Roger Stone didn’t tweet anything worse at CNN’s Don Lemon than he has said to someone else before.
“Piece of s---,” Stone wrote to the anchor mid-rant on Friday night, after CNN told viewers of an indictment in an investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, which Stone helped President Trump win.
But Stone has said that to many on Twitter — most recently Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), whom he called a “closeted piece of s---” in September.
Likewise “human excrement,” which graced several Stone tweets before it appeared in Friday’s tirade against Lemon and CNN.
And when at 10 p.m. — as word of the indictment report spread and Stone tweeted that Lemon “must be confronted, humiliated, mocked and punished” — he echoed his own words from May, when he demanded that the same fate befall MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
So maybe it wasn’t the words themselves but rather the sheer quantity of them — tweet after foul, aggressive tweet all night — that finally led Twitter to yank @RogerJStoneJr.
The company rarely comments when it takes action against individual accounts, but it pointed BuzzFeed to its policies against abuse, harassment and intimidation — three words that Stone has been accused of many times in his political career.
Stone has been at Trump’s side, on and off, since at least 1999, when he directed the mogul’s first exploratory campaign for president. He used to appear on CNN often in the last election to plug Trump — until Stone called another commentator an “entitled diva bitch” on Twitter and was pulled off the air.
Trump cut ties with Stone several months later (“I really don't want publicity seekers,” the future president said). But as The Washington Post wrote, Stone remained one of Trump’s loudest boosters on his Twitter account, radio show and website — and reportedly continued to advise the president behind the scenes.
Stone connected Trump to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, for example, and reportedly (per CNN) pushed Trump to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, which special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now investigating as part of his Russia probe.
Stone launched his last tweetstorm after the network reported that someone was likely to be arrested in that investigation “as soon as Monday,” Lemon told his viewers. The charges are sealed, according to CNN, and it's unclear who could be charged and for what.
Stone started out with jokes — Mueller must have indicted the Trump campaign manager’s driver “for double parking,” he wrote — but turned angry as the night advanced.
He blasted Lemon and other reporters for “lying,” for “fake news,” and for not digging into Democratic scandals. And the insults flew.
Stone’s account went dark at some point after he predicted that Lemon would be laid off. His tweets are now preserved only on the third-party Trump Twitter Archives and in screen shots.
Whatever caused the suspension, Stone has been skirting notions of propriety since he worked for Richard Nixon in the 1970s, and he promptly fell back to supplementary Twitter accounts to keep yelling at people on Friday.
I have been informed that my main account has been suspended for 3 hours and 12 minutes. Sometimes the stark truth offends some people. I'll be baaaaaack...
— Get Me Roger Stone (@STONEFLIK) October 28, 2017
He said his main account would be back online within a few hours on Saturday. On Sunday morning, it remained dark with no explanation.
“I have been inundated on Twitter with death threats, threats to kill my wife, my family, my children and even my dogs yet Twitter seems unconcerned with these bloggers,” Stone wrote to Politico after the suspension, which the site reported may be permanent.
He told Politico he’d been talking to lawyers, and planned to take legal action against Twitter.
This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly referred to Stone's Twitter handle as @RogerStoneJr, instead of @RogerJStoneJr.