- Right-wing commentator Laura Loomer won the Republican primary on Tuesday night for Florida’s 21st Congressional District, where President Donald Trump is a resident.
- Trump retweeted a series of stories on Loomer’s surprise upset and praised her victory.
- “Great going Laura. You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!” Trump tweeted.
- The 27-year-old candidate, who has made headlines for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, is running to defeat Democratic incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel in the safe blue district.
- Loomer was banned from Twitter in 2018 after she tweeted hateful remarks toward Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump congratulated right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer after she won the Republican primary for Florida’s 21st Congressional District on Tuesday night.
“Great going Laura,” Trump wrote on Twitter after sharing several stories about her victory. “You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!”
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
The 27-year-old is vying to unseat four-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel in the firmly blue district, home to Trump’s official residence in Palm Beach and his Mar-a-Lago resort. The race has been rated a long-shot for Loomer.
Trump didn’t endorse Loomer in her primary run, but she had the backing of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a staunch supporter of the president. Loomer soundly defeated five GOP challengers.
Prior to her candidacy, Loomer had drawn national attention for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, saying they should be banned from seeking elected office, calling Islam is a “cancer on society” and identifying herself as a “#ProudIslamophobe.”
She was permanently banned in 2018 from Twitter, where she regularly spewed her racist beliefs, for violating the site’s terms of service against hateful conduct after she attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress that year along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Loomer also disrupted a campaign event for Omar and Tlaib in Minneapolis.
After being kicked off the social media app, Loomer chained herself to the Twitter headquarters in New York City, demaning her account be restored and protesting against conservative bias on the social media platform.
She has since repeated those unsubstantiated claims about Twitter, which several other elected Republicans, including Gaetz and Trump, say they believe as well.
Loomer has also falsely claimed that mass shootings have been staged to limit gun ownership, a view backed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who supported her candidacy. Loomer has occasionally contributed to Jones’ site InfoWars, as well as other far-right websites.
Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft also banned Loomer after she tweeted in November 2017 that someone “needs to create a non Islamic form of Uber or Lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver.”
Loomer joins a growing slate of other far-right Republican congressional candidates, including QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won her primary last week and likewise received congratulatory remarks from Trump.
Greene has also spread conspiracy theories and shared inflammatory language against Muslims.
—Marjorie Taylor Greene For Congress🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) August 19, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s backing of the GOP candidates on Wednesday as a “matter of course.”
“The president routinely congralutates people who officially get the Republican nomination for Congress,” McEnany said. “He hasn’t done a deep dive into the statements by these two particular women. I don’t know if he’s even seen that, but he supports the Muslim community. He supports the community of faith more broadly in this country.”