Radio talk show host, best-selling author, and conservative political commentator Laura Ingraham is on the short list to become President Elect Donald Trump’s press secretary, The Hill reported Saturday night. Ingraham, who began her career as a Supreme Court law clerk and white-collar defense attorney, helped Trump with debate preparation, offered occasional strategic advice, and campaigned for the Republican candidate, using her spots as Fox News contributor and her nationally syndicated radio show.
A renowned rightwing ideologue, in 2014 Ingraham endorsed Dave Brat in his primary challenge to then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Cantor’s upset defeat shocked the Republican establishment and created the psychological milieu that helped make a revolutionary candidate like Trump acceptable to party voters, against the wishes of the party leadership. In May, Ingraham made headlines when she admitted she had forgotten that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was Jewish. Speaking on her radio show, Ingraham said, “Well, now they’re saying, ‘How dare you, Bernie. How dare you stay in this race.’ Now, what if Bernie were a minority? … What if he were a 74-year-old black man … Would you think they’d be telling him to get out of the race? I don’t think so.”
A moment later, after receiving a tweet from a listener, Ingraham corrected herself: “Oh, OK, you’re reminding me. Bernie is a minority. He’s Jewish. OK. See I don’t think of Jewish people as minorities because they’re so successful and so. But, yeah, that’s technically correct so I appreciate that correction on our Twitter feed.”
A Roman Catholic, Ingraham is clearly a supporter of Israel. Appearing on Fox News’ The Kelly File in February 2015, she said, “I think Israel has become for the left the new South Africa. Remember, in the 1980s, it was the divestment movement from South Africa. … And now it’s divest from Israel. Israel is the less, you know favorite, you know, whipping post of fury and anger and outrage, because remember, if Israel’s an ally of the United States, Israel must be bad because the United States is bad.”
Ingraham made headlines after her speech at the GOP convention, when she wore a huge, gold cross and threw her arm up in a gesture that, from one angle, looked like a Hitler salute. She didn’t, of course, but in the midst of the campaign this was fodder for a full news cycle.
In April 2016, Ingraham tweeted: “Israel has been snubbed by this Admin…[but] has treated Iran with tender love and care.”
Ingaham, who adopted two boys from Russia (and a girl from Guatemala), could be an asset to the Trump Administration in forging an improved relationship with Russia. She lived in the Soviet Union for a semester at Dartmouth College. “I took Russian from eighth grade through most of college,” she told an interviewer in 2013, “so my Russian is pretty good.”
Also, back in the 1990s, Ingraham dated leftwing TV personality “Angry Man” Keith Olbermann. Commenting on one of his tirades against then President GW Bush, Ingraham said, “I believe MSNBC really needs to bring in a medical team at this point. . . . I don’t know what happened to him. I really don’t. He didn’t use to be this way…” Eventually, MSNBC dropped Olberman, for allegedly calling US soldiers “cold blooded killers” (he did, but the quote was taken out of context).
This past week, Ingraham has been twitter-shaming President Obama for not intervening to stop the violent protests against the November elections results. “Where is Pres Obama urging calm?” she tweeted on Saturday. As White House Press Secretary, expect her to be confrontational, if not outright defensive. As The Hill put it, “Selecting Ingraham would send a signal that Trump has no interest in softening his relationships with the Republican leaders in Washington, D.C.”JNi.Media