In one of the more bizarre campaign moments so far this year, one of Donald Trump’s campaign surrogates told a crowd of gay Republicans that dead cats are voting for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Lara Trump, wife of Trump’s son Eric, appeared at a “Trump Pride” event in Newtown Square, Pa., where she continued the president’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the upcoming election by claiming that dead animals were being registered as voters in order to increase Biden’s vote tally, the Advocate reports.
“Cats that have been dead for 12 years…are getting ballots in the mail,” Trump said.
“This is what they are doing now, they are trying to rig it,” she continued. “They know that on November 3, that map is going to be bright red, ladies and gentlemen. But they are trying desperately to say, ‘Oh wait, look, we got the dead cat Cody Tims. Here is his ballot. He’s voting for Joe Biden.’ That is their plan.”
Both Donald Trump and his campaign team have previously raised the idea that pets are being sent voter registration forms in order to vote for Biden.
It stems from a viral Fox 5 Atlanta news story in July, after a Georgia couple received a voter registration application form for their dead cat, Cody Tims.
The secretary of state attributed the error to a third-party mailing list, which the Washington Post reported can occur when owners use their pet’s name to sign up for subscriptions.
Elaine C. Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution which has investigated voter fraud, told the Post “we do not have to worry about this,” and called attempts to spread the story part of Republican efforts to suppress votes.
The president and his campaign attempted to turn the story into another example of alleged rampant voter fraud, tweeting in July a link to a story about Cody and writing, “This is the election chaos and mischief the Democrats want!”
Undermining Trump’s efforts, his own FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, said last month that the agency had not seen evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort” — dead cats or otherwise.
At the “Trump Pride” event, Lara Trump continued efforts to portray Trump as supportive of the LGBTQ community, claiming, “Donald Trump has been the most pro-gay American president in history. That is a true story.”
However, GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project notes that his administration has committed 181 attacks on LGBTQ people during his presidency, including nominating a Supreme Court justice who will “dismantle” LGBTQ rights, allowing homeless shelters to turn away transgender people, defending the firing of gay teachers for their sexuality, trying to block the citizenship of the children of gay couples, and trying to eliminate health care protections for LGBTQ people during a global health pandemic.
Donald Trump’s own lesbian niece, Mary Trump, has criticized any characterization of the president as an LGBTQ ally.
She claims that Trump is “uncomfortable” around gay and transgender people, and said it was “absurd” that her uncle believes that gay people “love” him.
“What’s worse [is] that on some level, he’s actually convinced himself that that is true,” she said. “Anyone who takes that seriously should be discounted out of hand.”
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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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