Donald Trump was speaking at a Jon Huntsman / The Hill “No Labels” event, a female audience member later identified as Lauren Batchelder posed as a feminist Trump antagonist. You can see the exchange in the video below…
But she was not a typical audience member; she is a paid staffer of a GOP Senator and a volunteer for the Jeb Bush campaign, as a recent tweet demonstrated.
The news media, looking desperately for someone to embarrass Trump, began framing the narrative an a pro-choice audience member who “Trumped Trump.”
A little research, however, showed that Lauren Batchelder is a current staffer for pro-life Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and is currently also working in New Hampshire as a volunteer for the Jeb Bush campiagn. In other words, she was a plant, she was misrepresenting herself, and this was a contrived cheat to mislead the American people while undermining Trump for the benefit of Jeb Bush. Batchelder, like any good conspirator, tried to cover up, deleting her tracks on social media. The Last Refuge, however, preserved some:
The Bush fallback position, not surprisingly, is that she was a rogue staffer, acting on her own. The campaign’s words, however, were more focused on changing the subject. Allie Brandenburger, a spokeswoman for Bush’s campaign, said Batchelder is not a paid staff member ( OK, she’s a volunteer, a distinction without a difference) and attended the convention on her own (or so he claimed), but then immediately tried to change the subject, saying in an e-mail, “We can’t help but notice Mr. Trump does seem to be very sensitive about being challenged by women.”
Yes, we understand; That’s why you set this up. This was obviously a talking point, since Tim Miller, Bush’s spokesman, tweeted nearly the exact same thing, saying, “For what its worth, Lauren is not a Jeb staffer but the Jeb staff is amused by how sensitive Donald is to being challenged by women.”
Funny, I’m not amused. At best, Bush, Ayotte and the Republican establishment failed to properly train and supervise a staffer and volunteer sufficiently. More likely, she was given signals, like the IRS was in its illegal sabotage of Tea Party groups, that encouraged her to engage in unethical conduct. Most likely, it was a Nixonian dirty trick by a desperate, flailing, failing candidate. Unless Bush can prove that it was a case of negligent management on his part, and that proof cannot consist of Batchelder falling on her sword, and apologize appropriately to Trump and the public, then we must assume that the worst explanation is the right one.
As before, I consider making Donald Trump appear to be a victim an irresponsible and incompetent act. As of now, I consider Jeb Bush to be desperate, untrustworthy, and foolish. He has no credibility as a leader, a campaigner, or a potential President.