Trump advisor Roger Stone has been antagonizing Maxine Waters ahead of Tuesday’s primary

By Gary Walker

Roger Stone and Omar Navarro at a South Bay campaign rally last year

It’s no secret that supporters of President Donald Trump would love to be rid of Rep. Maxine Waters (D- Los Angeles), one of the president’s most gleeful antagonists. Perhaps underscoring their aversion for the 14-term incumbent, Trump confidant and political strategist Roger Stone is lending support to one of Waters’ three Republican challengers in Tuesday’s primary election.

Famous (or infamous, depending whom you ask) for his use of opposition research and aggressive campaign tactics, Stone wasted no time flinging mud at Waters while endorsing Torrance small business owner Omar Navarro during a campaign rally in the South Bay last year.

“Omar is the kind of hard-charging young reformer that we need in Congress. He’s an honest man, whereas Maxine Waters may be the single most corrupt members of Congress,” Stone says in a YouTube video published last August. “She’s living high. She’s eating filet mignon while the people in Omar’s district are eating hamburger.”

Stone was referring to ethics violation charges brought by a congressional committee in 2010 that alleged Waters had used her position to help a minority-owned bank in which her husband held stock secure a 2008 meeting with the Treasury Department about Great Recession bailout funds.

What Stone and websites pushing the story last year failed to mention — including, flagged by Facebook users as a fake news site, according to the Pulitzer Prize winning website — is that the charges against Waters were dropped in 2012.

Stone, meanwhile, is reportedly under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for potential ties with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in relation to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller recently subpoenaed Stone’s social media advisor and driver/accountant, according to CNN.

On May 19, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn — who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation — visited California to endorse Navarro at a Republican Party event in La Quinta, about 140 miles from Waters’ congressional district.

Navarro has had to grapple with legal troubles of his own during the campaign — a September 2016 misdemeanor conviction for planting an electronic tracking device on his estranged wife’s car.

The Waters campaign did not return numerous calls for this story.

In an email statement to The Argonaut on May 18, Stone said: “The people of the 43rd [Congressional] District deserve better than poverty pimp Maxine Waters. While her district starves and lives in circumstances reminiscent of a Third World country… she sits pretty in a McMansion.”

Navarro, who challenged Waters in 2016 and took 24% of the vote to her 76%, said Stone is his “political advisor” and has been “monumental in this campaign.”

“He’s a controversial figure, but at the end of the day he knows the ins and outs of campaigning and people are going to vote for the candidate, and not who’s behind them,” Navarro said. “This time around, a lot of people’s voices are being heard. Maxine Waters is going to have
a tough time getting reelected
in November.”

Loyola Marymount University political science professor Michael Genovese said Stone’s attacks on Waters may draw some attention but are ultimately little more than a nuisance to
the Waters’ campaign.

“As the race was over before it began, this seems to me to be a case of ‘How can I raise a ruckus just to get a few digs into someone who absolutely drives the Republicans crazy?’ … Attacking her has a feel-good effect that satisfies the tribal impulse, yet gets you nowhere electorally,” he said.

Barbara Ford, president of
the Westchester – Del Rey Federation of Republican Women, is not a fan of Navarro and would be happier to see either of his fellow Republicans — film producer Frank
DeMartini or Redondo Beach investment advisor Edwin Duterte — advance to a
November runoff.

“If they knew Omar they would not be endorsing him,” said Ford, who personally backs Duterte. She’s concerned about the charges against Navarro, whom she said has also “bad-mouthed local and state Republicans.”

“My position is anyone but Omar,” she said.