Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes his way through he crowd after speaking during a campaign press conference event at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fl., March 08, 2016. 
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty

Citizens United chief takes leadership role on Team Trump

When Steve Bannon signed on as the CEO of Donald Trump’s campaign, it marked a stunning development in Republican politics: Breitbart News was effectively in charge of the Republican presidential nominee’s national operation. It was emblematic of the GOP’s fringe taking over.
Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t have come as too big of a surprise to see David Bossie join the same team in a leadership role. The Washington Post reported:
David N. Bossie, the veteran conservative operative who has investigated the Clintons for more than two decades, has been named Donald Trump’s deputy campaign manager. […]
Bossie participated Thursday in strategy sessions at Trump Tower where he was introduced to campaign aides and Trump associates, according to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Conway said Bossie would be assisting her with managing day-to-day operations and with strategic planning.
The challenge is knowing where to start.
For those who were politically engaged in the 1990s, Bossie’s name may sound familiar: he rose to prominence as a relentless Republican congressional staffer, hell-bent on tearing down the Clintons at all costs. After Bossie was caught engaging in unethical behavior, House GOP leaders forced his ouster.
Former George H.W. Bush famously rejected Bossie’s work, dismissing his “filthy campaign tactics.”
The Republican operative eventually parlayed that notoriety into his own organization, called Citizens United, whose work was also the subject of a historic Supreme Court case that ultimately opened the door to greater corporate influence in American political campaigns. Washington Monthly’s Nancy LeTourneau noted the irony of Trump, who used to denounce super PACs, hiring the guy who was responsible for creating super PACs.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the Republican megadonor that ties multiple, seemingly disparate threads together.
The Washington Post’s report noted that Bossie is “a friend of Bannon and Conway whose political projects have often overlapped with his own. He is close to the secretive Mercer family, who have funded his organizations and been major backers of Trump’s candidacy.”
That’s no small detail. As Rachel noted on the show last week, hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer financed a super PAC that Kellyanne Conway used to run; Mercer is also reportedly the single largest funder of Breitbart News, which was led by Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon; and now Bossie has joined Team Trump by way of Mercer-backed organizations.
The Post added, “That leaves three Mercer allies – Bannon, Conway and Bossie – atop the Trump campaign.”
The Rachel Maddow Show, 8/25/16, 9:04 PM ET

Trump mainstreaming fringe right with Breitbart hire

Rachel Maddow shows how billionaire Robert Mercer is the link that connects the Donald Trump campaign and Steve Bannon’s fringe-right news outlet Breitbart News, and how that is leading to the mainstreaming of previously obscure ideas.
Correction: The group Bossie led is Citizens United, not Citizens United Not Timid. The above text has been corrected.

Donald Trump

Citizens United chief takes leadership role on Team Trump