Roger Stone, the longtime confidante to President Donald Trump, posted an image of himself alongside the president, other members of his administration, and conservative media personalities dressed in space suits with Nazi swastikas on them.
The image was originally made to be critical of the administration over its proposed “Space Force,” a new branch of the military that Trump is adamantly pushing forward in creating. Stone shared the image, however, expressing his pride in being among the individuals included within it.
Accompanied by the caption, “in space no one can hear you lie," the picture includes the photoshopped heads of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, and Stone, among others. Within the image of the “crew,” a separate picture displaying the logo on their armsleeves is enlarged, revealing it to be a swastika.
“I love this — proud to be in this crew — but the only lies being told are by liberal scumbags,” Stone commented in his Instagram post sharing the image. He later deleted it.
After he deleted the image, Stone explained he was unaware that the Nazi emblem was included in the imagery (although it’s difficult to surmise how he could miss it, given the magnified picture of the swastika that was a part of it). He issued an apology — sort of — for posting it.
"I did not notice the image had a swastika in the corner," Stone wrote in a subsequent posting. "When It was brought to my attention I deleted it - so u libtards who are frothing at the mouth can stop sending insulting comments will only get u blocked."
Last night I posted an image attacking me and other supporters of the President that was sent to me by a hater. I did so to mock them . I did not notice the image had a swastika in the corner . When It was brought to my attention I deleted it - so u libtards who are frothing at the mouth can stop sending insulting comments will only get u blocked #maga
Stone is a particularly curious figure in Trump’s circle. Although he was removed from his campaign in 2015, Trump could still rely on Stone since then to provide a defense of his administration, as he’s done so on many occasions.
Stone may also be in the crosshairs of special counsel Robert Mueller with regard to the ongoing Russia investigation. Several individuals linked to Stone have been contacted by Mueller or given testimony to the investigation’s grand jury, and some legal experts say that Stone himself could be a target or subject of the investigation since he has not yet been contacted by Mueller directly to testify.
Indeed, given that he himself asked Wikileaks for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails during the campaign, it's a fair assessment to make that Mueller almost certainly has his sights set on Stone.
The image that Stone deleted won’t likely come about in the investigation, as it’s more of an embarrassment on Stone’s part than anything else. It's disgusting that he shared it and suggested he was proud of it, but it won't land him with any legal repercussions.
Still, it’s probably unnerving for Stone that he was unable to discern what was clearly Nazi imagery within a picture that included himself in it. If Stone was able to gloss over that detail, one can only imagine what details he’s sweating over Mueller getting his hands on.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters