Both President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign and the super PAC supporting his bid, America First Policies, have recently hired on troubled ex-administration staffers — one of whom was dismissed for making a slew of derogatory comments about people of color and the LGBTQ community.
On Thursday, America First Policies announced that it had hired on former Navy SEAL and 2016 campaign surrogate Carl Higbie to run its advocacy arm.
“Carl Higbie has been a loyal fighter for the America-first agenda since day one,” Brian O’Walsh, president of America First Policies, said in a statement. “His esteemed military leadership and service to our great nation — along with his extensive experience in advocacy, communications, and campaigning for candidates for federal office — will make him an invaluable addition to the America First team.”
Higbie previously worked as chief of external affairs for the federal government’s volunteer service organization, the Corporation for National and Community Service, under the Trump administration. He was forced to resign after a CNN KFile report in January, which included audio files of him making racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBTQ comments in radio interviews.
“We’re promoting birth control to a Black woman because of the incredibly high rate of children born out of wedlock that are under-cared for or not cared for at all,” Higbie said in one interview. “The taxpayers are tired of supporting government checks going to these people who think that breeding is a form of employment. I’m sorry if Black people are the majority of the targeted audience. They are, statistically they are.”
He also claimed that Black women believed “breeding is a form of government employment.”
Trump's super PAC, America First Policies, just hired Carl Higbie as Director of Advocacy. Higbie made such racist comments that he was fired from the Trump administration. https://t.co/AWyoWmG29y pic.twitter.com/fYBPjUWnP2
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) March 15, 2018
In a separate interview in June 2013, Higbie made vile comments about Muslims and sexual assault.
“Go back to your Muslim shithole and go crap in your hands and bang little boys on Thursday nights,” he said. “I just don’t like Muslim people. People always rip me a new one for that. Carl, you’re racist, you can’t, you’re sexist. I’m like Jesus Christ. I just don’t like Muslim people because their ideology sucks.”
Higbie is just the latest embattled ex-administration staffer to find his way back to the 2020 landscape. On Monday, longtime Trump aide John McEntee, who told colleagues he’d had trouble securing a top secret security clearance because of past gambling and financial issues, was fired and escorted out of the White House. One day later, McEntee — along with former 2016 national spokesperson Katrina Pierson — was hired on by the president’s re-election campaign.
“As we build out our operations for the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 reelection campaign, we are pleased to welcome back two outstanding members of our 2016 team,” Brad Parscale, Trump for President campaign manager, said in a statement. “We need the help of proven leaders such as Katrina and John to promote the President’s growing portfolio of achievements across the country.”
The White House declined to comment or give any details about McEntee’s dismissal this week, stating that it “do[es] not comment on personnel matters.”