Roger Stone uses racist slur in radio interview with black host

Trump ally caught out live on air before offering denial

Roger Stone appears to use racial slur in radio interview with black host

Roger Stone, the political operative who was spared a prison sentence this month by his friend Donald Trump, used a racial slur during a live radio show while speaking with the host, who is black.

Mr Stone was speaking on Saturday on The Mo’Kelly Show, a programme based at a Los Angeles radio station and hosted by Morris W O’Kelly, known as Mo’Kelly.

On the show, Mr O’Kelly questioned the role Mr Stone’s relationship and proximity to the US president played in the commutation of his sentence.

The host asked: “There are thousands of people treated unfairly daily, how your number just happened to come up in the lottery, I am guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?”

Mr Stone, who was speaking by phone, responded by muttering “...arguing with this Negro”; the beginning of his sentence was hard to hear. It sounded as if Mr Stone was not speaking directly into the phone but rather to himself or someone in the room with him.

When Mr O’Kelly asked him to repeat what he said, Mr Stone let out a sigh, then remained silent for almost 40 seconds. Acting as if the connection had been severed, Mr Stone vehemently denied he used the slur.

“I did not. You’re out of your mind,” Mr Stone told the host.

On 10 July, days before he was set to report to prison, Mr Trump commuted Mr Stone’s sentence. Mr Stone had been sentenced to a 40-month term for seven felony crimes relating to obstruction of a congressional investigation into Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign and possible ties to Russia. Attempts to reach Mr Stone on Saturday night were unsuccessful.

Mr O’Kelly continued the interview after the awkward exchange. After the interview was over and Mr Stone had left the air, Mr O’Kelly explained to listeners that he had kept speaking with Mr Stone because his job was “to keep him talking for your benefit, as the audience, and my benefit to have that conversation”.

Later, listing television and radio networks he has appeared on and newspapers in which he has been published, Mr O’Kelly said, “The only thing that I felt was true, honest and sincere that Roger Stone said was in that moment that he thought I was not listening.

“All of my professional accolades, all my professional bona fides, went out the window because as far as he was concerned, he was talking and arguing with a Negro.”

The slur that Mr Stone used was commonly used to refer to black Americans through part of the 1960s, but for decades it has been considered offensive.

Mr O’Kelly said in an interview with The New York Times on Saturday night that Mr Stone’s use of the word was “clear, it was discernible, and it was unmistakable”.

It was the second time he had spoken with Mr Stone, Mr O’Kelly said, adding that he did not invite him on the show to provoke him.

Mr O’Kelly said he was “disappointed and dismayed that in 2020, that’s where we are”.

“It’s the diet version of the N-word, but as an African American man, it’s something I deal with pretty frequently,” he said. “If there’s a takeaway from the conversation, it is that Roger Stone gave an unvarnished look into what is in the heart of many Americans today.”

Mr Stone has been accused of using this kind of language in the past, according to Media Matters for America, a liberal-leaning media watchdog, which noted in 2016 that Mr Stone had scrubbed his Twitter account of inappropriate posts.

The New York Times

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in