David French told MSNBC that a Trump operative called a family member and tried to intimidate them so that he would not run for president.
June 7, 2016

Donald Trump emulated the mobsters he worked with when he said he wanted foreign countries to "pay protection money" to the U.S., but he also used classic mafioso intimidation tactics against David French by calling his family and issuing veiled threats.

Bill Kristol had been promoting the idea that he had a credible third party candidate to run against Donald Trump, which turned out to be the NRO's David French.

French decided to bow out of being Kristol's white knight via Twitter saying, "After much thought and prayer: I’m Not Running for President"

David joined MSNBC's Morning Joe crew earlier today and discussed his possible run and then told the team that a person who identified as a member of the Trump campaign called a member of his family to try and intimidate him from running for the presidency.

Mika Brzezinski asked, "Did Trump operatives reach out to your family or you?" French replied, "My wife's family, yes."

French continued, "Well, you know, it was probably one of the more ham-handed attempts at intimidation, which out of the Trump operation you can expect things to be done the most incompetent way possible."

Donald Trump is melting down really fast. The Trump University case really has rattled his cage and he's using his presidential platform to help not the GOP, but a personal lawsuit is troubling for many in the Republican party. Then having some call French's family member when French had no realistic chance of doing anything to block his candidacy is simply mind numbing.

The great unraveling is happening a bit sooner than I would have thought.

Transcript via MSNBC:

FRENCH: An individual calls, he said, I'm sorry but I've been asked by the Trump campaign to make sure that, you know, David knows that this will be really, really bad for him. Which, you know, I actually learned about this after I made the decision.

BRZEZINSKI: Was it threatening?

FRENCH: I -- yeah I -- I assumed if I did this, look, I have been up against Trump for some time. And the assaults on my family have been overwhelming just as a writer. The -- as everyone knows, Trump has an online racist mob that he often stokes by retweeting some of these horrible white supremacists. As that online racist mob is very fond of pointing out, I have a multiracial family and so they have gone after my youngest daughter in the worst way imaginable. The worst way. It's one of the things...


GEIST: So was that someone from the Trump campaign, you said, called someone from your wife's family?

FRENCH: They identified themselves as someone affiliated with the Trump campaign who had been told to call, you know, a member of my -- they tracked down a member of my wife's family in Tennessee while all of this is going on. And -- you know, I only learned about it later. You know, I...

SCARBOROUGH: Did you consider that a threat?

FRENCH: I considered it a ham-handed effort to intimidate me.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.