Thought Catalog on this one. When it comes to people like Judge Jackson, it’s important to remember that “You have a life too, and your life doesn’t revolve around theirs. [...] If that’s something they can’t understand, then they are blinded by their own self-importance, which isn’t an ideal ingredient for a sustainable friendship.”

Fake Friend Four: Robert Mueller

Crime: Only Seeing People as a Means to an End

Not to be fake friend myself and engage in pointless gossip, but everybody knows that Robert Mueller only arrested Stone because he wants to pressure him into helping prove that Trump did some illegal stuff. This is how prosecutors working large cases operate, and this is why Mueller is the ultimate fake friend. He doesn’t really care about Stone and isn’t even interested in learning about his hopes, his dreams, or what his Richard Nixon back tattoo looks like under the UV light of a tanning bed. He has one thing on his mind, and that’s using poor Roger to get to the president. Per Thought Catalog, “This is the cold hard truth: a fake friend will use you any way they can.”