Roger Stone is in full-on cartoon-villain mode since being banned by Twitter on Saturday night, vowing to sue the company and characterizing their dispute as a battle for free speech itself.
“I’ll be baaaaaak,” the sometimes adviser to President Donald Trump wrote in a text message to New York. “They will soon learn they have bitten off more than they can chew.”
He wouldn’t disclose when he plans to sue, saying only that it’ll be “when I am ready to.” But he added, “I am advised I have a very strong legal case. Twitter wants to avoid being regulated like a utility. No one has been willing to file the antitrust case. I am.” (While most antitrust cases are brought by the government, private parties can bring them too, under certain circumstances. Whether Stone would have the standing to do so is a separate question, of course.)
More important, he said, “I also know a little bit about generating publicity.”
Stone at first believed the ban would be temporary, but subsequent reports indicate it’s permanent.
Stone told New York he was “uncertain why” he’d been banned, but the prevailing view on Twitter is that it was the graphic insults he spent much of Friday evening lobbing at reporters and commentators following the news that special counsel Robert Mueller had filed the first charges in the Russia probe. (Asked who Stone believes will be indicted, he mockingly suggested: “Manafort’s driver for double parking.” Stone, who’s already testified before Congress regarding potential collusion with Russia, is a longtime friend and former business partner of Manafort’s.) A spokesperson for Twitter directed BuzzFeed to its terms of service by way of explanation for the decision.
During his Twitter rant, Stone called CNN anchor Don Lemon “dumber than dog shit,” “a dull witted arrogant partyboi,” and an “ignorant lying covksucker.” He said Lemon “must be confronted, humiliated, mocked and punished.” He also labeled New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow a “fast talking arrogant fake news piece of shit.”
In tone and content, the tweets were not dissimilar to many other things Stone has said on the social-media platform over the years. He’s often as colorful as he is offensive and vitriolic, calling critics “fat” or “ugly” or “stupid.” He often focuses his ire on members of the media. (Last week, he used his account to call for a boycott of this reporter, complete with a hashtag.) Although one clear difference on Friday was the volume of tweets he sent.
In the media, following his removal, Stone complained about being banned while users who he claims have threatened him, his family, and his little dogs, too, continue to tweet freely. He said on Saturday that he believes his removal from the platform is “because I am Roger Stone.”