As Donald Trump accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate for president in 2016 at the Republican National Convention, he surprised many by including LGBTQ Americans in his speech.
In a halting, awkward cadence which made clear he had never uttered the phrase “L-G-B-T-Q” in his life, Trump promised to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens.”
Now, in his new book The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer shares how Team Trump was focused on a step-by-step plan to woo anti-Trump delegates – the “Never Trumpers” – who had signed a petition prior to the Republican convention.
People.com, which obtained a copy of Spicer’s book in advance of it’s release, shares the details of how the Trump campaign dismantled the “Never Trumpers” and added that one sentence to Trump’s speech as what People calls “nothing more than empty payback for a political favor.”
Spicer recalls the process saying, “[Trump campaign chairman Paul] Manafort and his lieutenants went one by one down the list of people who had signed the petition and persuaded them to remove their signatures.”
Manafort and his cohorts apparently used all kinds of methods to pick off their targets which Spicer describes as “alternating between carrot and stick and sometimes bat, even, at one point, conveniently making the convention’s parliamentarian unavailable to keep the opposition from formally submitting their petition.”
Finally, there was one last delegate left to convert to Trump Land – Washington, D.C. delegate Robert Sinners. Sinners, it seems, wanted the Trumpster to support LGBT rights.
Senior Trump communications advisor Jason Miller, who would later resign from Team Trump over a sordid sex scandal, was sent to do the deal.
“Jason assured Sinners that Trump would be the most ‘inclusive’ candidate the Republican Party ever had,” Spicer writes.
“This is your moment, Robert,” Miller told Sinners, according to the book. “You can deliver this.”
Sinners then reportedly signed “a form that officially removed his name from the petition,” and the deal was done.
“Jason told Sinners Donald Trump’s acceptance speech would acknowledge the LGBT[Q] community, which no other Republican acceptance speech had done,” Spicer writes. “And it did.”
And so it came to be that in July 2016 at the Republican National Convention, speaking about the 49 victims of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump said, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”
He would go on to say at campaign rallies that he would be “much better for the gays” than Hillary Clinton.
He even tweeted about his loyalty to our community.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
Of course, the sad facts are Trump has been the worst president in modern history in terms of LGBTQ rights.
The Trump administration has, among many things, announced policies that would kick 1,200 HIV+ military service members out just because of their HIV status; deny transgender Americans the ability to serve in the military; has failed to acknowledge Pride Month two years in a row; reversed course on Obama-era guidance that protected transgender people in the workplace; and shown support for anti-gay baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop which discriminated against a gay couple seeking a cake for their wedding celebration.
According to The Hill, the ACLU has called Trump “the most anti-LGBT administration in at least a generation.”
Watch below as People recaps Donald Trump’s faux ‘support’ for the LGBTQ community.