OMAHA, Neb. — Roger Stone, the political provocateur and strategist once pardoned by Donald Trump of multiple felony convictions, accompanied his longtime ally on the road on Friday. They were together at a campaign stop in Iowa and aboard the former president’s personal aircraft on a flight to Las Vegas, two sources familiar with the travel told NBC News.
Trump was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday to launch his Farmers for Trump coalition; Stone was in attendance but did not take the stage at the event. The former president is set to meet with grassroots activists in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Stone did not immediately return a request for comment Friday night.
Stone has not served as a formal adviser to Trump since the early days of his first presidential bid in 2015, but his actions in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol piqued the scrutiny of the House Select Committee during its investigation last year.
Stone also spoke with Trump at the end of December 2020, after he had already used violent rhetoric in footage captured by a documentary crew.
“I said f--- the voting, get right to the violence,” Stone said.
Cassidy Hutchinson, the then-aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows, also testified to Congress that Trump had directed Meadows to call Stone the day before the Capitol attack.
But Stone’s legal intersection with Trump is extensive. He was at the heart of the probes into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election as well. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee wrote in its findings that Stone “took action to gain inside knowledge” for the Trump campaign about when WikiLeaks would release new troves of its hacked material intended to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
In 2019, Stone was found guilty in federal court for interfering with the congressional investigation into Trump's 2016 campaign and its ties to Russia. He was convicted on seven counts, including witness tampering and making false statements. He was then sentenced to more than three years in federal prison, but Trump ultimately commuted his sentence and then pardoned his longtime ally.