Roger Stone has urged President Donald Trump to declare "martial law" if he loses reelection in November.
In an interview with the far-right conspiracy-theory site Infowars, Stone called for Trump to form a special task force of federal agents to "physically stand in the way of criminal activity" in the election.
He repeated Trump's baseless accusations that the election result would be fraudulent, as polls show the Democratic candidate Joe Biden maintaining a lead over the president.
After being convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering last year in relation to his activities during the 2016 election, Stone was granted clemency by Trump.
Roger Stone, the self-described political "dirty trickster" who advised Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, has urged the president to seize power should he lose November's election.
In an interview with Alex Jones' far-right conspiracy-theory site, Infowars, Stone echoed groundless claims pushed by Trump that the Democratic Party would rig the election.
Stone encouraged Trump to consider declaring "martial law" should he lose reelection, or invoke the Insurrection Act. Using those new powers, Stone suggested, he should order the arrest of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, "the Clintons," and "anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity."
The comments were made by Stone last week and first reported over the weekend by the progressive group MediaMatters.
Stone called for Trump to appoint former Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, as a special counsel "with the specific task of forming an Election Day operation using the FBI, federal marshals, and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections and if necessary to physically stand in the way of criminal activity."
He singled out Nevada: "The ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshals and taken from the state. They are completely corrupted. No votes should be counted from the state of Nevada if that turns out to be the provable case. Send federal marshals to the Clark county board of elections, Mr. President!"
Nevada is regarded by pollsters as leaning Democratic and is being targeted by the Trump campaign amid signs it is becoming more competitive, according to The Cook Political Report.
He said journalists should be rounded up for "seditious activities" relating to the election, singling out a report by The Daily Beast on left-wing groups discussing what to do in the event of a disputed election in November and violence on the streets.
"They want to play war — this is war," Stone said, adding: "I'm for a legal election. Everything I'm going to be involved with in terms of helping Donald Trump get elected will be perfectly transparent and legal."
Stone's claims in the interview echo Trump's narrative that an expected surge in mail-in voting might lead to widespread voter fraud. Observers fear the president is seeking to erode trust in the election, depress voter turnout, and prepare the ground to delegitimize the election if he loses.
Stone is a veteran Republican strategist and longtime confidant of Trump. In 2016, he was a frequent guest on Infowars — which traffics in conspiracy theories that "elites" and "deep state" operatives secretly manipulate world events — and brokered a Trump interview on the site. Jones has since been barred from several of the largest social-media platforms for promoting hate speech.
Stone was convicted last year of lying to Congress and witness tampering relating to a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but Trump granted him clemency in July.
Trump had described Stone's trial as unfair in explaining why he issued the clemency order.
Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor on Robert Mueller's special-counsel investigation, said in an op-ed article for The New York Times that Trump was rewarding Stone for "keeping his lips sealed."
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