Students For Trump mocked over tweet supporting POTUS' Kenosha visit: Who are the people behind it?
From their official handle, the youth group posted, 'President @realDonaldTrump tours what Biden will do to America'
Students For Trump is a youth group rallying behind President Donald Trump since his first campaign. The group was founded by Ryan Fournier and John Lambert and in July 2019, Charlie Kirk, CEO of Turning Point USA, became chairman of the group.
Recently, when Trump visited Kenosha, the group from their official Twitter handle posted, “President @realDonaldTrump tours what Biden will do to America.”
But Twitter wasn’t pleased with this tweet and started talking about it. One said, "Students For Trump from Trump University need a refund and need to go back to high school for a U.S. history lesson."
Students for Trump from Trump University need a refund and need to go back to high school for a U.S. history lesson https://t.co/UTPiflrYXZ— Redd21 #BLM (@redd_snake21) September 2, 2020
Another said, "Students For Trump need to stay in school. The month just started but I nominate this for dumbest tweet of September."
“Students for Trump” need to stay in school. The month just started but I nominate this for dumbest tweet of September. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/CLl0jbHXD2— 𝚊𝚑𝚖𝚎𝚍 (@aphricus) September 2, 2020
One said, "And yet all of this happening in Trump’s America. And the “Students for Trump” must be graduates from the bankrupt Trump University."
And yet all of this happening in Trump’s America. And the “Students for Trump” must be graduates from the bankrupt Trump University. https://t.co/F8AJGrexmp— Donald Lowell (@DonaldLowell3) September 2, 2020
The people behind Students For Trump
According to a 2016 The Chronicle of Higher Education report, Fournier was in his first semester at Campbell University, when he thought that Trump’s campaign was missing a social-media connection with the college-age voters. So, he started the Twitter account ‘Students for Trump’. Soon Lambert, then a sophomore, joined him. The two had met at an event hosted by Campbell’s College Republicans. And both were supporters of the Trump campaign. Within a year, the report states, they had nearly 300 campus chapters and a huge social media following. Lambart at that time had said, “We’ve been told that we’re more organized than the actual Trump campaign.”
But the group was marred by controversies as well. In April 2016, the Florida chapter of Students for Trump had put a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap on a statue of Martin Luther King Jr, just days after his death anniversary and faced huge backlash. In 2019, as reported by the New York Post, Lambert pleaded guilty to alleged felony charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for illegally pocketing nearly $50,000 by pretending to be a lawyer online. He has not been involved with the group since leaving in early 2016.
In 2018, The Daily Beast reported that the group had not disclosed information on its political activities and financial backers, even after the Federal Election Commission sent the group nine letters since its formation in July 2016. When asked about the same, the report quotes spokesperson Mia Chamberlain saying via email, “As you will see, all records are under John Lambert, who is no longer with SFT and hasn't been with us for some time. An FEC report was officially filed. However, due to certain changes in the past, a request was sent to nullify the filings. Chamberlain added that Fournier, the group’s founder and chairman “is unsure as to why it did not go through as he was not the agent who prepared and sent in the documentation.”
But this explanation confused Brendan Fischer, the director of federal and FEC reform programs at the Campaign Legal Center, an ethics watchdog group. He is quoted as saying, “Sounds like they don’t know what they are doing.”
On July 2, 2019, Charlie Kirk reported that Turning Point Action, a newly formed 501(c)(4) organization had acquired Students for Trump. In a statement on their website, it was stated that “Students for Trump will be the official chapter-based, pro-Trump student group on hundreds of college and high school campuses across America beginning this fall” and Fournier will remain on as co-Chairman. Kirk is the founder and CEO of Turning Point USA and Turning Point Action, and the creator of the Professor Watchlist. Turning Point Action is a political action committee created in May 2019 to target Democrats, including Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Speaking at RNC 2020, Kirk, according to New York Post had described Trump as the “bodyguard of western civilization”. He further stated that the upcoming election is a battle between “preserving America as we know it and eliminating everything that we love.”