At a casino resort in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia this month, Lara Trump revealed the launch of "Women for Trump," a coalition dedicated to rallying female voters in support of the president as he seeks reelection in 2020.
"Is your life better now than it was before Donald Trump got elected?" Lara, the president's daughter-in-law, asked the crowd of several hundred. "Do you have a little more money in your bank account? Did you get a break on your tax return this year?"
The women-led group is the latest iteration of female loyalists banding together to support Trump (remember the Trumpettes?), and it's packed with a strange mix of activists, fringe entertainers, and problematic politicians.
Here's everything you need to know about the "Women for Trump."
What is the coalition?
According to Hannah Castillo, the director of coalitions for Tump's 2020 campaign, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Women for Trump is a, "national effort to mobilize and empower women who support President Trump to help get the message of 'Promises Made. Promises Kept' into their communities across America."
“From public safety to economic opportunity, women have directly benefitted from President Trump’s policies,” Castillo says in a press release. She adds, "Unemployment for women is at its lowest level in over 65 years, and nearly 3.1 million new jobs have been added for women since January 2017. The strong support by women across the country will ensure a second term for the President.”
Lara Tramp is spearheading it.
In a statement to Newsweek, the president's daughter-in-law and senior advisor for his 2020 campaign said, "Because of President Trump's policies, women have seen large gains in employment numbers, in securing our communities and most importantly in equipping the next generation of female leaders. 'Women for Trump' will not only highlight the President's clear record of success during his first term but will share a vision of empowerment and prosperity for every person in every corner of our country."
Who's in the coalition?
A bizarre jumble of Trumpworld influencers, activists, relatives of conservative commentators—and even a former Miss World America pageant contestant.
The Women for Trump website shows a 36-member board that includes Danielle D’Souza Gill (daughter of conservative filmmaker and political commentator Dinesh D’Souza), vloggers Diamond and Silk, Christian podcaster Cissie Graham Lynch (daughter of Christian evangelist Franklin Graham), Clueless star Stacey Dash, Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece Alveda King, and former Pussycat Dolls member Kaya Jones. Jones is also in the National Diversity Coalition for Trump as the Native American Ambassador, despite no confirmation of any Native ancestry for the singer.
Several other prominent relatives of high-ranking politicians are in the coalition, like Ben Carson's daughter-in-law Merlynn Carson and Debbie Meadows, wife of Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows.
Kathy Zhu, the controversial ex-beauty queen and University of Michigan student, was named to the coalition's advisory board in a tweet from Team Trump calling her, "a patriot who has continued to stand for American values despite being stripped of her crown."
Zhu relinquished her Miss Michigan title when Miss World America dismissed the Twitter commentary as, "offensive, insensitive and inappropriate."
In a since-deleted tweet, the 20-year-old recalled visiting a Muslim Student Association booth celebrating World Hijab Day at the University of Michigan. According to USA Today, the tweet read, "There is a 'try a hijab on' booth at my college campus. So you're telling me that it's now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?"
In another controversial tweet, she wrote, "Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others."
Several big-name politicians are also in the group.
Described by The New York Times as "unfailingly loyal to Trump," Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel was at the launch of the coalition in Pennsylvania on July 16.
Listed on the coalition's advisory board is former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who declined to probe Trump University shortly after her reelection PAC received a $25,000 check from Trump. According to Slate, several other female politicians sit on the board, including:
Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is best known for signing a draconian immigration bill into law in 2010, and former New Hampshire state legislator Lynne Blankenbeker made national news when she joked in an email about using military weapons against “the unions.” Board member Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, a longtime sheriff in Pennsylvania, has presided over multiple controversies including liking a Facebook post suggesting white supremacists are less threatening than Black Lives Matters supporters, and auctioning off an AR-15 as a fundraiser.
The coalition even has merchandise for sale.
Because, of course it does. There are pink hats, signs, shirts, and bumper stickers for sale that say, "Women for Trump."
Rose Minutaglio Staff Writer Rose is a Staff Writer at ELLE.com covering culture, news, and women's issues.