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Press Releases Donald Trump Democracy Wednesday, Dec 20 2023

ICYMI: Trump Defends Supporter Convicted of Election Interference Known for Racist Social Media Posts

Dec 20, 2023

Reporting published by CNN this week chronicles Donald Trump’s defense of Douglass Mackey, a Trump supporter convicted of election interference with a well-known history of posting racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and homophobic content online.

Donald Trump has a long history of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination. Trump’s 2016 campaign infamously refused to denounce the public support of white supremacists like David Duke and Richard Spencer. 

CNN: Trump defends former influencer convicted of election interference who has racist, antisemitic past
By Andrew Kaczynski, Allison Gordon, and Em Steck

Key Takeaways:

  • In a video posted by his campaign in early December, Trump blasted President Joe Biden for allegedly trampling on the First Amendment rights of Douglass Mackey, a longtime supporter of the former president who ran an anonymous, notorious Twitter account in 2016.
  • Mackey, however, was under federal investigation for conspiracy to suppress votes in the 2016 presidential election during Trump’s administration. Mackey was charged seven days after Biden took office and convicted earlier this year. He was sentenced to seven months in prison but is currently out pending an appeal of his case.
  • Mackey’s Twitter account at the time featured a slew of hateful content and he was ranked as 107th in a list of “election influencers” in the run-up to the 2016 election, according to an analysis conducted by the MIT Media Lab.
  • On Twitter, Mackey had regularly shared racist caricatures of people of color, amplified demeaning stereotypes and belittled entire groups with racial slurs. He used the N-word in multiple posts, and he described Black people as “feral.”
  • One post, for example, included a comment about decorating a cake with a Jewish slur, a reference to putting Jews in gas chambers and praise for Hitler.
  • In another post, he hinted at retribution for Jewish Americans if Trump won the presidency in 2016.
  • “The jews fear that Donald Trump is Hitler because they know that they have done great evil in America. They fear justice will be done,” he wrote in December 2015.
  • CNN reviewed Mackey’s tweets on the Internet Archive Way Back Machine and Archive Today, but is sharing only a small subset of them due to their nature.
  • In an interview with Tucker Carlson last month, Mackey described the content of his Twitter account as “pro-Trump, memes, jokes, all kinds of links, that kind of thing.”
  • Jared Holt, an expert on extremism at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, said Mackey’s popularity online was largely attributable to his peddling of hateful content.
  • “Mackey deliberately escorted unfettered White supremacy and antisemitism into the online space surrounding the Trump 2016 campaign,” Holt told CNN.
  • “That Trump and his allies have turned Mackey into a martyr is disgraceful, and the complete indifference his supporters have shown to championing a hate-monger is concerning,” Holt said. “The ease at which Mackey has been falsely portrayed as a simple, well-meaning man makes me worry that there is no sort of gatekeeping or self-enforcement happening in the Trump movement anymore.”

Published: Dec 20, 2023 | Last Modified: Jan 8, 2024

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