Former GOP political operative and convicted felon Roger Stone appeared to use a racist slur in a live telephone interview with Black radio host Morris O’Kelly on Saturday night.
The incident occurred as O’Kelly, the host of “Mr. Mo’Kelly” on KFI AM 460 in Los Angeles, was asking Stone about the treatment he received, after his three-year prison sentence for seven felonies related to obstructing the congressional investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was commuted earlier this month by Trump, his long-time friend.
As O’Kelly continued to press Stone, the sound on the phone seemed to break up, though the line remained open. That’s when someone — apparently Stone — could be heard saying live on air: “I don’t really feel like arguing with this negro.”
“I’m sorry, what did you say? I’m sorry, you’re arguing with whom? I thought we were having just a very spirited conversation,” O’Kelly responded. “What happened? Would you not like to continue the conversation, sir? I hear that the line is not dead.”
After nearly a minute, Stone finally said: “Uhh, you’re back. I don’t know what … You there? Hello?”
Kelly repeated part of the line he had heard, and Stone angrily denied saying it. “I did not,” he snapped. “You’re out of your mind. You’re out of your mind.”
“OK, well, we’ll let the listeners decide,” Kelly said. “Let me go to the next question.”
“Whatever,” Stone said.
The pertinent section of the interview can be heard in the audio above at 12:20, or in the clip below.
Later in the program, when Stone was no longer on the phone, O’Kelly said that he was “still processing what had happened.”
He noted: “The only thing that I felt was true, honest and sincere that Roger Stone said was in that moment when he felt I was not listening … as far as he was concerned, he was talking and arguing with a negro.”
He said he wasn’t all that surprised.
“Negro is N-word light. It’s the low calorie version, the diet version,” said O’Kelly. “He could’ve reached for any pejorative … But what did he reach for? And that’s why I think it was sincere. It was the truest belief he had in his head, and he didn’t expect me to hear it.”
O’Kelly later tweeted: “I heard what I heard. The audio is the audio … I am nobody’s NEGRO.”
After the show, Stone called the claim that he used the slur “categorically false” in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Seems obvious that Kelly seeks to boost his pathetic ratings with a fabricated claim,” he added.
Stone has been accused of using similar language in the past, according to Media Matters for America, which noted in 2016 that he had scrubbed his Twitter account of offensive posts.
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