Trump tweets 'thank you' to head of group accused of illegal political activity, racial bias

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Charlie Kirk. (Yahoo News photo illustration; AP, Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post via Zuma Wire, Jeff Swensen/Getty Images, Jeff Malet/NC via Zuma Press)

President Trump gave a shoutout to Turning Points USA on Twitter Friday, just one day after the New Yorker published a damning report on the conservative nonprofit’s alleged campaign law violations and racial bias.

Turning Points founder and executive director Charlie Kirk, who told the New Yorker he considers Trump’s son Don Jr. to be a “personal friend,” appeared on Fox & Friends Friday morning to praise the president for accomplishing “some absolutely historic things in the last year.”

Not long after, Trump — an avowed viewer of Fox & Friends — quoted Kirk’s segment, tweeting:

“Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list.”

Never mind the fact that a number of news outlets, including Yahoo News, have recently published articles and op-eds acknowledging certain successes of the Trump administration’s first year in office, Trump’s commendation of Kirk comes on the heels of the New Yorker report which, citing internal documents and interviews with former employees, suggests that Turning Points — a registered nonprofit that supports conservative student movements on college campuses — may have violated campaign finance laws with its involvement in political activity during the 2016 presidential election.

Former employees also described an environment of racial bias within the organization’s ranks, where the sole African-American employee says she was fired on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Turning Point’s former national field director Crystal Clanton, who stepped down last summer shortly after reportedly texting a fellow employee, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. ”

She continued: “[F***] them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.”

Though Turning Points USA staffers were reportedly involved in political activity on behalf of several Republican presidential candidates in 2016, the New Yorker notes that the group makes an effort to promote its particularly close ties to the now-first family.

Kirk met Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention last summer, where he was invited to speak, and the two “hit it off,” prompting Kirk to start working for the Trump campaign as a “specialist in youth outreach,” performing duties ranging from coordinating events with the elder Trump son to carrying his bags. Kirk and Turning Points have reportedly maintained their close relationship with the Trump family since the election. Both Don Jr. and his brother Eric’s wife, Lara Trump, spoke at the group’s annual conference in West Palm Beach this week and, according to the New Yorker, “When friends threw Kirk a surprise birthday party earlier this year, Don Jr., attended, as did Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump White House adviser.”

Moments after Trump thanked Kirk for his kind words on Fox & Friends, Kirk tweeted in response: “Thank you Mr. President!”

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