Alex Jones’ Texts Highlight Infowars Overlap with Proud Boys
Alex Jones’ texts reinforce how closely connected the Infowars host is to members of the Proud Boys – the violent, ultranationalist hate group that rose to prominence during the presidency of Donald Trump.
Content warning: This article contains graphic language, including misogynist slurs and references to intimate partner violence. It also contains descriptions of sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.
Roger Stone, a flamboyant political activist and adviser to far-right politicians, has taken the Proud Boys’ “oath” and has used members of that hate group as part of his personal security detail. Stone, who like Jones pushed lies about the 2020 election in the run-up to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has repeatedly appeared on Infowars as a guest for the last eight years. In the messages Hatewatch reviewed, Jones texts Stone a suggestive photo of his wife, Erika Wulff Jones, dressed only in underwear.
Jones converses with several prominent Proud Boys in the texts, including Infowars contributor Joe Biggs, who is currently standing trial on charges of seditious conspiracy for his role in the pro-Trump insurrection. He texts Jacob Engels, a gay reactionary with close ties to Roger Stone, who harasses other men at Pride events; and Bobby “Pickles” Piccirillo, who accompanied the group to a series of “Stop the Steal” rallies in Washington, D.C., including the one on Jan. 6, 2021.
Jones also chats with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes in the texts. The men work to build a career as a radical-right influencer for Rex Jones, Jones’ son. McInnes then records an interview with the then-17-year-old where he tells him that most women who report being raped are lying.
Zac Drucker, who worked for Jones for six years and leaked video of him drinking vodka around the office, told Hatewatch in a phone conversation that former FBI informant and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio used Infowars to build up the Proud Boys brand. Tarrio does not appear in the texts, but he has popped up as an Infowars guest many times over the years. In 2021, Reuters revealed that Tarrio served as an informant for local and federal law enforcement for years before taking a leadership role with the Proud Boys.
“Enrique Tarrio talked to Alex like he needed something out of him all the time,” Drucker recalled to Hatewatch. “I always thought that Enrique Tarrio was an informant for the government the entire time. Just because of his demeanor, the way that he projected himself. The way that he would be in a conversation … he would always do these prepper conversations where he’s just getting you in the narrative he wants to present [before] he starts talking to you. And I always found that manipulative.”
Drucker said that the Proud Boys and Tarrio stroked Jones’ ego in order to access his Infowars audience. Hatewatch attempted to reach a phone number associated with Tarrio but received no response.
“Part of me feels like everyone was using Alex for his notoriety,” Drucker said. “Enrique was trying to promote the Proud Boys through us. It was definitely exploitative.”
Jones did not respond to multiple requests for comment sent by email and text. He appears to have blocked the number of the Hatewatch reporter seeking comment.
Alex Jones stayed close to Joe Biggs after domestic violence tweets
Biggs, the Capitol rioter and accused seditionist, once served as an Infowars “reporter,” and his texts with Jones underscore how close the Infowars host is to people who engage in politically motivated violence. Jones would certainly know of Biggs’ reputation. Drucker said Jones fired Biggs in 2017 due to comments he made on Twitter endorsing violence against women.
“Call me old fashion, but something about clubbing a bitch over the back of the head before sex really sets the mood right,” Biggs tweeted in 2012, along with many other similar statements over the years.
Drucker told Hatewatch that Biggs would casually endorse domestic violence in conversations with people at Infowars.
“He couldn’t keep [talk of hitting women] away. He couldn’t stop talking about it or making it a vocal thing. Because he’s that terrible of a person,” Drucker said.
Drucker recalled that after Jones fired Biggs, Jones gradually started to work Biggs back onto the air along with Tarrio.
“The moment Biggs got in with Enrique Tarrio everything changed. That was like 2018 or '19. All of sudden I saw Joe Biggs back on screen sitting alongside of Enrique Tarrio of the Proud Boys,” Drucker said.
Jones and Biggs talk about formally reuniting through Infowars in the texts Hatewatch reviewed. In addition to the talk of beating women, Biggs helped set up an event in Portland that drew street brawls between radical right groups including the Proud Boys and left-wing protesters in August 2019. One month later, on Sept. 12, Jones nevertheless entertained reuniting with Biggs, the texts show.
Joe Biggs to Alex Jones, 4:19.08 p.m.:
Well I was thinking maybe one or two shows a week to start off at a set rate.
