Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Don King, and Why I Don’t Trust Al Sharpton
A question I’ve been asking the last almost four months is: did Al Sharpton ever endorse Hillary Clinton? He had said he planned to soon.
“Al Sharpton promises post-Labor Day Clinton endorsement.”
“The civil-rights leader tries to help the Democrat take a police-reform position that doesn’t sound anti-cop.”
My first response in reading this headline is: What the-?! It was August 18 and he hadn’t yet endorsed Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump a guy who pretended not to know who David Duke was?
Sharpton always represents himself as the biggest Obama loyalist in the room. Trump came into our politics because of birtherism. Yet on August 18 he still hadn’t endorsed Hillary Clinton and was still at that late date going to wait a few more weeks?
“Sharpton told POLITICO he has “been in conversation with her people” about the exact timing of his endorsement, and has held off for so long mostly because he was completing a non-partisan voter education tour — not out of any serious consideration of supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Last June, Sharpton said in an interview that he had not endorsed Clinton yet because he was “waiting to see what she’s going to do about voter impediments” in 15 states.”
He contradicts himself within the paragraph. He said he never had any serious consideration for supporting Trump, You would have presumed so. But then he suggests that in June his support for Clinton was in some way contingent on her position on voter impediments. Of course, voter impediments would only hurt herself and she had come out with a strong platform of voting rights. But Sharpton wasn’t there yet. Was he then considering endorsing Trump or not endorsing anyone-which is sort of a half endorsement of Trump?
But now, he said, “she’s showing balance where he’s showing hysteria,” referring to Trump’s recent bid for black voters at a rally in front of a uniformly white Milwaukee crowd. “How do you go to Wisconsin and appeal to black votes unless you’re playing a con game?” he said.
Again, this suggests contingency. He only realized late that Trump was hysterical?
In the primary Sharpton had made noises at one point in February, 2016 that he’d be making an endorsement.
Then the next day said he’s not going to endorse anyone ‘just yet.’
Then no endorsement ever came. Ok, so not endorsing either Hillary or Bernie during the primary is one thing. But he actually needed to see more to know whether to endorse her vs. Trump?
At one point later in the primary he told Politico he was more interested in Donald Trump than Hillary or Bernie.
“Now, at half his ’80s weight and with tons less political baggage, Sharpton has succeeded in reinventing himself as a TV personality and a first-among-equals African-American community leader with President Barack Obama’s ear — and an iPhone full of emails this week from supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders begging for his endorsement before the South Carolina primary.”
“Sharpton has no intention of pulling the trigger immediately, though that could change if Clinton blows out Sanders in South Carolina this week; eight years ago, he took his time in “backing” (but not officially endorsing) Obama over Clinton in the primaries, claiming caustically that “Hillary Clinton has never done nothing for us” — a reference he says was meant to refer only to his organization, the Harlem-based National Action Network, but that others interpreted as a broader rebuke of her attitude toward blacks.”
“But he’s nothing if not acutely conscious of his leverage, and thinks it would be stupid (he uses the word “pre-emptive”) to throw away the influence he currently enjoys.”
“Will I endorse sooner or later?” he asks. “Yeah.”
Uh, no. He never endorsed during the primary. Again, he seemed more interesting in talking about Trump than either Hillary or Bernie at the time:
“Truth be told, Sharpton gets a little yawn-inducing when he chats about this pair of basically acceptable liberals who have been diligent about paying their respects to him. Inevitably, the conversation swings back to Trump and a recent conversation he and Sharpton had after the GOP front-runner had watched the reverend’s describing as racist Trump’s comments about the Mexican government shipping America its rapists.”
But here’s the thing. He not only didn’t endorse during the primary and hadn’t endorsed by August 18. He didn’t endorse by Labor Day either and as best I can tell never endorsed Hillary. Not at all. Full stop.
Sharpton likes to believe he has some level of credibility in the civil rights movement. Yet he made no effort to endorse or fire up turnout?
Interestingly Sharpton’s buddy, Don King, did endorse Trump. So King thought it worthwhile to endorse Trump and Sharpton didn’t think it important to endorse Hillary.
Speaking of Don King:
“The best way I can describe Donald Trump to friends is to say if Don King had been born white he’d be Donald Trump,” says Sharpton with a broadening smile. “Both of them are great self-promoters and great at just continuing to talk even if you’re not talking back at ’em.”
“The 61-year-old civil rights leader then launches into a crazy story. King and Trump were friendly, and King suggested the brash developer court Sharpton, in part to improve his relationship with Mike Tyson, who was close to the preacher at the time.”
“Don King had me fly with him and Trump to Atlantic [City] in Trump’s helicopter, and it was one of the most memorable things in my life to sit on that big, black Trump helicopter … both of them talking nonstop, not listening to each other,” he recalls. “And I’m sitting there. It was probably the longest ride … I ever was on. Both of them shut me up. I haven’t been quiet since.”
Then there is Sharpton’s other buddy-Louis Farrakhan who really admired what Trump said about ‘international Jewish bankers.’
We’ve been talking a little bit about Roger Stone, Trump’s Geppetto this morning with the proviso: never underestimate Roger Stone.
Stone’s fingerprints are everywhere. Brooks Brothers’ riots? Check. The demise of Elliot Spitzer? Check. the set up of Anthony Weiner-which led to the Comey letter? Check. He spoke through a media intermediary-was it Sean Hannity?-with Julian Assange about hacking HRC’s server for the 30,000 emails and got advance notice of the Podesta emails.
Indeed, Roger Stone and Donald Trump go way back.
- Roger Stone’s dirty tricks specialty is manipulating vote fractures, and weaponizing anti-establishment politics to serve the electoral needs of mainstream Republican candidates.
- Roger Stone and Donald Trump have been working together since the mid-1980s, mostly on sleazy campaigns to help Trump’s casino business, but also in politics.
- Roger Stone and Donald Trump worked together in at least two major “black bag” operations manipulating anti-establishment politics to help the mainstream Republican presidential candidate.
Now number one is basically the roadmap to Trump’s victory. Weaponizing anti-establishment policies to benefit mainstream-establishment-GOPers.
Regarding Trump and Stone’s ‘black bag’ operations, Al Sharpton was in on one in 2004.
“While working for George W. Bush during the 2004 presidential campaign, Stone reportedly convinced Reverend Al Sharpton to join the presidential race as a patsy candidate to defeat Democratic rival Al Gore. Mark Ames writes in “Behind the scenes of the Donald Trump-Roger Stone show”
“As it turns out, Al Sharpton entered the 2004 Democratic primaries on the payroll and orders of Roger Stone, who directed Sharpton’s attacks from the race politics-left against Howard Dean. And as the New York Times revealed that year, it was Donald Trump who took credit for introducing Al Sharpton—a one-time FBI informant—to his old friend and lobbyist, GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone.”
Explosive charges, to be sure. Did Roger Stone pay Al Sharpton to run in 2004? It’s either true or it’s not.
But based on Sharpton’s very mysterious conduct in the 2016 election these charges don’t seem implausible.
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