President Donald Trump made an appearance at a Turning Point USA summit Tuesday called Teen Student Action Summit (TSAS). Newsweek reports that Trump used his time to attack the “liars” in the news media and “fake news” journalists.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if, think of it, what would be if we had an honest — I don’t want a media that’s for me — I just want an honest media,” Trump said to the audience of conservative teens.
At one point, Trump imagined a world with an “honest media” and the poll numbers it would create, which prompted one audience member to shout out “100 percent.”
“He goes ‘100 percent,'” Trump said.
“100 percent — and you know what? I like your long hair it’s very nice actually. Good. Thank you,” the president said before saluting the teenager.
Per The Chronicle, Turning Point USA has come under fire many time since its founding by Charlie Kirk in 2012. It has been accused of unethical behavior — such as secretly funneling money to student-government candidates — and engaging in misleading half-truths for political gain.
A leaked memo from the conservative Young America’s Foundation reveals that the organization is urging people to distance themselves from Turning Point USA, which Young America’s believes is a danger to the conservative movement.
"100 percent" approval in polls: Trump asked Turning Point USA teens to "imagine" a world without "liar" news media. https://t.co/V4rG3y71kv
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 23, 2019
“The long-term damage TPUSA could inflict on conservative students and the Conservative Movement can no longer be ignored,” reads the May 25 memo, which was written by Kimberly Begg, vice president and general counsel of Young America’s.
Begg urged students to be careful getting involved with Turning Point USA, and former Turning Point employee, Caleb Hull, appears to agree with the memo.
“Sad to say I can confirm everything in this memo is true,” Hull said. Although Hull acknowledges that some of the organization’s activists do great work, he highlighted the “extreme” inflation of Turning Point’s numbers, which is reportedly conducted to mislead donors.
The Young America’s Foundation also claims that Turning Point USA specifically inflates attendance at its events by “boosting numbers with racists & Nazi sympathizers.”
In response to the Young America’s Foundation memo, a Turning Point representative said that the fellow conservative group broke “the Reagan Rule,” which prohibits speaking ill of “any fellow Republican.”
Per Sludge, Turning Point USA reportedly accepted $50,000 from the GEO Group, the nation’s largest private prison company, back in 2017. Not long after the donations, multiple Turning Point leaders began to praise the ICE and GEO Group on social media. One such person was former Turning Point communications director Candace Owners, who claims that she toured an ICE transitional facility and raved about the conditions on Twitter afterward.
“This place is nicer than where I went to the public school system.”