- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Roger Stone, President Trump’s former campaign adviser, quietly began lobbying on security interests in Somalia after U.S. troops arrived there last year.

Mr. Stone began consulting for Capstone Financial Group on May 1, he acknowledged in a lobbying registration form filed with Congress late last week.

Headquartered in East Amherst, New York, Capstone “buys physical commodities and transforms them into customized and consumable products,” according to its website.

Mr. Stone has consulted the firm on “[c]ommodity rights and security of the same in Somalia,” he wrote in the disclosure form.

The paperwork was filed on Dec. 29 and first reported Tuesday by the LegiStorm website.

“I was not initially contracted by Capstone to engage in any lobbying activities,” Mr. Stone told The Washington Times. “Later, although not initially contemplated, the discharge of my responsibilities included casual [conversations] on two occasions with a single member of Congress about the status of the insurgency and the security of Somalia.”

“It may be argued that my casual contact with a member of the House on the broader foreign-policy issues facing Somalia do not even constitute lobbying, but I filed out of an abundance of caution and on the advice of multiple counsel,” Mr. Stone told The Times.

Capstone did not respond to messages seeking information involving its relationship with Mr. Stone, and the identity of the congressman he claimed to have communicated with could not immediately be ascertained.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced in April that Mr. Trump had authorized the deployment of dozens of troops to Somalia meant to help train local forces in their fight against the al-Shabab extremist group. That number has since swelled to more than 500, Politico recently reported.

Mr. Stone is a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster.” His work in Washington spans decades beginning with a stint on President Nixon’s re-election committee in 1972.

The following decade, he formed a political consulting firm with fellow lobbyists Charlie Black and Paul Manafort — Black, Manafort and Stone — who subsequently took on foreign clients including governments in Somalia, Zaire and Angola.

Mr. Stone, 65, advised Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign through August 2015. He currently co-hosts “War Room,” an internet and radio program produced in connection with far-right conspiracy theorist and fellow devout Trump defender Alex Jones.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated when Mr. Stone disclosed his lobbying efforts. Mr. Stone said he entered into a contract with Capstone on May 1, 2017, but didn’t begin “legislative activities” on their behalf until November.

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