If that’s something doable down the road
Joe Biggs to Alex Jones, 8:58.31 p.m.:
That would give me opportunity to get sponsors to bring money in
Alex Jones to Joe Biggs, 9:28.20 p.m.:
Let’s talk about it.
Jones and Biggs also chat about COVID-19 on the night of March 21, 2020, as the gravity of the moment appears to dawn on them.
Joe Biggs to Alex Jones, 8:58.19 p.m.:
Gun sales have stopped
Joe Biggs to Alex Jones, 8:58.31 p.m.:
They are shutting it down nation wide
Alex Jones to Joe Biggs, 9:28.20 p.m.:
Joe Biggs to Alex Jones, 9:30.03 p.m.:
Shits getting real
Josh Owens, another former Infowars employee, who left the company in 2017, told Hatewatch that Jones separated from Biggs not because of his statements about women but because of more superficial reasons.
“Jones got angry after Biggs continuously promoted, on Infowars, a clothing company he’d started on the side,” Owens recalled over text to Hatewatch. “Biggs began receiving more attention in right-wing circles creating a sense of competition, which I think Jones had a problem with.”
Biggs is not the only Proud Boys member charged with sedition to find an audience on Infowars. Ethan Nordean aka “Rufio Panman” boosted his profile through interviews with Alex Jones. Viral video of Nordean punching an antifascist protester in the face served as a recruitment tool for the Proud Boys in 2018. Hatewatch reached out to Biggs by phone, but did not receive a response.
Drucker, who worked with Jones as he elevated Proud Boys propaganda and stayed with his company until 2022, told Hatewatch that he felt surprised to see Joe Biggs return to Infowars as a guest after the firing.
“The whole script flipped,” Drucker said. “[Biggs] went from being persona non grata to … sitting in front of this, like, three-wheeled supercar in Enrique Tarrio’s driveway in Florida and all of a sudden everyone’s buddy-buddy … I also think that’s where Roger Stone and this dude Jacob Engels are tied into it.”
Roger Stone: ‘For big brother who is always watching our communications’
Jones initiates a conversation with Stone on the morning of Jan. 23, 2020 by sending him a link to a story about a development in Stone's trial for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in federal prison and a levied $20,000 fine for his crimes on Feb. 20, 2020. Hatewatch reached out to Stone for comment via email, text and a phone call, but received no response.
Following a vocal campaign from radical-right influencers, the-President Donald Trump commuted Stone's sentence in July 2020, just before the former Richard Nixon adviser was anticipated to start his prison sentence. Trump issued Stone a full pardon on Dec. 23, 2020, at a time when both men pushed lies about a stolen election.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 6:52.56 a.m.:
Hope you are well!
Roger Stone to Alex Jones, 7:38.23 a.m.:
You have no idea how much I miss you and your crew,
Roger Stone to Alex Jones, 8:37.27 a.m.:
Everything you have said will come to pass. In the short term Tyler Nixon is available. You can talk all you want about my plight on your own volition but you can never say “Roger said.......or “Roger told me ...”
Roger Stone to Alex Jones, 8:37.45 a.m.:
BTW - I love the Tank
Stone’s reference to a “tank” likely refers to an armored vehicle Jones sometimes drives to events. When Jones has driven the tank to events in recent years, footage of it has gone viral on social media. Jones drove his tank to a pro-gun rally on Jan. 20, 2020, three days before Stone referenced it in the texts.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 8:38.00 a.m.:
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 8:38.03 a.m.:
Stone then messages Jones suggesting that “Big Brother” was watching their texts.
Roger Stone to Alex Jones, 9:13.38 a.m.:
So just to be clear for big brother who is always watching our communications is off the record and I am not directing or suggesting that you say or do or post anything and any decisions you make in that regard are completely of your own volition. On a personal basis needless to say I appreciate your support
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 9:18.50 a.m.:
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 9:18.53 a.m. :
A minute later, Jones sends the sexually suggestive photo of his wife to Stone. Stone does not respond to him. Jones picks up the thread again three weeks later on Feb. 13, 2020 and appears to imply that he wants Stone to return as an Infowars contributor.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 7:14.47 a.m.:
It’s clear you are getting a pardon.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 7:15.30 a.m. :
We need to start talking about you getting your old job back.
In August 2022, several news outlets, including The Guardian, The Independent, and Insider, reported that Jones sent a "nude" photo of Erika Wulff Jones to Stone, which did not technically happen, as far as Hatewatch could tell from the texts. The Daily Beast reported that during an Infowars broadcast Jones confirmed the "nude" photo but also denied that there were photos of his own genitalia in the text message cache. Jones nevertheless played into the idea of Erika Wulff Jones being naked.
