Trump praises conservative group one day after report alleging racial bias


President Trump on Friday tweeted his support for Charlie Kirk and the conservative group Turning Point USA one day after an investigation by The New Yorker that uncovered racist text messages sent by a former top official in the organization.

Trump tweeted his thanks to Kirk for the activist’s praise of Trump’s job performance early Friday, lamenting that the mainstream media ignored his administration’s achievements in 2017.

“‘The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.’ Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list,” Trump tweeted.

The show of support comes just a day after The New Yorker reported that Turning Point’s former national field director, Crystal Clanton, sent text messages to another staffer during the 2016 campaign expressing hatred towards African-Americans. Clanton held the second most powerful position in Turning Point USA for five years before her resignation.

“I hate black people. Like fuck them all … I hate blacks. End of story,” Clanton wrote in texts to John Ryan O’Rourke, another former Turning Point employee.


Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit founded by Kirk in 2012, is a group active on college campuses that seeks to recruit and train young conservatives.

Kirk, who serves as Turning Point’s public face, lavished praise on Clanton in a book published last year, calling her “integral to the success of Turning Point while effectively serving as its chief operating officer.”

“Turning Point needs more Crystals; so does America,” Kirk said at the time.

Kirk said Clanton was removed from the organization within 72 hours of the texts being reported.

“Turning Point assessed the situation and took decisive action within 72 hours of being made aware of the issue,” he told The New Yorker in an email.

One former employee at the group, who is black, also described incidents of perceived racial bias and described speakers at the group’s convention who “spoke badly about black women having all these babies out of wedlock. It was really offensive.” 

Kirk sharply denied those allegations in a statement issued to The New Yorker through a spokesman.

“These accusations are absolutely baseless and even absurd,” Kirk’s spokesman said.

Clanton also responded to her reported text messages in the story, at first refusing to comment before adding in a second statement that she has “no recollection” of the texts.

“I have no recollection of these messages and they do not reflect what I believe or who I am and the same was true when I was a teenager,” she said.

The New Yorker investigation also uncovered claims from staffers who said that Turning Point’s activities during the 2016 election likely went beyond what was legal.
As a registered 501(c)(3), the group is prohibited from engaging in political campaigning or giving anything of value to a campaign Yet the group reportedly worked with Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) campaign during the 2016 GOP primary, according to The New Yorker.
A lawyer for the group, Sally Wagenmaker, denied that the group violated any laws.
“Turning Point USA works diligently to comply entirely with all relevant laws and regulations governing not-for-profit organizations. Turning Point USA focuses on fiscal conservatism, free market economics, and related student education and advocacy, all completely within applicable Section 501(c)(3) legal constraints,” she said.
– This story was updated at 10:45 a.m.
Tags Charlie Kirk Donald Trump Donald Trump Racism Republican Party Ted Cruz The New Yorker Trump administration Turning Point USA

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