Roger Stone pushes limits of gag order with Instagram post on Trump case

Roger Stone published an Instagram post implying that he's being framed — after judge told him not to do that

Published March 4, 2019 2:45PM (EST)

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to US President Donald Trump, speaks to the media outside court January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty/Joshua Prezant)
Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to US President Donald Trump, speaks to the media outside court January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty/Joshua Prezant)

President Trump's former political adviser, Roger Stone, may have gotten himself into hot water once again with an Instagram post that seems to violate a gag order imposed on him during his criminal trial.

The photograph in question was a mock-up of the poster for the 1988 animated film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and insinuated that Stone was being framed. It was published only a few weeks after Stone had gotten in trouble for another Instagram post, one that showed Judge Amy Berman Jackson (who is presiding over his case) next to crosshairs emulating the scope of a rifle. Stone took down that post and replaced it with a one that removed the crosshairs and included a reference to his criminal proceeding as a "show trial."

Although Stone denied intending to threaten Jackson, he was warned against posting future items on his social media accounts pertaining to the trial. Stone apologized to Jackson at that time, admitting "that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted" and insisting that he "had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression."

Stone has a long history of using social media to promote controversial opinions and then backpedaling when called out on them. In September, when he was tweeted flashing a white supremacist hand signal, he emailed Salon that "I worked for the President who desegregated the public schools and instituted the policy of Affirmative Action in addition to founding the office of Minority Enterprise as well as desegregating the building trade Unions under the Philadelphia plan," a reference to Richard Nixon. He also said, "I also support the President who has brought Black unemployment to the lowest level ever," an apparent reference to Trump (although the factual claim in question is dubious).

Stone has repeatedly denied having any connections with the Russian government or its agents, a claim that led to a heated exchange with Salon in April 2017 when he was asked why he believed an alleged hit-and-run against him was committed by Russians if he had no association with that country.

"If I said that, that would be a misnomer. Conjecture," Stone told Salon. "The only reason someone would not want me to testify is because, if I'm allowed to do so, I will put the lie to this Russian myth. Based on what we're learning today, I think you will have confirmation that I was the subject of a FISA warrant back in June [2016]. That would mean that the government's been looking at all my emails and texts and monitoring my phone conversations. They might find out a lot of interesting things, but what they won't find is any contacts or coordination with Russians. I've never been to Russia. I've never spoken to anybody in Russia on the phone in the last five years."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), actress Cady McClain ("All My Children"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa