Is Roger Stone’s Nixon fetish a liability for Trump?

Conservative political consultant and longtime confidant of President Trump, Roger Stone, was indicted in the Mueller probe following an early-morning FBI raid. He insists he’s innocent of the charges and plans to fight them, enter a “not guilty” plea, and take every opportunity to tell his side of the story with characteristic colorful swagger.

Stone is charged with witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to Congress to cover up details of the Trump campaign’s association with Russia.

On Tuesday, Stone had some ominous words for the President, saying the Mueller investigation is a “speeding bullet heading for his head.”

His comments were in the context of ostensibly defending Trump but they raised eyebrows on both sides of the aisle:

“I lived in 1974. I worked for Richard Nixon. I saw that takedown. It was very, very similar…The president needs to wake up. This is a speeding bullet heading for his head. Not me. I’m just small collateral damage compared to him.”

Nixon is not a figure widely respected or valorized by either party, given the fact that he was directly implicated in Watergate, a criminal scheme, and resigned the presidency facing certain impeachment.

But Stone is apparently a big fan, so much of a fan that he has Nixon’s face tattooed on his back. He famously mimics the Nixon v-is-for-victory salute for photographers. Stone even wrote a book about Nixon, a man he self-described as a “boyhood hero” of his.

In a 2014 interview, Stone said:

“I saw Nixon up close. He was brilliant, devious, insightful … sometimes less than truthful. It was his sheer resilience and his will to compete and win that I admired. I wear [the tattoo] as a reminder. One must always get up from the mat and fight again.”

Stone, who worked alongside Paul Manafort (also recently indicted in the Mueller probe) for decades, isn’t backing away from his love of Nixon. He thinks he’s fighting the good fight for President Trump… but his obsession with disgraced former president Nixon doesn’t seem to be helping matters.