Will Baskin-Gerwitz

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner’s merry-go-round apology tour to Donald Trump supporters continues to melt down – as, in yet another striking reversal just hours after the Congresswoman publicly insisted she would not re-endorse Trump, she told a conservative radio host that she will, in fact, do so and that her spokeswoman was “mistaken” when she claimed otherwise on her behalf.

The front page of today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains: “Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican who last month withdrew her endorsement of Donald Trump for president, said Wednesday she will vote for Trump and urged other Missourians to do the same. Her communications director said that that does not mean she is re-endorsing Trump… Appearing on conservative talk-radio host Jamie Allman’s show, Wagner said she wanted to clear up ‘confusion’ about where she stood. Her staff said she was not available for further comment… Meghan Burris, her communications director, said that Wagner ‘won’t defend his statements and she isn’t going to be listed as an endorser, but she does intend to vote for Donald Trump. She pretty clearly laid out her explanation for that with Jamie and we have nothing to add,’ she said.”

But appearing on his 97.1 FM radio show this morning, Allman explained that, following the Post-Dispatch story, he called the Congresswoman directly to get an explanation as to whether she is endorsing Donald Trump:

“The newspaper for whatever reason interpreted her as not endorsing Trump and then one of her spokespeople said that she wasn’t endorsing him, but voting for him. But, my understanding is, because I asked her directly whether she was pulling a Chaffetz and she said, that’s not what I’m doing. So she told me yesterday after I followed up with her because I read that, or heard a spokesperson say that she was not endorsing Trump, I said ‘I thought you said you were’ and she said ‘I am.’ So anyway, it’s confusing and the paper took it and got that part of it wrong and so a lot of people are still lathered up about that… Speaking of the Post-Dispatch, there was also a story about my interview with Ann Wagner yesterday and then they talked to a spokesperson who apparently erroneously indicated that Ann was not endorsing Trump, but was voting for him, and I doubled back on that and said ‘It’s not my understanding that you weren’t endorsing him.’ She said, ‘No I am,’ and so it’s just confusion about this, because I asked her about this… when I asked her about Chaffetz and him saying that, and it’s confounding to me that politicians do this because they must think that we don’t have a brain, because we’re thinking to ourselves, alright you’re not endorsing but you’re voting for him, I mean isn’t this kind of what’s wrong with Washington here … So, Ann Wagner is indicating that she is endorsing Trump and she is voting for him, that’s last conversation I had with her, just clarifying and making sure that’s exactly what she meant when I asked her the question, so I don’t know how it became the situation, and I know one of her spokespeople erroneously spoke about her not endorsing, but she’s not taking the gutless Chaffetz approach. At least that’s what she’s telling me so I’m going to have to take her word for it…”

Click HERE and HERE to listen to audio of Allman’s comments.

“Wow,” Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple repeated. “Congresswoman Wagner must really think Trump supporters are stupid.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY OF A PROFILE IN COURAGE:

July 21, 2015: Congresswoman Wagner says she has “no respect” for Donald Trump, returns $1,000 donation Trump previously made to her campaign

  • As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Wagner’s decision came in the wake of the latest Trump tempest, in which the New York businessman, who polls suggest leads the 16-person Republican presidential field, attacked the party’s 2008 presidential nominee John McCain. Asked Tuesday about the donation she received from Trump last fall before the 2014 election, Wagner, R-Ballwin, said she was giving it away. ‘I’ve never met Donald Trump nor solicited him for campaign donations,’ Wagner said in a statement released by her office. ‘I have no respect for anyone who uses a national microphone to disparage our vets…'”

May 5, 2016: Congresswoman Wagner says Trump, with “slurs and attacks,” has not earned her support 

  • As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Rep. Ann Wagner said Thursday that her Republican Party’s presumptive nominee ‘has to earn my vote, and Donald Trump has not earned my vote.’

September 28, 2016: Congresswoman Wagner joins entire Republican Congressional delegation in endorsing Donald Trump

  • As reported by the SEMOTimes: “Today the Trump-Pence campaign announced that Missouri’s entire Republican congressional delegation, as well as all Republican nominees for statewide office, officially endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States.”

October 8, 2016: Congresswoman Wagner abandons Donald Trump

  • As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – in a story with the headline “Reps. Ann Wagner, Rodney Davis withdraw support, urge Trump to pull out of race” – Wagner said: “…I must be true to those survivors and myself and condemn the predatory and reprehensible comments of Donald Trump… I withdraw my endorsement and call for Governor Pence to take the lead so we can defeat Hillary Clinton…”
  • Just last week, in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum, Wagner acknowledged she was “sticking by her decision to withdraw her endorsement of Donald Trump after the public disclosure of the 2005 video that that showed him talking about groping women.” In the interview, Mannies asked: “Your campaign knew I was going to ask this, you did unendorse Trump, now to be fair and I’ve said this publicly you were never a big supporter of Trump way back. You initially had been with Bush and frankly most of the major Republicans in this state had been with other candidates, not with Trump. Okay that said, A) is there anything additional you want to say about your decision? What sort of fall out have you been getting?” Wagner responded: “Well nothing really additional to say about the issue other than, I will say this. As our campaign has talked to all these folks door to door and on the phone. They’re really not focusing on the presidential race as much as I have seen in the past.”

October 9 – November 1, 2016: Congresswoman Wagner hides from Trump supporters and the public, refuses to hold public events or press conferences

  • As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Some local Republicans, most notably Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, took back their endorsements after the leaked tape. Wagner said Trump’s comments on the tape were ‘predatory and reprehensible,’ but she has not spoken publicly about Trump since…”
  • As reported by the Riverfront Times: “Incumbent Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-St. Louis) was supposed to make a rare public appearance in St. Louis yesterday afternoon. But the event was canceled, apparently over Wagner’s reluctance to confront a few protestors…”
  • According to MO Scout, a “tipster” noted Wagner was apparently missing from this past weekend’s Republican rally in Chesterfield – a town in the heart of her district: “Why no Wagner? Maybe disavowing Donald Trump after his taped comments of grabbing women’s body parts would get her booed by Trump people at these events?”

November 2, 2016 (morning): Congresswoman Wagner re-endorses Donald Trump

  • On Jamie Allman’s 97.1 FM radio show: “I have always been voting for Donald Trump, and I will do that next Tuesday. I encourage everyone listening to vote for Trump as well. You know Jamie and I don’t know why there’s been some perhaps some confusion here, but since last May after Donald Trump released his list of Supreme Court justices, I made it clear that I am voting for Donald Trump.”

November 2, 2016 (afternoon): Congresswoman Wagner un-endorses Donald Trump

  • The front page of today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains: “Her communications director said that that does not mean she is re-endorsing Trump… Her staff said she was not available for further comment… Meghan Burris, her communications director, said that Wagner ‘won’t defend his statements and she isn’t going to be listed as an endorser, but she does intend to vote for Donald Trump. She pretty clearly laid out her explanation for that with Jamie and we have nothing to add,’ she said.”

November 3, 2016 (morning): Congresswoman Wagner re-endorses Donald Trump

  • As reported by Jamie Allman: “So she told me yesterday after I followed up with her because I read that, or heard a spokesperson say that she was not endorsing Trump, I said ‘I thought you said you were’ and she said ‘I am.’ … and I doubled back on that and said ‘It’s not my understanding that you weren’t endorsing him.’ She said, ‘No I am,’…”

November 3, 2016 (afternoon): TBD

###
Contact: Will Baskin-Gerwitz
wgerwitz@missouridems.org
(573) 222-0210