When Republicans nominated Donald Trump for the presidency four years ago in Cleveland, they had a stable of regular on-camera personalities to back them up.
Trump attorney Michael Cohen went on CNN to defend criticism of his boss by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump-supporting media star Scottie Nell Hughes appeared on CNN to bash Hillary Clinton’s newly-announced running mate Tim Kaine. And Michael Flynn was on-stage in Cleveland whipping up the crowd of Trump fans with a good ol’ “Lock Her Up” chant.
Four years later, that enthusiastic and absurd Trump surrogate operation was almost nowhere to be found. Some of the most ubiquitous 2016 Trump backers and GOP convention speakers had been absorbed into the administration. But many have simply disappeared from the defend-Trump news gauntlet, often by flaming out in spectacular fashion. And several had even publicly turned on the president, trashing him in the press as a racist and an existential threat to the republic.