An Associated Press review of the publicly-visible social media histories of paid Trump campaign staffers found that “at least seven expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions or broadly hostile to Muslims.” One appears to advocate religious civil war.
A parallel review of public social media accounts for dozens of Hillary Clinton staffers and more than 19,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee found no such inflammatory material in them.
Overall, the Trump campaign employs a staff about one-eighth as large as the Clinton campaign’s.
The material found by AP is unquestionably racist.
Teresa Unrue, a field organizer and graphic designer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for Trump’s advance team, shared a video on her Facebook account July 11 — the week before the Republican National Convention — of a black man eating fried chicken while shaming fellow black people.
“Why are you mad about slavery?” the man asks. “Y’all weren’t no damn slaves.”
“Had me crack’n up!! Thank you!” Unrue wrote of the video. “Please share this with people.”
Some Facebook walls and Twitter streams dabbled in racist conspiracy theories about the media supposedly covering up black-on-white violence — the same kind of propaganda that inspired Dylann Roof to kill nine black churchgoers at the Charleston AME in 2015.
“How about this little white boy being murdered by a black man,” grassroots organizer Annie Marie Delgado of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, wrote in December 2014 post, one of a number highlighting crimes against white people before Trump declared his candidacy. Delgado also shared a discredited, hoax photo of the State Department’s Kerry with Jane Fonda, and commented: “I say hang them!” She was paid $11,146 through April, according to campaign records.
And of course, there was some Muslim-bashing. Scott Barrish, Trump’s primary-season political director for Tampa Bay, Florida, has long accused Muslims of wanting to establish a caliphate-like tyranny in America.
AP also found a tweet from 2013 in which Barrish expressed hope to avoid a second American Civil War, but added: “if our freedoms must be defended against a tyrannical government, so be it.”
On Facebook, Mark Kevin Lloyd of Lynchburg, Virginia, who has been paid $36,000 as Trump’s field director in the state, shared a post June 30 calling Islam “a barbaric cult.” He shared a meme June 16, four days after the Orlando nightclub shooting by a heavily armed Muslim who professed allegiance to the Islamic State group. The meme said people should be forced to eat bacon before they can purchase firearms.
During March, PBS aired an entire segment about a Trump volunteer and first-time voter without noticing the white power tattoos on her hands until they were pointed out by Gawker.
But the AP focused on people who are supposed to be professional representatives of the Trump campaign. Either they were never vetted, or the Trump campaign didn’t care what their views were. Either explanation does not make Donald Trump look good.
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