The Daily Beast

I Kept and Read Every Trump Campaign Email. Here’s How They Shake People Down.

Since the beginning of 2018, I have received more than 2,000 emails from the Trump campaign and have read every… single… one. At first, I found the breathless hyperbole amusing in a darkly comedic kind of way. After a while, though, I realized the target audience took things more seriously, and I started thinking about the impact of this messaging being mainlined into the inboxes of millions of voters. The seething vitriol of phrases like “Radical Democrats HATE me and they HATE YOU” gets thrown around all the time like it’s totally normal. Yet after digging around, I was surprised to find that no one seemed to be keeping track of how much phrases like that get thrown around.

So I did something dumb. I started @trumpemail to log this rhetoric into the public record. When I was getting one or two emails a day, it seemed like a good idea. Now that I’m up to nine per day, I have some regrets. As someone once said, it is what it is.

This type of hobby fit well with my skill set: I am a former reporter and loved the idea of digging into a story that I believed was being underreported. I didn’t want this pet project to interfere with the totally unrelated work from my day job, though. I work for a nonprofit that does some state-level advocacy. Our biggest priorities are non-partisan and I have good working relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, hence the anonymous Twitter handle. 

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