MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson Grills Gay Republican for Daring to Support Trump

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There has been lots of talk in the media recently about loyalty and on her Wednesday MSNBC Live show, Hallie Jackson got into an argument with Log Cabin Republicans national spokesperson Charles Moran over the organization's decision to endorse President Trump for re-election and one of the board members, Jennifer Horn's, decision to resign in protest.

Responding to a question about Horn, Moran called her "a friend," while the Log Cabin Republicans are not in "lockstep" with Trump, they do believe that "80% our friend is not 20% our enemy." Jackson summarized the Log Cabin Republicans' argument citing, "President Trump has committed to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in ten years, that initiative led by Ambassador Ric Grenell to end the criminalization of homosexuality. Those are the most specific LGBTQ measures that you point to, others are more general, tax cuts, helping families, opportunity zones, et cetera," but then she wondered how an organization that supports LGBT rights could support:

Like, for example, the Labor Department just last week proposing a rule that would make it easier for government contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ employees, transgender workers not protected by civil rights law is the argument the DOJ is making, you’re endorsing U.S. embassies shouldn't fly the pride flag, pride flag rather, that HHS can scrap this Obama policy that stops health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients, the list goes on. 

 

 

Moran responded by declaring that "some of those issues are just either not true or taken out of context in a way that doesn't fully show what’s" going on. At which point Jackson interrupted for a bit of journalistic malpractice, asked "Let’s put the context aside." After some cross talk, Moran made the obvious point that context is everything, using an example he recalled "I was standing in front of the Berlin Embassy three weeks ago with a pride flag raised. I mean, once again these are controversies that don't exist." 

After Moran cited some policies that are not exclusive to LGBT-Americans, such as tax cuts, Jackson wasn't convinced, "Shouldn't the bar be higher?" Moran replied, "Once again, the bar is higher. Donald Trump is the first person elected president that ever supported marriage equality."

The segment concluded with some discussion on the nature of LGBT interest groups and advocacy with Moran accusing other LGBT organizations of not taking advantage of an open door that was available to them when Trump was first elected. As for Jackson, she held out the possibility that more resignations would follow and that the Log Cabin Republicans would rescind their endorsement, but Moran threw cold water on the idea, "Our chapters, overwhelmingly, almost unanimously voted to re-endorse President Trump. We're most likely not going to be reconsidering that endorsement."

Here is a transcript for the August 21 segment:

MSNBC

MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson

10:49 AM ET

HALLIE JACKSON: With me now from the Log Cabin Republicans, national spokesperson Charles Moran, Charles thanks for being on the show. 

CHARLES MORAN: Thank you. 

JACKSON: Your response to Jennifer Horn. 

MORAN: Jennifer is a friend and we’ve served this term on the board together and until 48 hours ago we were both board members. Jennifer comes from a place of kindness and I believe that she has the best intentions for the organization. But our organization is a grassroots group. We have chapters, over 50 in over 31 different states and our chapters almost unanimously voted to endorse Donald Trump for president, for the re-elect and wanted to do so early. President Trump and Ronald Reagan share one of the same tenets, which is 80% our friend is not 20% our enemy and while we don't agree with President Trump on every issue and we're not in total lockstep, we do believe when presented the choice, Donald Trump has been an overall benefit for the LGBT community and has followed through on his promises to mitigate some of the cultural wars that we experienced in the 2000s. 

JACKSON: Let's talk about some of that. You lay out some reasons, your group does, of why you endorsed, including that President Trump has committed to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in ten years, that initiative led by Ambassador Ric Grenell to end the criminalization of homosexuality. Those are the most specific LGBTQ measures that you point to, others are more general, tax cuts, helping families, opportunity zones, et cetera. By endorsing President Trump you're endorsing a number of other policies as well. Like, for example, the Labor Department just last week proposing a rule that would make it easier for government contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ employees, transgender workers not protected by civil rights law is the argument the DOJ is making, you’re endorsing U.S. embassies shouldn't fly the pride flag, pride flag rather, that HHS can scrap this Obama policy that stops health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients, the list goes on. You can see the headlines there. How are you comfortable with that? 

