CNN / YouTube Who is Roger Stone...
CNN / YouTube

Michael Flynn flipped. George Papadopoulos flipped. Rick Gates flipped. Michael Cohen is dying to flip. Please. So far the personal loyalty that Trump demands of anyone and everyone seems to be about as solid as ice cream on a warm day. But there is one exception—dirty tricksters. The original Nixon-era tricksters, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, have yet to step from the loyalty boat. And while it’s easy to read Trump’s entire morning opus of prosecute-my-enemies, end-this-investigation tweets as an ode to Manafort keeping his trap shut, Stone claims to need no such encouragement.

Speaking to CNN Outfront, Stone stated that he never, never ever, would turn against Trump.

Stone: There is no circumstance in which I intend to be pressured in order to testify against the president. First of all, I have nothing that I could say about him that would be negative. Secondarily, I’m just not going to do that.

Considering that Stone tops every Man Most Likely list where the remainder of that title includes the words “be convicted of conspiracy with the Russian government of interfere in a United States election,” this is surely intended to define one end of a mutual aid and appreciation society. As in I’ll praise your giant hands, you use those stubby little digits to sign my pardon. Unlike Manafort, the charges against Stone, for now, all look to be things that neatly fit within the confines of what Trump is empowered to forgive.

But … Trump might want to consider that Stone’s idea of “support” is a bit flexible. As Talking Points Memo reported, special counsel Robert Mueller seems interested in a series of messages that Stone sent to radio host Randy Credico. Stone claims that Credico was his intermediary in talking with Wikileaks boss, Julian Assange, but not all of their contact was “business.” There were friendly exchanges. Such as …

Stone:  Prepare to die cock sucker.

That message may not sound like support. But that’s exactly what Stone insists it was. Because, right before he sent that message, he learned that Credico had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

So, if not explicitly support, “prepare to die” might be taken as … friendly advice.  And the rest of Stone’s statement … a casual endearment. Only there’s one slight issue with even this extraordinarily sick and twisted take on Stone’s statement. Credico doesn’t have prostate cancer and never told Stone that he did. Stone’s statement to Credico was only friendly advice in the same sense that a mob boss warning someone of the consequences of talking to the cops might be considered “friendly.”

And Donald Trump just might want to consider the “fine print” in Stone’s assurances.

Stone: I wouldn’t rule out cooperating with the special counsel if I can be helpful in some area, but there’s no circumstance under which I would testify against the president.

Stone might be telling Trump that he has his big doughy back, so long as Trump will let him push any number of their mutual “friends” under a long line of waiting buses. Or he may simply be passing on to Trump the idea that he can always count on his support.

Just like Randy Credico.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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