Trump hailed conservative performers Diamond and Silk as 'absolute warriors' for the Republican Party. Then they lied to Congress.
Hours after Trump described conservative entertainers Diamond and Silk as "absolute warriors" for the Republican Party during his erratic and lie-strewn interview on "Fox & Friends" this morning, the pair repeatedly lied under oath in congressional testimony that embarrassed Trump and his GOP.
On his call with Fox, Trump said, "Diamond and Silk are warriors" and called them "amazing," along with serial manhandler of women Corey Lewandowski.
Describing Diamond and Silk as "absolute warriors," Trump took credit for their prominence within the conservative movement. He said YouTube videos produced by "these two beautiful women" were brought to him during the presidential campaign and "it took me about two seconds to say, 'start them.'"
Thanks to Trump's promotion — the duo appeared with him at campaign events — they have become popular with the right, where there are few nonwhite voices, largely due to Trump and the GOP's blatant history of racism.
They are in a distinct minority. Ninety-four percent of black women voted against Trump in the election.
Activist Bree Newsome described Diamond and Silk as "a modern-day minstrel show" that used "stereotypical images of black women."
Columbia University adjunct professor Keith Boykin said they were popular with conservatives who "only want to listen to the people who reaffirm their narrow, limited vision of what blackness is all about."
That popularity with conservatives led to their appearance in the House Judiciary Committee.
They took an oath to tell the truth. And that’s when the lies began.
The women, whose real names are Rochelle Richardson and Lynette Hardaway, were in the committee to testify about purported censorship of conservatives by Facebook.
Hardaway told the committee, "Facebook censored us for 6 months."
But that is a lie. Independent analysis shows that their Facebook page has steadily received over a million interactions with their fans, and when they began alleging censorship, that interaction actually increased.
Their false claims are part of a baseless conservative conspiracy and a pressure campaign that alleges platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (owned by Google) are squelching or suppressing conservative voices.
It isn't true. The campaign echoes previous complaints from the right about Facebook. That led to Facebook loosening their standards, which enabled the spread of fake information — including from Russia — during the presidential campaign.
That wasn't the only lie told by the women, who have sung Trump's praises far and wide.
When Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked them, "Have you ever been paid by the Trump campaign?", Hardaway responded, "No, we've never been paid by the Trump campaign."
That was a lie.
FEC filings made by the Trump campaign clearly show a payment of $1,274.94 that was paid to "Diamond and Silk" for the purpose of "field consulting" for Trump.
When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) brought up the FEC filing that showed they were lying, they responded, "We're familiar with that particular lie. We see that you do look at fake news."
The falsehoods and the bizarre display put on by the women prompted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) to remark, "This is a stupid and ridiculous hearing."
The couple, who enjoy huge support from conservative audiences and lawmakers (several Republicans posed with them after the hearing for photos), appeared under false pretenses, and then continued to lie about the topic at hand and their personal experiences.
Like Trump, they ignored the truth in favor of gross self-promotion. They represent the triumph of a Trump-style approach in the Republican Party, and show that he is not an outlier.
Diamond and Silk are "absolute warriors" for lies and deception. Just like Trump is.