Politics is never pretty, but things are getting particularly ugly in this election year.
Roger Stone, a veteran Republican strategist and ally to Donald Trump, urged Trump supporters on Tuesday to hunt down any delegates who might try to deny him the nomination at the party's convention in July.
"We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal," Stone said, referring to any attempts by rival campaigns to sway delegate votes away from Trump. "We'll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them."
Stone also called for any and all Trump supporters, who are not delegates, to gather at the convention in Cleveland where "we're going to have protests, demonstrations." Stone's comments came during an appearance on conservative Freedomain Radio, which was captured by Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog.
There have been rumblings that this year's Republican convention will be a messy one, as it is still unclear whether any candidate can win the 1,237 delegates required secure the nomination before delegates meet in Cleveland in July. Trump, himself, has warned of "riots" in case he is denied the nomination. But Stone's apparent endorsement of delegate stalking and outright mayhem is the most explicit sign yet that things could get nasty.
Stone took to Twitter on Friday to urge Trump supporters to "drive, hitch-hike, bus, fly to" Cleveland for the conventions. Stone also told Buzzfeed on Friday that he was planning #DayofRage protests at the convention if anyone tries to steal the nomination from Trump.
Stone told Buzzfeed that he plans to "stage protests at hotels of state delegates of states supporting the BIG STEAL." He took it one step further on Tuesday by threatening to find and release delegates' hotel room numbers, which essentially amounts to publishing their addresses while they are staying in Cleveland for the national convention.
This wouldn't be the first time that Stone has rallied Republicans to physically prevent a candidate from losing a presidential contest. Stone claims to have organized the so-called "Brooks Brothers Riot" in 2000, in which several operatives supportive of George W. Bush stormed a Florida elections office, forcing officials to end their recount of votes in the general election between Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore.
Stone is a well-known Republican operative, known both for employing dirty political tricks over the years and for his flamboyant lifestyle. He used to be a member of Trump's inner circle of advisors, before being fired from the campaign last August. But Stone claimed at the time that he quit the campaign and he still remains a loyal ally to Trump.
Last week, Stone told Trump supporters to stage a "nonviolent, peaceful protest" at the conventions, during an appearance on Infowars, a right-wing conspiracy-theory show run by Alex Jones. But he preceded that call for restraint first by saying: "So, as they used to say, don't wait for orders from headquarters. Ride to the sound of the guns."
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