The Mark Foley snafu: Amateur-hour strikes again at the Trump campaign

There’s something incredibly amateur about Donald Trump. I can’t quite figure out how the man made so much money, while at the same time coming across as such a buffoon.

And Trump’s campaign only reinforces the amateur theme. The convention was a disaster, from Melania’s plagiarism to the Ted Cruz fiasco. Harambe the gorilla could have organized a better convention from the grave. And following the convention, Trump’s daily gaffes, and double-downs on those gaffes, seem without end.

Which takes us to yesterday, August 10.

Trump was speaking to a crowd in Sunrise, Florida, and decided to go off about a rally Hillary Clinton spoke at in Kissimmee, Florida two days before. Hillary didn’t realize that seated right behind her at the rally, in full view of the cameras, was the father of Omar Mateen, the man who murdered 49 people at a gay club in Orlando this past June.

Donald Trump speaks in Florida, with disgraced former congressman Mark Foley seated right behind him.

Donald Trump speaks in Florida, with disgraced former congressman Mark Foley seated right behind him.

Trump, thinking he had an opportunity bash Clinton, scolded Hillary about the elder Mateen. But seated behind Trump, in virtually the same location Mateen had behind Hillary, was disgraced former GOP congressman Mark Foley — who was in the closet at the time — and who was forced to resign in 2006 after sending a series of sexually explicit instant messages to several underage congressional page.


More delicious, was what Trump had to say about Hillary’s Mateen snafu, with Foley looking on. More from CNN:

“When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign. You sort of know the campaign,” Trump said at the rally in Sunrise, Florida. As Trump upbraided Clinton for having Mateen in the stands behind her, Foley smiled, applauded and even waved at Trump.

The report from the Hill is even more damaging to Trump:

And by the way … a lot of the people here — how many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me,” Trump said, addressing the crowd behind him as Foley raised his hand.

“When you get those seats you sort of know the campaign, so when she said, ‘Well, we didn’t know,’ he knew, they knew.”

So Trump knew about Foley, per his own logic.

When asked later about why he was there, Foley said he was on old friend of Trump.

“I’ve been a friend of Mr. Trump’s since 1987. I’ve admired so much of what he’s done. He’s a different breed of leader and a different breed of candidate.”

Trump was a frequent financial contributor to Foley, while Foley was in Congress:


It’s just more amateur-hour from the Trump campaign. Trump prepares to spout off about Hillary having a bad guy seated behind her at a rally, and no one thinks to vet the people sitting behind Trump before he goes off on a screed about bad people sitting behind a presidential candidate? And even if Trump weren’t planning to go off about Mateen, when you opponent has this kind of snafu, you make darn sure that you vet the VIP’s seated behind your own boss, not two days later. The Trump campaign didn’t.

It’s all so obvious. It makes you wonder how the man got as far as he did.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis — Win a pony! (not really)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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18 Responses to “The Mark Foley snafu: Amateur-hour strikes again at the Trump campaign”

  1. Christinaccheney says:

    <<fb. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il528r:….,……

  2. Mariarwilliams4 says:

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  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    Question: Who’s winning the race to the bottom.
    Answer: Clinton and Trump

  4. njguy54 says:

    Also, don’t forget that unlike Foley, the elder Mateen didn’t do anything wrong. It was his son who committed the heinous crime, not him, even though he’ll forever be treated as a criminal by proxy.

  5. njguy54 says:

    Don’t be surprised if the Dems launch a lovely “October surprise” around this.

  6. LesbianTippingHabits says:

    Both Donald Trump and Mark Foley are also parsimonious tippers.

    Remember, tip generously for good service. Tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

    Thank you.

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    On the other side of the audience, they had seated the goat molesters. Baaad!

  8. quax says:

    Foley is so right. “He’s a different breed of leader and a different breed of candidate.” Just like Foley was a different kind of congressman.

    Maybe we should look closer at these underage rape allegations against Trump?

  9. Demosthenes says:

    Efharisto (meaning, thanks).

  10. Meaning, crazy and stupid.

  11. The real fun of all this surrealism is watching Faux News spin in. Way back over thirty years ago, I observed that the god Reagan constantly accused his opponents of exactly what he was doing. The suckers fell for it to the extent of voting against their own interests. Although Bernie Sanders has been saying what I’ve over the past thirty years, only Hillary will give us a chance to begin dismantling Reaganomics, despite these Trumpers, starting with Citizens’ United.

  12. Demosthenes says:

    Donald Trump is, as we Greeks say, treli and a bufos.

  13. BeccaM says:

    The English language in toto doesn’t mean what Trump thinks it means.

  14. goulo says:

    Speaking of amateur hour idiocy, now Trump is insisting that he meant it literally when he called Obama and Clinton the “founders” of ISIS. Even the conservative interviewer he was talking to seemed flummoxed by this:

    I think that word “founder” does not mean what Trump thinks it means…

  15. goulo says:

    Indeed, some people are saying that Trump refuses to use the word “pedophilia”.

    We have a candidate who refuses to use the term. Refuses to say it.
    There is something going on with him that we don’t know about.

    So sad!


  16. BeccaM says:

    #ManyPeopleAreSaying there is a Trump / NAMBLA connection. Not sure what it is, but so far Mr. Trump has refused to comment or to refute the allegations.

  17. Demosthenes says:

    Sources close to Mr. Trump’s campaign rebutted Mr. Aravosis’s claim of amateurism, and said the placement was purposeful. The Trump spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated Mr. Foley’s prominent position at the rally was to expand Mr. Trump’s support to include child molesters.

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