MORAN: Well, some of those -- some of those issues are just either not true or taken out of context in a way that doesn't fully show what’s-- 

JACKSON: Let’s put the context aside – 

[CROSSTALK]

JACKSON: Wait a second, there are advocates who are concerned that this administration has done more, much more to roll back protections for LGBTQ Americans than he has to protect them. I understand you're making the opposite argument, why?

MORAN: I was standing in front of the Berlin Embassy three weeks ago with a pride flag raised. I mean, once again these are controversies that don't exist, they are things that the left-wing is using to force a wedge between the LGBT community and the Republican Party and what this does is, our endorsement is providing a block on that false narrative the Democrats continue to promulgate, which is if you are gay, have you to be a Democrat because Republicans don't like you. That’s just patently not true. And -- 

JACKSON: Let me put it -- 

MORAN: Donald Trump has a history and is philanthropic and his business background of being supportive of LGBT equality issues, and now having since been president has appointed high-level people to the government who are LGBT inclusive-- he was the first president elected that supports marriage equality and as I mentioned before we're not at 100%. I don't think anybody would be 100% with any other person other than themselves. We take issue and step forward and issued press releases and talked about times when we don't necessarily agree with the president or administration on policy issues. But when it comes time to actually looking at the differences and the qualitative impacts on the average LGBT person throughout this country, Donald Trump has been a net positive. More dollars in the pocket, a robust foreign policy protecting us from having jobs offshore, more investment in small businesses that is letting LGBT businesses flourish. These are all things that impact the vast majority of gays and lesbians in this country positively. 

JACKSON: Shouldn't the bar be higher? 

MORAN: Once again, the bar is higher. Donald Trump is the first person elected president that ever supported marriage equality—

JACKSON: The GOP still does not as a platform

MORAN: There is a platform issue -- that's why Log Cabin Republicans has such an important voice in this because we can go to the RNC and we can go to the convention in Charlotte next year knowing we have a strong relation with President Trump, he supports equality issues and we can take that to try to advance some of these things to get the rest of the party up to speed with it, and an inclusive agenda part of a necessary victory equation-- 

JACKSON: Your organization came under fire from former members, those who used to be Log Cabin Republicans including one woman writes on Facebook that essentially what is left behind, what she describes as “a sad remnant that increasingly fulfills the stereotypes that used to be slung at Log Cabin Republicans: overwhelmingly gay men who are indifferent to the experience of women, transgender Americans, or LGBT-Americans who lack the financial or social resources to protect them from the discrimination that they so often” receive. Are you doing enough to protect specifically transgender-Americans, given what this president and administration has done to roll back those protections. 

MORAN: There are a lot of different interest groups that represent the LGBT community in Washington, D.C. and out throughout the rest of the country. These organizations have given up up their rights -- their role and responsibility to advocate on behalf of the LGBT community and for our issues because they decided to be partisan Democrats instead of LGBT advocates first

JACKSON: Let me ask you this--

MORAN: . There was an open door in the White House when President Trump was first –

 

when he was first sworn in with a lot of these different departments to engage and think differently because Donald Trump has rewritten the playbook on the typical Republican candidate and the Republican race and that’s inarguable and these organizations who are supposed to be advocating on behalf of children, advocating on behalf of trans people, advocating on behalf of LGBT immigrants, decided instead of engaging to try to create better policy, they’ve just decided to resist, close that door and not have any communication because they’re going to be partisan Democrats before they’re going to be LGBT advocates. 

JACKSON: It's something you feel passionately about, so do people on the other side of the issue. Jennifer Horn said some of those people actually exist in the organization. More resignations could come, I’m almost out of time, but quickly, if there are any more resignations, is there any circumstances in which you would reconsider the endorsement that you made? 

MORAN: Our chapters, overwhelmingly, almost unanimously voted to re-endorse President Trump. We're most likely not going to be reconsidering that endorsement. 

JACKSON: Charles Moran, thank you very much for being on the show, appreciate it.

MORAN: Thank you 

 

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