On Wednesday afternoon, mere hours after Dennis Hof won the Republican primary for a seat in the Nevada state legislature, he was speeding across the Mojave desert, on his way to Las Vegas. His reason? CNN wanted to have him on-air. A national news network typically wouldn't have much interest in the primary winner of Nevada's deep-red 36th assembly district, but Hof is not an ordinary politician. The presumptive winner is also a bona fide pimp who runs a handful of legal brothels, including Love Ranch, where in 2015 NBA all star Lamar Odom was found unconscious after a four-day bender. Hof starred in the HBO reality series Cathouse, and even wrote a book titled The Art of the Pimp. On Tuesday night, he celebrated his win with a party in his home of Pahrump, Nevada, where he wore a button-down American flag shirt and posed next to famed Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.
Rolling Stone spoke with Hof Wednesday afternoon as he traveled from Pahrump to Vegas. After praising the magazine's 1972 cover story on Nevada brothel pioneer Joe Conforte, Hof spoke about his relationship with longtime Trump ally Roger Stone and the president's alleged relationship with Stormy Daniels.
How are you feeling?
It's a bad day for the establishment. They're not having fun today. They used every dirty trick they could to keep me out of office. This race was not about me being the brothel baron. It was about taxes and how my opponent raised taxes 29 out of 32 times. That's why he got fired. When I came to the Republican party, I said to Michael McDonald, the head of the Republican party, "I'm your RINO hunter. I will be hunting these RINOs." We got the biggest prize of them all.
A lot of my success on this campaign comes from Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, and Roger Stone, who was my campaign manager.
Roger Stone was your campaign manager?
He was not the guy on the ground all the time, but he was an adviser. He put it all together. He started that line about Dennis Hof – he came out to support me, to Pahrump, Nevada. He told the town, he said, "This is below Dennis. He needs to be running for governor. He is the Trump of Pahrump. He's a successful reality TV star. He's a successful television producer. He's a successful author. He's made a lot of money. He can't be bought." That's me and Trump.
How did you come to work with Stone?
Tucker Carlson introduced me to him a long time ago. Tucker Carlson wrote a chapter in my book. He's a guy that I reach out to for advice. He told me one day that I needed to get with Roger. I was like, "Yep, you're right." When Roger came out here, it was a big plus for me. My opponent was using the brothels against me, saying I'm a sex trafficker and this and that. It was all a red herring. Roger Stone came out and set everybody straight: "No, he's a businessman and he can't be bought and that's what you want." And then Grover Norquist said, "He's not going to raise your taxes. He signed the tax pledge. His opponent wouldn't sign the tax pledge and you see what happened." Those three guys helped me immensely. Tucker Carlson gave me the moral fortitude to keep going when they started throwing all this garbage at me, accusing me of everything. Tucker was like, "Don't take the bait. Straight ahead, Dennis. Don't take the bait."
How'd you come to know Tucker Carlson? How regularly are you in touch with him?
We text daily. We're going back and forth daily. I love Tucker and I always try to give him ideas for his show. We go way back to when Tucker was with MSNBC. We became friends. He's just a great guy.
What did he say to you after you won? Has he texted or called you since yesterday?
Yes, he did. He said he looked at his news board and the top item was me winning. Roger Stone said, "Dennis, you just put the throbbing middle finger to the establishment." That's a good line, isn't it? That's what Roger Stone does. That's exactly what he does.
How do you anticipate the race playing out from here? What do you know about your next opponent?
I don't know much about her. It's a very, very red, libertarian-leaning area. Very heavy. The Dems don't even run anybody. We'll see. It's easy to sell my story, following the president's agenda. Lowering taxes and less government. We know what we're going to get with the Democrats: just the opposite.
One of the issues that's going to be on the ballot is closing down a lot of these brothels–
That was a ploy by my opponent. He did all of that. We know he did it. The law firm, Mark Hutchinson's firm, that's pushing this thing in northern Nevada gives him $5,500. The question has always been, where's the money coming to fund all of this? We think it's out of a PAC. We don't know if it's political money or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.
Aside from Roger Stone coming on, what kind of impact did Trump winning have on your political aspirations? You lost to James Oscarson in 2016. Did Trump winning give you a kick in the ass to make another run at it?
It was enormous. Absolutely enormous. He's the Christopher Columbus of politics in my mind. All I'm doing is following him to the new world.
You run all of these brothels. Trump has been connected to this porn star and that porn star. How do you respond to people who feel that politicians should uphold a certain moral standard and that neither of you are within that?
First of all, all the news agencies have been showing a zillion times a clip of me and Stormy Daniels. I'm so disappointed in this worn out porn ho, that she did this. Why did she have to sleep with him to start with? Because he's famous? Or because he gave her money? She says he didn't give her money. I doubt that. I know all these porn girls, that's what they do. Her career is done. She's an old porn girl. This is Donald Trump. She's used him to revitalize her career so she can spend the rest of her life in scuzzy champagne rooms fooling around with guys for money.
So you believe Trump did have a relationship with her?
No, I don't think it was a relationship at all. It was just sex. I can't imagine having a relationship with her. He's got much better taste. When you pay a girl for sex, you're paying her not to talk. That's why people come to my places. We're not going to out anyone. She got her $130,000 and that wasn't enough. You know the special interest groups and the Dems are pushing this whole issue, although they won't admit it. It's disgusting. I'm sorry I was ever on a red carpet with her.
Do you think Trump knew about her being paid off when she was paid off last year?
Absolutely. Just a guess, but I think America's saying, "OK, he likes sex, and he likes hot girls. Well, guess what? We've got full employment. We've got North Korea in check. The stock market is the highest it's ever been. I don't care if he likes sex. Good for him." That's what people are saying. When the women were all polled at the beginning of this and they said, "We're not voting for Donald Trump. Can't vote for him, can't vote for him. Grab her by the pussy." Guess what? When they got behind the closed doors and the vote came down they voted for him, and they did out here with me. They're like, "Oh yeah, he's a pimp." That's what they kept saying. They wouldn't give me credit for being a businessman of a lawful, legal business. "He's a pimp, he's a pimp." Those ladies, you know what they did? They said they couldn't vote for me, but they did overwhelmingly. It was a decisive victory, and I am the RINO hunter. I bagged the biggest RINO in Nevada.