Posts tagged with "Base of supporters"

No harm, no foul: Schumer asks Army to provide Vindman with same protections as whistleblower

October 31, 2019

Fearing that a crucial witness may now be in harm’s way, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) has asked the U.S. Army to provide Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman—who testified behind closed doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry on October 29—with the same protections against retaliation that a whistleblower would receive.

According to a report by The Hill, Schumer sent a letter on Wednesday to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff of the Army General James McConville raising concerns that Vindman could face retaliation for his testimony from President Donald Trump, his political base, and GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.

“I … ask that you provide me with a briefing on what actions the Army is taking to ensure that LTC Vindman and whistleblowers like him are afforded appropriate protections— both from retaliation and for the personal safety of him and his family,” Schumer wrote.

The Senate Minority Leader added that he also wants the Army leaders to “issue public statements indicating your support for him and others in the U.S. Armed Forces who fulfill their duty to tell the truth when asked to do so.”

Vindman told the three committees that he had raised concerns more than once about Trump and other officials pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically motivated investigations that would benefit Trump, according to a copy of his opening remarks.

Trump and some of his allies attacked Vindman, questioning his credibility and patriotism and sparking bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill.

Trump railed against Vindman on Tuesday, calling him a “Never Trumper witness.”

“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness,” Trump tweeted. “Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!”

Schumer, in his letter on Wednesday, called the criticism “outrageous.”

“These attacks are outrageous and unacceptable, but more importantly, this vitriol toward LTC Vindman may result in professional reprisals and threats to his personal safety and that of his family,” he wrote.

“It is incumbent on the Army to ensure that he is afforded the same protections as whistleblowers and protected from reprisal for testifying before Congress.” 

Research contact: @thehill

Trump to launch ‘America First’ smartphone app for his voter base

September 12, 2019

Although President Donald Trump already has “weaponized” his Twitter account to provide continual commentary on the politics, people, issues, and media that are top-of-mind in the Oval Office, soon he will have another way to get his message out to the U.S. electorate—an “America First” app.

According to a report by Politico, Trump’s reelection campaign plans to launch a smartphone app this fall to encourage his base of supporters to donate, volunteer, and reel in like-minded voters — all while providing the president with more unfiltered access to his followers.

Supporters who download the all-in-one app are expected to be able to sign up for a Make America Great Again rally, canvas a neighborhood, or call voters—maybe even register to vote as the campaign looks to turn passive supporters into activists.

But, perhaps the key feature will be the app’s use of prizes—maybe VIP seats or a selfie with the president—to persuade rabid Trumpers to recruit their friends, rewarding them as campaigns have been doing for top donors for years, according to people familiar with the plans, the news outlet says.

Trump‘s campaign didn’t respond to questions about the app, which originally had been scheduled to debut this summer. But Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital media director turned campaign manager, has spoken about his goal to directly contact and target millions more supporters than the campaign did in 2016.

“This is how Donald Trump stays president for four more years,” said Parscale, holding up his iPhone onstage at a Trump rally last year. “Now this phone is how we connect with you. It’s how we turn you into the army of Trump.”

The campaign already has acquired 200 million voter files from the Republican National Committee, Politico notes—and is spending millions on digital ads, texts, and rally attendee RSVPs to collect data on voters.

Indeed, the app could be used to gather supporter preferences, and then to create profiles that could be used to tailor specific messages to specific voters—down to the color of an ad.

What’s more, the app will not only offer a way to hear directly from Trump, but it give millions of diehard Trump voters a way to communicate with each other privately.

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who worked for the RNC during the 2016 election, told Politico that Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms allow Trump to communicate with all types of people while the campaign app will rally the base.

“It’s not this or that. It’s all of the above,” Spicer said. “I think in this day and age, it adds one more element.”

Research contact: @politico