Former President Donald Trump recently told aides to hire Laura Loomer, a far-right, anti-Muslim activist with a history of expressing bigoted views, for a campaign role, according to four people familiar with the plans.
Trump met with Loomer recently and directed advisers to give her a role in support of his candidacy, two of the people familiar with the move said. On Tuesday, after Trump’s arraignment in New York, Loomer attended the former president’s speech at Mar-a-Lago, his resort and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
Some of Trump’s aides were said to have concerns that such a hire would cause a backlash, given her history of inflammatory statements and her embrace of the Republican Party’s fringes.
Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times
That proved to be correct: The New York Times’ report on the potential hire ignited a firestorm among some of Trump’s most vocal conservative supporters, and by late Friday, a high-ranking campaign official said Loomer was no longer going to be hired.
Reached by phone Friday morning, Loomer said, “Out of respect for President Trump, I’m not going to comment on private conversations that I had with the president.”
“The president knows I have always been a Trump loyalist,” she added, “and that I’m committed to helping him win reelection in 2024. He likes me very much. And it’s a shame that he’s surrounded by some people that run to a publication that is notorious for attacking him in order to try to cut me at the knees instead of being loyal to President Trump and respecting their confidentiality agreements.”
Loomer twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress and is known for offensive, attention-grabbing behavior.
She once described Islam as a “cancer” and tweeted under the hashtag “#proudislamophobe.”
In 2018, she was barred from Twitter for violating its hateful conduct policy. To protest the ban, Loomer, who is Jewish, affixed a yellow Star of David to her clothes — just as “Nazis made the Jews wear during the Holocaust,” she said — and handcuffed herself to the entrance to Twitter’s New York headquarters.
Twitter said she was violating its rules, while she said she was being barred for conservative activism. (She was reinstated after billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform.)
Loomer sent The New York Times a screenshot of the tweet that prompted her ban for hateful conduct. In the tweet, she describes Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as “pro Sharia” and “anti Jewish.”
“I know a lot of people don’t like me, but that’s their problem, not mine,” she said Friday. “I have proven my loyalty to President Trump countless times over, and even if other people try to malign me and undermine President Trump’s wishes, I will continue to be a ride-or-die Trump supporter. Trump deserves loyalty, and he deserves to have loyal people working for him who do not leak to the press.”
She was also barred from ride-hail apps Lyft and Uber for making bigoted comments about Muslim drivers. Asked about these comments, in which she called on Twitter for “a non Islamic form of Uber or Lyft,” Loomer said she was responding to a Muslim driver “throwing me out of an Uber for being a Jew on Rosh Hashana.”
In a 2017 appearance on a far-right podcast called Nationalist Public Radio, Loomer described her beliefs.
“Someone asked me, ‘Are you pro-white nationalism?’ Yes. I’m pro-white nationalism,” Loomer said. “But there’s a difference between white nationalism and white supremacy. Right? And a lot of liberals and left-wing globalist Marxist Jews don’t understand that.” She added, “So this country really was built as the white Judeo-Christian ethnostate, essentially. Over time, immigration and all these calls for diversity, it’s starting to destroy this country.”
Her remarks on the podcast were brought to light in 2021 by a blog called Angry White Men that tracked white supremacy movements.
In a statement, a representative for Trump did not address a question about whether plans were afoot to hire Loomer, saying instead, “The entire movement is united behind President Trump and his campaign, and it will take everyone rowing in the same direction in order to beat Biden and take our country back.”
The news of Loomer’s potential hire drew criticism from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a far-right Trump ally.
“She spent months lying about me and attacking me just because I supported Kevin McCarthy for Speaker and after I had refused to endorse her last election cycle,” Greene wrote on Twitter.
Warning that Loomer “can not be trusted,” Greene said of Trump, “I’ll make sure he knows.”
Trump’s 2016 campaign focused heavily on anti-Muslim sentiment, and as president, he barred travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. He has been a supporter of Loomer’s, backing her Florida congressional campaign in 2020, when she ran to represent a Palm Beach County district that included Mar-a-Lago.
“Great going Laura,” he wrote on Twitter when she won the Republican primary. “You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!”
She lost that race in the fall, in which she was supported by her friend Roger Stone, Trump’s longest-serving adviser. In the 2022 midterm elections, she came close to ousting incumbent Republican Rep. Daniel Webster in another Florida district in the primary, winning 44% of the vote.
“I ran for Congress as the first deplatformed candidate in United States history,” Loomer said Friday. “I’m a Jewish conservative woman, a Trump loyalist and a free speech absolutist, and I also used to work for Project Veritas, too,” she added, referring to the conservative group that conducts sting operations on news outlets and liberal organizations. “It’s not like I’m some kind of fringe person. I won the GOP primary in 2020, and President Trump literally voted for me.”
In recent months, Loomer has caught the attention of people in Trump’s inner circle — and Trump himself — by posting videos on social media that personally attack his potential rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
Loomer has accused DeSantis and his wife, Casey, who had breast cancer, of wanting “to play the ‘cancer survivor’ card to make people think they are untouchable from criticism.”
On Twitter in February, Loomer posted, “Ron and Casey DeSantis are social climbers who will NEVER be Donald and Melania Trump,” adding, “Ron DeSantis will never have what it takes to be ICONIC like Trump.”
Loomer also organized a group of Trump supporters outside an event in Leesburg, Florida, where DeSantis was signing his new book.
“Anybody who follows me knows that I’m the person who has been independently leading the charge on opposition research, aggressively exposing damning and consequential stories about Ron DeSantis and other Trump opponents,” Loomer said Friday.
c.2023 The New York Times Company