The directions to Roger Stone’s worldwide headquarters of conspiracy theories, self-promotion and Nixonian arcana are — like much about Roger Stone — confusing and mysterious.
The first version, received from Stone via text message, leads to a blanched, deserted parking lot next to a vacant building behind a chain-link fence in Oakland Park, north of Fort Lauderdale. A place called Scandals Saloon sits across the street, but it turns out Stone has sent the wrong address.
“Well, you will have to kill that lede,” says the man who knows enough about this dance with the journalistic profession to recognize what might have been a resonant detail in a first paragraph. Stone, after all, has seldom met a scandal he couldn’t curl up with and adore.
The next part of the directions to his personal office and broadcast studio calls for locating a “door discreetly marked ‘A,’ ” which might be helpful, except for the crucial fact that there is no door discreetly marked “A” at the new address next to a bathroom supplies depot. There is, however, a blacked-out door with no markings, and the man who emerges from behind it, wearing shorts, loafers with no socks, a rakishly loosened tie and an untucked white dress shirt, is unmistakably Stone.
“What happened to our ‘A’?” he calls out to his two young assistants.
Inside, Stone keeps a bong in the shape of Richard Nixon’s head and a framed drawing of a roll of toilet paper with Nixon’s face on each sheet. In the early 1970s, Stone became a master of the darker political arts, meddling surreptitiously with the Democrats, as part of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President, nicknamed CREEP.
More than 4½ decades later, Stone still likes to think of himself as a man who operates in the shadows. “P.S.: I have no boring clients,” he tantalizingly says one evening, without naming names or explaining exactly what he does. But the darkened office of this buddy of President Donald Trump is also buzzy because the old trickster is having a very public moment.
A regular human might find it unsettling that Congress is threatening to haul him before a committee investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Stone is reveling in it.
“I want to get called,” Stone, 64, says over dinner one night. “I just want a fair chance to tell my side of it.”
Stone dismisses one of his main pursuers, the former federal prosecutor and California Democratic congressman Adam B. Schiff, as being “full of Schiff.” Stone is thinking about suing Schiff for defamation, even though congressional immunity makes such legal action nearly impossible.
Schiff, in a sense, is a fantastic, accidental PR man for Stone. The congressional attention couldn’t arrive at a better time for Stone, who has a book, “The Making of the President 2016,” to hawk and who will be featured next month in a much hyped Netflix…