While the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful’s controversial comments are well documented, his paid staff appears to be just as polarizing.
Donald Trump has made disparaging comments about a variety of minority groups throughout his campaign, including Hispanics, Muslims, veterans, and the disabled. A closer examination of the social media accounts of Trump’s staffers shows a similar tendency toward racism and xenophobia.
An examination conducted by the Associated Press surveyed the accounts of 50 current and former Trump campaign employees. Of these, at least seven “expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions or broadly hostile to Muslims.”
One staffer, a graphic designer, posted a video of a black man eating fried chicken with accompanying text stereotyping blacks as ignorant and having too many children.
Another staffer warned that Muslims were attempting to impose sharia law in the US, and that “those who understand Islam for what it is are gearing up for the fight.”
A field organizer for Trump in Virginia, Mark Kevin Lloyd, shared a post that described Islam as “a barbaric cult.” In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, carried out by a Muslim, Lloyd published a meme that suggested gun buyers be required to eat bacon before any sale.
By comparison, a look at the social media accounts of over three dozen staffers for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proved far less controversial.
“One staffer said Trump’s style of speaking reminded him of a roommate who had taken too many hallucinogenic mushrooms,” the report reads.
A look at the 19,000 leaked internal emails of the Democratic National Committee also found no examples of racist or xenophobic remarks.
Trump rose to the top in the Republican primary largely by appealing to the anxieties of the party’s white male base. It should come as no surprise that many of his national staffers were admirers of their candidate’s divisive rhetoric.