Roger Stone, a long-time Republican operative and Trump ally, has flip-flopped after outrage over a social media post which showed him and other Trump allies as members of the recently announced space force. All their suits contained Nazi insignia.
The Nazi space force meme actually has its foundations in anti-Trump forums on Reddit and 4chan and came into existence soon after Vice President Mike Pence touted the possibility of a sixth branch of the American military in a news conference last week, as reported by the Washington Post.
The meme showed Stone, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pence, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Fox News host Sean Hannity and Donald Trump all wearing space suits with Nazi insignia on their outfits. The meme also contained a larger swastika on the right top corner of the image.
“In space no one can hear you lie,” the caption on the meme read.
Stone decided to post the image on his Instagram with the following caption.
“I love this,” Stone wrote. “Proud to be in this crew — but the only lies being told are by liberal scumbags.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 14, 2018
Not altogether unsurprisngly, the Nazi space force meme soon attracted a lot of attention on social media, with even some of Stone’s own followers mystified by the meaning of the image. Several users immediately noticed the swastika, which, quite frankly, was impossible to ignore.
“Yeah, the swastika is really going to help you out, traitor,” wrote one user.
Facing intense backlash, Stone quickly deleted the image, but not before a few observant journalists had already taken note of his actions and screengrabbed the post. When asked why would he post something so deliberately inflammatory — and actually degrading to his own image — Stone told the Post that he simply hadn’t seen the swastikas.
He claimed that he was pleased that someone who didn’t like Trump or the administration’s idea of a space force had taken so much effort to make him a meme.
“I love that I was be[ing] mocked by the left — it’s a badge of honor,” he said. “The image was sent to me by a hater.”
Although Stone’s justification that he didn’t see the Nazi insignia appears a little flimsy considering the swastikas are quite difficult to ignore, posting such an image wouldn’t be entirely out of his ambit. After all, he is someone who revels in provocation.
Stone later posted an image with the word “sorry” on Instagram.