"Sorry, I mean, there was a photo I sent my wife of her naked. Okay, they got that. So, my wife looks pretty good. The point is, there is one naked picture of my wife in there, so that’s what they got! No dick pics, no nothing," Jones said.
Jones describes a federal judge: ‘That cunt is in on the ropes’
Jones messages Stone on Feb. 14, 2020, asking him if he plans on attending the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC. Then he transitions to disparaging the judge in Stone’s case, Amy Berman Jackson.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 9:58.33 a.m.:
You guys should not e running scared but telling that judge to fuck off
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 9:58.47 a.m.:
That cunt is on the ropes
Jones sends a series of three messages to Stone on Feb. 19, 2020, the eve of his sentencing. Each message is marked with a red exclamation point, suggesting that they failed to reach Stone.
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 8:42.20 p.m.:
Good luck [shamrock emoji] tomorrow!
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 8:42.49 p.m.:
You are a winner!
Alex Jones to Roger Stone, 8:43.07 p.m.:
The man in the arena!!!
Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in federal prison the next day, Feb. 20, 2020, and issued him a $20,000 fine for his crimes. Trump then commuted Stone's sentence and issued him a full pardon.
Jones chats with other Proud Boys about Judge Jackson in the texts. He lists Bobby “Pickles” Piccirillo in his phone under the name “T Guy Roger,” which appears to reference Piccirillo’s marketing of T-shirts and a connection to Stone. On the afternoon of March 4, 2020, Piccirillo sends Jones a photo of a black T-shirt with Jackson’s face on it. The words “#DirtyJudge Amy Berman Jackson'' are printed around her picture. Piccirillo asks Jones if he wants one of the shirts.
“Please large,” Jones responds.
Three weeks later, Piccirillo sends three photos of a T-shirt design with a caricature of Bernie Sanders on it. The words “PLEASE THROW ME FROM A HELICOPTER,” are printed around Sanders’ face, which refers to the method by which Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet killed some of his political opponents. Piccirillo asks Jones whether he wants one, but the Infowars host doesn’t respond. Piccirillo did not respond to requests for comment.
Engels, an openly gay reactionary, sends Jones a link to a post he authored on the far-right junk news website Gateway Pundit on Feb. 27, 2020. The post focuses on Jones confronting Judge Jackson “in the streets of DC.” Engels calls Jackson “the demonic judge” in the body of the Gateway Pundit post. Engels texted Jones a few times about Jackson in advance of publishing the post about her.
“I wanna rip this judge bad!” Engels texted on Feb. 16, 2020.
When reached for comment, Engels denied any official association with the Proud Boys. About his friendship with Roger Stone, Engels said, "Roger Stone has been beaten down time and again and keeps getting back up. That is a remarkable and admirable trait in any human being."
Engels addressed revelations about Alex Jones' personal life that appeared in Part I of this series, saying, "I don't think there's anything wrong with being a red blooded American male. That's what Alex is." About how he navigates the far right as a gay man, Engels said, "I try to live my life very quietly when it comes to my sexuality. I try to keep that to myself and not hoist that upon others."
Gavin McInnes appears to have taken mentorship role with Alex Jones’ son
Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes initiated Alex Jones into the hate group sometime in 2018, based upon when clips of the incident surfaced on YouTube. McInnes is a regular guest on Infowars, and the pair continue to collaborate today. Hatewatch reached out to McInnes for comment by text and email, and left a voicemail, but received no response.
McInnes and Jones exchanged messages on Dec. 14, 2019, about setting up a regular spot for Jones' son, Rex Jones, on McInnes’s website, that appears to have never happened. Rex Jones, who had been an on-camera performer at Infowars since at least 2015, when he was just 12 years old, appeared on McInnes’s website on Nov. 7, 2019. He had just turned 17 at the time his father spoke with McInnes about him in the texts.
Gavin McInnes to Alex Jones, 1:27.50 p.m.:
Got your message. Sounds good. One issue: we have Loomer and a couple of other shows coming at the same time as Rex. In order to differentiate who is bringing what, we should attach a code to each show. So, “Sign up now and use the code REX for 10% off.” That way, we have an exact number of people who signed up for Rex’s show.
"Loomer" refers to racist, anti-Muslim internet performer Laura Loomer. McInnes appeared on an obscure internet talk show hosted by Rex Jones days after he sent that text. Rex Jones talks about battling an addiction to pornography in it. His father disparages pornography on Infowars and also shares links to explicit sites in the texts Hatewatch reviewed. Hatewatch tried three different phone numbers associated with Rex Jones in an attempt to reach him, but all the numbers were out of service.
