As the Republican National Committee launches its annual Winter Meeting in Las Vegas, Trump allies are once again calling for the GOP to oust Ronna McDaniel as its chairwoman. Their preferred replacement? Scott Presler.
Presler, for those unfamiliar, first rose to social media and political fame by organizing a clean-up in Baltimore after the former president Donald Trump called the Maryland city a “disgusting, rat- and rodent-infested mess.” Since then, the activist better known on X as “#ThePersistence” launched a Republican voter registration effort and, subsequently, Early Vote Action, a political action committee aimed at getting Republicans to cast their votes before Election Day. Prior to all this, Presler was a co-founder of Gays for Trump during the 2016 election.
As Presler says, his long hair makes people think he is a liberal — and then he surprises them by talking about “America First.”
Presler’s name has been floated as a successor to McDaniel for years, particularly after the GOP’s inability to materialize a red wave in the 2022 midterm elections. Harmeet Dhillon, the conservative lawyer who became the most viable challenger to McDaniel in the last RNC chair battle, promised that if she were elected one of her first job offers would go to Presler.
This week, Trump mega fan Laura Loomer claimed that McDaniel “may” announce her resignation at the Winter Meeting, which starts today. The replies again pressed RNC committee members to replace her with Presler.
For Presler’s part, he has been tweeting at McDaniel daily since last April demanding she lay out a plan to develop a conservative “army of influencers” that can reach youth voters. McDaniel has not responded to Presler’s messages, nor has the RNC shown any interest in hiring the young activist.
Cockburn’s spies think they might know why: it turns out before Presler became famous for cleaning up urban areas, he was busy soiling party offices.
Last year, Politico Playbook reported that Presler worked as a field organizer for the Republican Party of Virginia, which reports to the RNC, in 2015 and 2016. However, he was forced to resign after he “engaged in sexual activity inside a Virginia Beach office the RNC shared with the state party — and posted explicit pictures of the encounter on Craigslist.”
“After party officials were made aware of the photos, Presler was confronted about what had happened and — seeing the writing on the wall — resigned,” Politico reported.
Cockburn can confirm via individuals familiar with the incident that Presler was indeed busted making gay porn in an RNC-funded office — and that it is a well-known piece of lore in DC campaign world.
Ironically, many of the same people boosting Presler to become RNC chair were condemning the Senator Ben Cardin staffer who, as Cockburn first revealed, filmed himself engaging in gay sex in the US Senate, presumably unaware that one of their political heroes had participated in practically the same behavior. In fact, Cockburn can’t help but wonder if that “twink” was inspired by word of Presler’s activities and wanted to one-up him by performing in an official government building…
Presler did not respond to Politico’s reporting, nor did the Virginia GOP. The RNC would not comment on the allegations either, except to note that Presler did not work “directly” for the RNC, although state parties do ultimately report to the RNC.
This obviously raises all sorts of problems for a potential return of Presler to the RNC: what organization could justify re-hiring someone they had previously forced out for sexual indiscretions? Does Presler’s success with registering voters outweigh his in-office dirty deeds? Finally, will social conservatives overlook behavior that massively violates their preferred social mores? Stay tuned to the RNC’s Winter Meeting to find out…