Longtime Trump buddy Roger Stone wanted an audience. Instead of ducking out of the Florida federal courthouse where his seven-count criminal indictment by the FBI had just been processed, Stone walked straight to the mics and cameras surrounded by a burgeoning crowd. Given the situation, most indictees would have slipped into a car, driven away, and prepared to meet with federal prosecutors later in order to spill the beans in exchange for a plea deal. Not Stone.
“As I have always said,” Stone began amid a loud round of boos, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
As Stone sought to make the case for his innocence along with a clear plea to Donald Trump for a pardon, the crowd sounded less like they were attending a press conference than a revolution-era tar and feathering. When the boos died down, boisterous “No!”s ramped up from crowd members, while others randomly chimed in with whistles, hoots, and hollers. As Stone asserted that he had been “falsely accused,” the crowd responded with “Lock him up!” chants.
Sure, there were a couple of Stone boosters who spoke up, but the bulk of the crowd was much more intent on denying Stone his spotlight. And for a guy who began his statement with a victory lap for being “talked about,” his five minutes at the mic were relatively brief.
But pay attention to that crowd: It’s a microcosmic window into the mood of the country that’s been spilling out in a series of polls over the past couple of weeks. People are sick of being lied to. Russia “likely” has compromising information on Donald Trump, 57 percent of voters say. The Russia probe is justified, according to 50 percent of the nation, versus 45 percent who say it’s politically motivated (a total reversal from last November). And 43 percent of voters believe team Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election (only 38 percent say that’s not true, while 19 percent remain undecided.) It’s perhaps not surprising that 46 percent of voters favor Trump’s impeachment (while only 44 percent oppose.)
In short, a majority of the country believes Trump is acting like a Russian asset, a plurality wants him impeached, and as the Florida crowd demonstrates, people are losing patience with anyone who contributed to the corrupt presidency we are all enduring.
Watch the Stone video below.