Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Why of all extremist groups did Trump namecheck the Proud Boys? Roger Stone’s the connection.

Only hours after President Donald Trump gave a debate-stage nod to the extremist group the Proud Boys he’s now claiming he doesn’t know who they are.

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. You’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

However, his connection to his old friend, political operative Roger Stone, suggests otherwise.

Stone has long been a supporter of the violent group which describes itself as “Western chauvinists” and “anti-white guilt.”

The ADL reports that Stone has invited the group’s leaders into his home, used them as private security at his events, accepted their support during his trial under the Mueller investigation and even allowed the group to share a video of him reciting their initiation mantra. “Hi, I’m Roger Stone. I’m a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” he said into the camera in a now-deleted YouTube video.

Earlier this summer, shortly before Trump commuted Stone’s prison sentence, Stone was kicked off Facebook as part of the social media giant’s investigation into the Proud Boys’ online activities. They found dozens of fictitious accounts linked to Stone which would post and comment on Proud Boys material to make it seem more popular than it is.

In addition, just last week the Honolulu Civil beat reported that Stone has endorsed Nick Ochs, founder of the Proud Boys’ Hawaii chapter, for Hawaii’s state legislature.

Stone is a close friend of the Proud Boys’ current leader Enrique Tarrio, who replaced the group’s founder Gavin McInnes. At a 2019 Trump rally in Miami, Tarrio had a high-profile seat directly behind the president where he wore a T-shirt which read “Roger Stone did nothing wrong.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.