A report by The Associated Press, examining thesocial media accounts of dozens of current and former staffers employed by both the Trump and Clinton campaigns,reveals Trump’s campaign staff share offensive views publicly.
“Donald Trump’s paid campaign staffers have declared on their personal social media accounts that Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war,” the AP reported.
“Most come across as dedicated, enthusiastic partisans,” the AP said of the Trump staffers it looked at, “but at least seven expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions, or broadly hostile to Muslims.”
The AP said it embarked on this study, in part, because these individuals could hold a lot of power if Trump wins the election.
“Their judgment matters beyond the campaign because the paid staff of winning presidential candidates often receives jobs in the next administration,” the AP said.
For example, “Before being tapped as statewide director of coalitions, Craig Bachler of Bradenton, Florida, posted jokes in 2015 about Mexican accents superimposed over pictures of an overweight man wearing a sombrero. Bachler was named by the campaign as official staff in November.”
Teresa Unrue, a Trump field organizer and graphic designer, “approvingly posted video of a Black man eating fried chicken and criticizing fellow Blacks for ignorance, irresponsibility and having too many children.”
She said the video, which she shared on her Facebook account the week before the Republican National Convention, “Had me crack’n up!! Thank you!” and asked friends to “Please share this with people.” The video shows a Black man eating fried chicken while shaming fellow Black people, saying, “Why are you mad about slavery Y’all weren’t no damn slaves.”
In another post, Unrue shared a link to a website that alleged that the U.S. government assassinated Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. And in yet another post, she said, “We need Islam control, not gun control.”
“Fear or dislike of Muslims was a recurring theme,” the AP said.
A Trump field organizer in Virginia said that Muslims were seeking to impose Sharia law in America and that “those who understand Islam for what it is are gearing up for the fight.”
Mark Kevin Lloyd of Lynchburg, Virginia, who the AP said has been paid $36,000 as Trump’s field director in the state, shared a post on Facebook on June 30 calling Islam “a barbaric cult.”
Meanwhile, on June 16, four days after the Orlando nightclub shooting by a heavily armed Muslim man, Lloyd posted a meme that said people should be forced to eat bacon before they can purchase firearms.
In a separate post Lloyd said President Barack Obama was helping the Iranian nuclear program as part of the president’s “final solution to the Israel problem,” a phrase evoking the Holocaust’s “Final Solution.”
Phillip Dann, a paid Trump field organizer in Massachusetts, shared a meme mocking “Muslim sympathizers.” He also shared an article about Trump threatening to bring back waterboarding, “or worse,” and added “where is the gasoline”
Annie Marie Delgado, a paid grassroots organizer for Trump in Florida, criticized the appointment of a Muslim American judge in New York. “Step by step… this is how American culture will end,” she wrote in February, saying it was only reasonable to believe that the judge would implement Sharia law.
Delgado also shared a discredited, hoax photo of Secretary of State John Kerry with Jane Fonda alluding they were communists, saying: “I say hang them!”
Scott Barrish, Trump’s political director for the Tampa Bay region in Florida, “took his views beyond social media posts,” the AP said, reporting that in 2011, “Barrish drew local press coverage for writing to the head of the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations saying he was wise to its plans to establish a totalitarian theocracy in the U.S.”
Barrish wrote: “This is us vs. you. In the great words of the late President Ronald Reagan, ‘I win, you lose!'”
In 2013 Barrish tweeted that he hoped America wasn’t headed for civil war, but “if our freedoms must be defended against a tyrannical government, so be it.”
The AP said it was able to review the accounts “of only a minority of Trump staffers: Others set their accounts to private, some could not be found or identified with confidence as Trump campaign employees.”
The news agency said it sent written questions to the Trump campaign with examples of the posts, but the campaign has not responded to several requests.
The AP also reviewed the accounts of “more than three dozen employees” of Clinton’s campaign, it said, “and found nothing as inflammatory.”
One Clinton staffer said only that Trump’s public speaking style “reminded him of a roommate who had taken too many hallucinogenic mushrooms,” according to the AP.
The AP also reviewed images attached to more than 19,000 stolen internal emails from the Democratic National Committee for racially or religiously inflammatory memes, saying it found “nothing of note.”