#SC2018: Former Donald Trump Staffers Rebuke John Warren

Trio of Trump’s “First in the South” staffers defend Henry McMaster …

Three members of U.S. president Donald Trump’s 2016 “First in the South” campaign organization are pushing back against claims made by Upstate businessman John Warren in the 2018 GOP governor’s race.

According to the three ex-staffers – state representative Nancy Mace of Daniel Island, S.C. and businessmen Justin Evans (of Hartsville, S.C.) and Jim Shore (of Rock Hill, S.C.) – Warren is not shooting straight in his criticism of South Carolina governor Henry McMaster.

How so?  Good question … we’re not sure they are hitting the mark with their rebuke of Warren.

Nonetheless, according to a media advisory obtained by this news site, the three will gather at SCGOP headquarters in Columbia, S.C. at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Monday to lay their cards on the table.

Do they have an ace up their sleeve?  Or is this pushback only going to wind up drawing more attention to an issue that ultimately hurts McMaster?

McMaster claims he supported Trump “from the beginning,” but as Warren has repeatedly pointed out that’s not true.

McMaster’s first choice for president was uber-liberal U.S. senator Lindsey Graham.  In fact, McMaster didn’t support Trump until late January of 2016 – when polls showed the eventual GOP nominee with an insurmountable lead in early-voting South Carolina.

Nonetheless, this trio of former Trump staffers claim that Warren is misrepresenting “the timeframe and nature of governor McMaster’s involvement with the Trump campaign here in South Carolina.”

“As the former coalitions and field director during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, I was on the ground in South Carolina and witnessed firsthand how people from all across the state came together to support president Trump during the primary,” Mace said. “You know who else was on the frontlines with us? Governor Henry McMaster. He was the first and only statewide elected official in South Carolina to endorse our president in the primary. He put it all on the line because he knew President Trump was the right candidate to lead our nation. Facts are known to be a funny thing in South Carolina primaries, but the facts here are that Governor McMaster was with us when we needed him, and John Warren was nowhere to be found.”

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Evans – one of the original band of Trump supporters in South Carolina – said he knew “exactly who was, and who was not, publicly supportive of the president here in South Carolina.”

Evans added that Johnny-come-lately Trump backers included “folks like John Warren who now find it politically convenient to claim they supported the president.”

“Governor Henry McMaster bravely joined during the campaign in January of 2016 which made him the first, and for a very long time the only, elected official to endorse President Donald Trump’s candidacy nationwide,” Evans added.

That’s true … but the fact remains McMaster supported Graham’s presidential bid.

And only flipped to Trump when it became clear the latter had South Carolina’s presidential primary in the bag.

What was the value of McMaster’s endorsement?  Negligible … but to hear his supporters tell it, the governor delivered the state for Trump.

Warren’s campaign didn’t seem worried by the pushback.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Warren spokeswoman Laura Beth Kirsop said. “Governor McMaster admits on video he supported Lindsay Graham for President and as news reports document, he did not switch his endorsement to President Trump until about three weeks before the South Carolina primary.”

Warren’s campaign also offered a ton of documentation supporting his statements, which we will be delving into in a future post.

Our view?

We honestly don’t get why McMaster supporters would draw any additional attention to this issue.  They’re not refuting anything Warren is saying, and in fact are providing additional attention to the fact McMaster supported the most liberal “Republican” in the 2016 presidential election before flipping at the last minute to Trump.

How does that help the governor in the midst of the fight of his political life?  It doesn’t. 

As we noted in a piece over the weekend, Warren has all the momentum in the GOP gubernatorial runoff election- scheduled for June 26.  He will need it, too, as McMaster enjoyed a nearly fifteen-percentage point lead in the first round of balloting on June 12.




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