Donald Trump claimed during a Tuesday press briefing that he won an award from the Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay conservative group. The only problem is that the organization says the award doesn’t exist.
In a Tuesday press briefing, Trump was asked by a reporter if he approved of the Department of Justice’s latest brief in a case concerning employment protections for LGBTQ+ workers. Currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, the case concerns a funeral home that fired a worker after she informed her boss that she was transitioning. Trump’s DOJ argued that an employer should be allowed to force workers to adhere to their supervisors’ opinions of how men and women should behave.
Trump showed no signs of having understood the question. Instead he boasted that he had “done very well” with the LGBTQ+ community, citing support from the Log Cabin Republicans and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who is gay. The president added that the Log Cabin Republicans went so far as to honor him by giving him an award.
“I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from a, a, uh, the exact group, a group, they gave, you saw that, uh, they gave me the endorsement yesterday,” Trump stammered.
On Wednesday, CNN reporter Daniel Dale tweeted that no such award existed, calling it the “second award the president has made up in the last week.” Out reached out to the Log Cabin Republicans to confirm they had never formally honored Trump, and Executive Director Jerri Ann Henry affirmed that it never happened.
“We have worked closely with the White House and they recognized our 40th anniversary, however, we have not given the president any awards,” Henry said via email.
It’s possible that Trump may have confused an endorsement by the group, which appeared as an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, with some kind of award. In the editorial, the Log Cabin Republicans claimed the president has “met his commitments” to LGBTQ+ people, citing his call to end the HIV/AIDS crisis within the next decade and support for global decriminalization of homosexuality.
However, Trump’s proposed budget would decimate funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, with the ONE Campaign projecting it would kill 300,000 per year. There are also no signs he knew about the decriminalization initiative.
Following that op-ed, LCR leaders have begun abandoning the organization.
Even as Trump uses a fake award to boast of gay conservative support, his list of attacks on LGBTQ+ people grows ever longer. In the past week, the administration asked the Supreme Court to block transgender Americans from having access to protections in the workplace, revealed plans to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ+ employees, and pressured the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission to reverse its Obama-era policy of supporting workplace protections.
Unsuprisingly, anti-gay activist groups say Trump has fulfilled 90 percent of the items on their wish lists. “In the first two years of his administration, he’s achieved more than all of the presidents combined since Ronald Reagan,” said Matt Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a group that provides legal support for the oppression of LGBTQ+ people.
The law firm notably defended Kim Davis in court after she was jailed for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky.
Additional reporting by Nico Lang