“I had a problem. I really did. I quit,” Rex Jones tells McInnes. “That shit is addictive, and it ruins your social life.”
Rex Jones then turns the conversation to what he describes as “false rape accusations.” McInnes, who has a history of promoting a male supremacist and virulently misogynist worldview to young men, then tells the boy that women fabricate rape accusations in the clip.
“Being my age, anyone 21 to 15 will understand this problem. We live in Fallujah. We live in a war zone. You have to be so careful now. With all the false rape accusations? There’s no punishment for it,” Rex Jones says.
“The word rape has been ruined,” McInnes explains to the teenager. “Rape used to mean there’s a guy in a ski mask, and he jumps out of the bushes and has a knife, and he puts his penis in you. Now it can be … ‘A year later I decided I didn’t enjoy that.’”
McInnes tells an anecdote from the point of view of a New York City police officer, claiming that the overwhelming majority of women invent their accusations against men because they are mad at them. Repeatedly, studies show the exact opposite is true, and that such cases are rare.
"I’m not saying this is a fact or a pattern, it's just what one cop told me," McInnes tells the boy. "[The cop with] the NYPD, he said, 'What I do with these girls is I would sort of sit them alone. And I’d say look, here’s the deal. If that guy raped you, then this is what I’m here for. This is what I signed up to be a cop. We don’t want women getting raped, so we throw them in jail. But if he didn’t rape you, I want you to know that that’s illegal. You’d be committing a crime, and you’re about to put a man in a cage for something he didn’t do. I want you to think really hard about your next move because if he’s guilty, we’re going to punish him. But if he’s not guilty and you say he is, we could be ruining a man’s life,'" McInnes says.
McInnes continues, citing a fake statistic.
"You know what he said to me? He said 95% of the time the girls just say, ‘you know what? fuck it I was just mad,'" McInnes concludes.
"Jesus," Rex Jones says.
"95%," McInnes says, citing the false statistic again. "How many guys are in jail right now? Look, I know domestic abuse exists, and maybe I’m too middle class, but I’ve never come across it in my life or known anyone who has known anyone who said, ‘Where the fuck’s my dinner, bitch?'" McInnes says before pantomiming a man hitting a woman.
While false sexual assault reports are rare, police dismissing legitimate reports is extremely common. In one high-profile case, police in Lynwood, Washington, even pressured a young woman into recanting her report of a violent break-in and sexual assault, then charged her for filing a false report. Years later, two detectives in Colorado caught the perpetrator, a serial rapist.
In the texts, McInnes later appears to respond to a disagreement with the elder Jones that is never explained. He sent the following message on Jan. 24, 2020.
Gavin McInnes to Alex Jones, 3:52.19 p.m.:
Hey man, let’s not throw this all away because a kid made a silly mistake. We can build a media empire together. There will be hiccups and they won’t thwart us.
Jones ignores McInnes. Instead, Jones begins texting with a source claiming to have information on James Alefantis, the owner of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant that was the center of the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. In 2017, Jones apologized to Alefantis for using his show to spread false rumors that the restaurant was a front for a child sex trafficking operation run by the Democratic party. Jones issued the apology on the same day a North Carolina man, Edgar Maddison Welch, pleaded guilty to illegally transporting firearms over state lines and assault with a dangerous weapon after entering the pizza restaurant with an AR-15 in order to "self-investigate" the false rumors that Jones promoted.
From Brian Clark to Alex Jones, 7:38.40 p.m.:
So Alex do you think we're in a place to. Drop those Alefantis messages?
From Brian Clark to Alex Jones, 7:38.59 p.m.:
Within the context of a story that contextualizes them
Jones replies, "Lets talk tomorrow."
Rex Jones’s career as a radical right influencer never took off. Drucker, the former Infowars employee, told Hatewatch that Rex Jones stopped appearing on Infowars in 2020 at the end of “a constant fight” with his father.
"I think [Alex Jones] is too large for anyone to be his successor," Drucker said of how Jones tried to bring his son into the business. "There’s no one in that place that could be Alex Jones’ successor in Alex Jones’ mind."
Cassie Miller and Rachel Janik contributed to this reporting.
This story is Part II of a series. Hatewatch will continue this investigation in Part III on Feb. 7.
Illustration by Lincoln Agnew