One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s unprecedented candidacy has been its rogues’ gallery of off-brand surrogates and limelight-loving advisers. And perhaps no figure has drawn as much attention as campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson, a UT-Dallas grad and former tea party activist from Garland whose comments on cable-news shows and social media have ranged from the incendiary and the unfathomable to the aggressively counterfactual. Here is an annotated selection of some of her finest moments.
- “It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost [Army captain Humayun S.M. Khan] his life.” —Arguing that Obama and Clinton were responsible for the 2004 death of the son of Democratic National Convention speakers Khizr and Ghazala Khan—though Obama hadn’t even been elected to the Senate when Khan was killed. (August 2, 2016, on CNN)
- “Remember, we weren’t even in Afghanistan by [then]. Barack Obama went into Afghanistan, creating another problem. . . . That was Obama’s war, yes.” —Asserting that Barack Obama started a war that, in fact, George W. Bush launched many years earlier. Or, perhaps, mistakenly saying “ Afghanistan” when she meant “Syria.” (August 13, 2016, on CNN)
- “Maybe I’ll wear a fetus next time & bring awareness to 50 million aborted people that will never [get] to be on Twitter.” —Responding to a gun-control advocate who’d called her out for wearing a necklace made of bullet cartridges on CNN. (December 29, 2015, on Twitter)
- “What’s new are the other reports of the observations of Hillary Clinton’s behavior and mannerisms . . . as well as her dysphasia.” —Offering an amateur medical diagnosis. (August 18, 2016, on MSNBC)
- “He hasn’t changed his position on immigration. He’s changed the words that he is saying.” —Trying to explain away her boss’s seeming flip-flop on his signature issue. (August 25, 2016, on CNN)
- “What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you are afraid to use it?” —Summarizing Trump’s unconventional stance on nuclear deterrence. (December 18, 2015, on Fox News)
- “Donald Trump has single-handedly brought back freedom of speech.” —Explaining why it was okay that Trump, during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, repeated an audience member’s characterization of Ted Cruz as a “pussy.” (February 9, 2016)