Following the leaked Access Hollywood audio from the early 2000s and his second terrible debate performance in a row, Donald Trump’s prospects for becoming President grow more bleak with each passing day. Let’s remember, however, that it was so long ago that he steamrolled his GOP competition and looked like he might be a formidable competitor. Trump couldn’t have risen to the front of the Republican pack without a little help from his surrogates. There are dozens of talking heads bouncing from show to show and channel to channel banging the drum for the Donald. While every campaign has their partisans, Trump’s supporters in the media have been some of the most dishonest blowhards ever to rise up in a field known for dishonest blowhards. As the sun sets on Trump’s campaign, let’s look back at the people who brought him this far. Here are the Most Shameless Trump surrogates.
The Arkansas attorney general was trotted out by the Trump campaign once they decided Bill Clinton’s infidelity could be a useful campaign smear. She dutifully made the rounds in the media claiming that Americans don’t care about Trump’s tax returns and that they want to talk about Clinton’s sexual history. CBS’s Bob Schieffer completely grilled her anecdotal evidence and legalistic posturing on a recent CBS appearance. He pressed her to admit she has no evidence for her claims, and there’s nothing she could say to contradict him.
Even by Fox News standards, Hannity has been an unabashed Trump supporter from the very beginning. He has even picked fights with co-workers like Megyn Kelly over their refusal to carry water for Trump. In this clip from a few days ago, he was quick to draw parallels between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and downplay his words as “locker room talk.”
Even before Donald Trump declared his candidacy, Ann Coulter was by his side. Several journalists have reported that conversations with Coulter and her book Adios, America directly shaped Trump’s immigration policies. When Coulter talks about Trump, as in the clip above, she talks like he is the living embodiment of her hard line right wing ideas. No matter what Trump says or does, she stands by Trump’s side, as long as he builds that wall.
Few Trump surrogates are as artless as Pierson. She often speaks with the nuance of the necklace of bullets she likes to wear around her neck. She’s been caught in lies on-air on several occasions, and rarely does a news cycle go by that she doesn’t get herself in hot water. Back in December, she responded to concerns about Trump’s Muslim ban by saying, “So what, they’re Muslims.”
Often seen on CNN, McEnany was a lowly cog in the Fox News machine until she saw her opportunity to seize the limelight during this Trump-ified election cycle. Her resume is so lean that CNN often simply bills her as “Trump Supporter” when they invite her on their air. It doesn’t take long to find video clips where she fails miserably at her Trump supporting high-wire act. Here’s one instance of just such a stumble from an attempted reference to Martin Luther King Jr. on a panel last August.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski landed at CNN following his ouster from the campaign after he was accused of assaulting a reporter. Obviously an ethical quagmire, Lewandowski’s hiring became even more suspect when it was revealed that he was taking checks from Trump as “severence” while posing as a media figure. His integrity is evident in the above recent CNN clip where he defends Trump’s recent comments saying “we’re not electing a Sunday school teacher.”
After tweeting an offensive cartoon depicting Hillary Clinton last summer, Burns, an African-American pastor who spoke at the GOP convention, was quietly shuffled off of the Trump surrogate circuit. Trump couldn’t successfully distance himself from Burns fast enough; the pastor brought the campaign trouble again when it was revealed that he wasn’t who he claimed to be. Burns falsified aspects of his biography including claims of an Army reserve record and college graduation, raising further questions about the firebrand preacher.
New Hampshire representative and Trump veterans coordinator suggested that Hillary “should be put on the firing line and shot for treason” several months ago. When given the chance to walk back the comment, he doubled down on his remarks. He also called Khizr Khan, father of a slain gold star American soldier, a “Muslim Brotherhood agent” after Khan gave a moving speech at the DNC When called out for his controversial statements, Baldasaro has repeatedly blamed the left wing media for distorting his words, when in fact, they had been quoting him verbatim.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has been one of Trump’s most loyal surrogates. Early this year, he invited people to take unfounded conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health as truth when he said, “Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness.’ Take a look at the videos for yourself.” Giuliani’s relentless, reckless defense of Trump has continued through his recent troubles. When other Trump surrogates ducked scrutiny this past weekend, Giuliani jumped on the chance to make all five Trump media appearances slated for Sunday morning. Chuck Todd battered him on Meet the Press, but we have no reason to believe he won’t be back for more.
Perhaps the most shameless supporter of Donald Trump has been New Jersey governor Chris Christie. After exchanging heated bluster with Trump throughout the primary season, Christie began supporting Trump with a press conference that reminded Twitter of Game of Thrones. And no, he didn’t look like John Snow.
Scottie Nell Hughes
Tea Party mainstay Scottie Nell Hughes has been a loyal Trump defender throughout the election. She has been forced to defend riots and sexual harassment on behalf of Donald Trump, among other egregious policies and statements from the Donald. As if this wasn’t enough indignity for her to suffer on Trump’s behalf, Ana Navarro recently roasted Hughes for suggesting she was offended by Navarro using the word “p-ssy” when quoting Trump. It seems that these surrogates have no shame, but in this election cycle, Trump is truly testing the limits of even the most craven surrogates. Though, if they’ve made it this far, it seems that there might be nothing that could sway these talking heads away from Trump’s camp.
Watch Carri Twigg and VH1 Live host Marc Lamont Hill explain why it is an absolute MUST that you cast your ballot next month.