It seemed bizarre. But Donald Trump’s choice this week of a renegade, far-right news executive to lead his campaign was an inevitable culmination of a candidate’s war with the mainstream media and his embrace of his party’s most incendiary voices.
Trump’s obsession with the media has been one of the few constants in his campaign. He rails against “scum” reporters, withholding credentials from major news organizations and lashing out on Twitter this week against the “failing New York Times,” while granting lengthy interviews to those same outlets and basking in their attention. He exploits the divide in conservative media to bash enemies and create safe zones on select television and radio shows. He questions the core tenets of the 1st Amendment and flouts the judgment of fact-checkers with abandon.
Seeking to move past the tumult that has damaged his campaign since he accepted the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump tried this week to broaden his appeal and sow the seeds for a competitive fall race against Hillary Clinton.
Trump shook up his campaign leadership, launched television ads, gave one of the best speeches of his candidacy and quietly visited flood-ravaged Louisiana. But much of his effort was overshadowed by the announcement Friday that his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had resigned, completing the shift in power at the top of Trump’s campaign but keeping alive the sense of turbulence within the operation.
Trump must “let the media have enough time to kind of contemplate everything you’ve said versus continuing to give them a buffet of things to distract them,” said Craig Robinson, a former state Republican official in Iowa. “This is where message discipline matters. Don’t step on your own story.”
The phone calls to Donald Tanney’s office began shortly after polls opened on that election day nearly three decades ago.
Tanney, then Orange County’s registrar of voters, was told that when residents — mostly Latino — arrived at 20 Santa Ana polling locations on Nov. 8, 1988, they were greeted by uniformed guards holding signs with a message in Spanish and English: “Non-Citizens Can’t Vote.”
The guards, dressed in navy blue attire, had been hired by the campaign of Curt Pringle, a Republican state Assembly candidate from Garden Grove, and the Orange County Republican Party. Their mission? Monitor the polling places to ensure no fraudulent ballots were cast, insisted Pringle and officials from the county GOP.