Roger Stone Responds to Trump Crowd Post Criticism: ‘No Sense of Humor’

Roger Stone has lashed out after being mocked on social media when he shared a photo that he claimed showed a Donald Trump rally—which was later revealed to be a picture of a Rod Stewart concert.

The ally of the former president later suggested his post about Saturday’s rally in New Jersey had simply been a joke; he addressed the furor by saying, “Liberals have no sense of humor.”

The incident comes amid fears that false stories are being circulated online that make it difficult for Americans to know what is real. Just a few weeks ago, Trump was accused of sharing “fake news” on social media by sharing articles that had been heavily edited to remove unfavorable passages about him. For his part, Trump claims it is the media or his rivals who peddle “fake news.”

Roger Stone
Roger Stone, a confidante to former U.S. President Donald Trump, addresses reporters in front of the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building on December 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. He was criticized over the weekend…

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Stone, a conservative political consultant and commentator, shared the disputed image on X (formerly called Twitter) on Sunday, showing a huge crowd gathered by the ocean.

He captured the shot: “Yeah, New Jersey is in play for @realDonaldTrump. Could Joe Biden draw a crowd like this?”

But his post was widely derided when it emerged the photo was taken of Stewart fans almost 30 years ago at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve in 1994. The British singer had played to a record crowd during a free gig, with estimates ranging from 3.5 million to 4.2 million attendees.

Taking to X after the true nature of the photograph emerged, Stone shared a summary about the incident created by AI platform Grok, with his own comment saying: “Liberals have no sense of humor. 10,000 people at the New Jersey shore is still 10,000 people. #Trump2024.”

But his comment on that post was also hit by claims of inaccuracy, this time from his own side, as Trump fans pointed out that news outlets, including Fox News, had actually put the crowd numbers at closer to 100,000 rather than 10,000. Others have questioned the true size of the crowd gathered on the beach in the town of Wildwood.

Trump was also mocked after the event for appearing to slur his words during his speech.

Stone did not delete his original post containing the Brazilian image, and it remained online as of early Monday morning. It has been shared over 3,000 times, although many of the 7,000 comments underneath were X users berating him for the falsely-attributed photograph. One wrote: “Ah yes…a vista of the glorious mountains of the Jersey Shore…effing idjit.” Another added: “If Jersey looked like that, I’d go more lol.”

The Grok summary of the incident, which was shared by Stone, said: “On May 12, 2024, Roget Stone, a political consultant and ally of former President Donald Trump, posted a photo on X claiming it depicted a Trump rally in New Jersey. However, users quickly identified the image as a 1994 Rod Stewart concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Despite the correction, Stone did not remove or correct the post, leading to widespread criticism and accusations of dishonesty from X users. The incident sparked a wave of mockery and criticism directed at Stone and Trump, highlighting concerns about the spread of misinformation on social media platforms.”

The AI model added: “This story is a summary of posts on X and may evolve over time. Grok can make mistakes, verify its outputs.”

Stone also shared a news article by Raw Story with the headline, “‘Rio de Newjersio’: Trump friend mocked for using Brazilian photo to lie about rally size.” Stone shared a screengrab of the story and repeated his assertion that: “Liberals have no sense of humor.”

But many X users were unhappy with his apparent suggestion that he’d simply shared the photograph as a joke. One wrote: “‘Liberals have no sense of humor’ = oops, they caught me lying and misleading people but I can’t own it so I will deflect and gaslight everyone instead.” Another shared a GIF showing a film character with binoculars that was captioned: “Me trying to find the funny.”

Stone also followed up with several further X posts about the rally.

He shared verified photos of the New Jersey event and said: “Perhaps the largest and greatest rally in US political history #NJ #Trump2024.” But other X users shared photos of massive Barack Obama rallies, suggesting the former Democratic president had also enjoyed his own mammoth events.

In a follow-up post to the New Jersey photographs, Stone added: “No Rod Stewart concert here…”

Newsweek has reached out to Stone through his X account seeking further comment, and has also emailed the White House seeking Joe Biden’s administration’s views on the incident.