A month before quitting former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign and signing on to become Donald Trump’s new national campaign co-chairman, Sam Clovis soundly disparaged his future boss in scathing emails released by Perry supporters, The Des Moines Register
"(Trump) left me with questions about his moral center and his foundational beliefs. ... His comments reveal no foundation in Christ, which is a big deal," Clovis, an evangelical Christian, wrote at the time.
Clovis, who has taken an unpaid leave of absence from his job as a professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, left his position as Perry’s Iowa campaign chairman to join the Trump campaign this week.
The move has some Hawkeye State Republicans questioning "how (Clovis) reconciles endorsing Trump with his previous stances and statements, and whether he was motivated less by ideology and more by the promise of a big paycheck from a business mogul who has said he is willing to spend as much as a billion dollars to get elected," according to the Register.
Clovis declined to tell the newspaper his compensation package but insisted that he was "recruited and hired because of my skills and my abilities."
But in an email response last month to an Iowa woman who had complained about Perry’s criticism of Trump for having insisted that Arizona Sen. John McCain was not a war hero— despite spending years as a POW in Vietnam — Clovis, who spent 25 years in the Air Force, wrote that Trump’s comments "were offensive and people responded accordingly. I was offended by a man who sought and gained four student deferments to avoid the draft and who has never served this nation a day — not a day — in any fashion or way."
He also hammered Trump for changing his positions in order to curry votes.
"Why should I not be suspicious of an individual who was pro-choice until he decided to run for president?" Clovis asked. "Why should I not be suspicious of a person who advocates for universal healthcare? Why should I not be suspicious of someone who says he hates lobbyists and yet has spread millions of dollars around to Republicans and Democrats to enrich himself?
"Why should I not be suspicious of someone who cannot come to say that he believes in God, that he has never asked for forgiveness and that communion is simply wine and a cracker."
It would be "intellectually dishonest of me … [to] let Mr. Trump get away with something that I would not allow this president or any other progressive to get away with," he continued.
In a July 22 email, Clovis characterized a Trump speech as a "barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued."
Clovis said he met with Trump, who he previously described as "a cancer on conservatism,” and came away confident with his move.
"I don’t know all the positions that Donald Trump has, but I do know this: I trust him to do what he says he’s going to do, and if we get him to Washington, D.C., that politics in America will be changed forever," Clovis said.
"This takes a lot of courage to step out there and do this. You know you’re going to catch hell. And people have been vicious and mean and absolutely scurrilous in their attacks over the last 24 hours," he said. "I wouldn’t be on his team if I didn’t believe he was the right guy."
In addition to Clovis, The Washington Post reported
that the Trump campaign has hired five more staffers in Nevada, South Carolina and New Hampshire, all early voting states.
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