News & Politics

David French: Trump Operatives Tried to Intimidate Me

National Review columnist and Iraq War vet David French said today that he was threatened by someone in the Trump campaign after his name was floated as a third-party candidate, and that even before that, one of his children had been subjected to horrible, racially motivated abuse online.

“He unlocked something terrible in this country,” French told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday.

French, who announced his decision not to run for president Sunday night, said that a person claiming to be with the Trump campaign contacted his wife’s family in in Tennessee in a “ham-handed effort to intimidate” him after news broke of his potential candidacy.

“An individual called and said ‘I’m sorry but I’ve been asked by the Trump campaign to make sure that David knows this will be really bad for him,'” French told the “Morning Joe” panel. He went on to say that “they identified themselves as someone affiliated with the Trump campaign who had been told to call,” and that he only learned about the call after he decided not to run for office.

French also claimed that his adopted Ethiopian daughter has faced abuse from Trump’s online troll army because of his articles criticizing the presumptive GOP nominee.

“I assumed if I did this, look, I have been up against Trump for some time, and the assaults on my family have been overwhelming just as a writer,” French said. “As everyone knows, Trump has an online racist mob that he often stokes by retweeting some of these horrible white supremacists. As that online racist mob is fond of pointing out I have a multiracial family and so they have gone after my youngest daughter in the worst way imaginable.”

“They attacked you for having a multiracial family?” co-host Joe Scarborough asked incredulously.

“Oh, you have no idea,” French replied.

Asked by Scarborough if he considered the call to his wife’s family a threat, French just repeated that he “considered it a ham-handed effort to intimidate me.”

Although French offered no proof that the threat came from the Trump campaign, it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to believe it given Trump’s boorish, bullying manner. Spokeswoman Hope Hicks, however, denied the the threat came from Trump in an email to Politico.

“There is absolutely no truth to this,” Hicks wrote.