- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2020

President Trump was quick to congratulate Laura Loomer, a conservative activist and self-described Islamophobe, following her winning a Florida congressional primary race Tuesday.

Mr. Trump posted several messages on Twitter applauding Ms. Loomer for becoming the Republican candidate in November’s contest to represent Florida’s 21st Congressional District.

“Great going Laura,” Mr. Trump wrote in one of several tweets, adding that he believed Ms. Loomer has a “great chance” to defeat the Democratic nominee in the upcoming general election.

“Big win,” Mr. Trump wrote in another.

Ms. Loomer, 27, gained notoriety in 2017 after she was permanently banned by several large internet platforms for a series of hateful comments toward Muslims and the Islam religion.

“Then let me be the first to say I never want another Muslim entering this country EVER AGAIN! #ProudIslamophobe,” Ms. Loomer said in a tweet at the time.

“How many more people need to die before everyone agrees that Islam is cancer & we should never let another Muslim into the civilized world?” Ms. Loomer said in another.

Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft were among the first major companies to punt Ms. Loomer from using their platforms. Twitter and Facebook later followed suit, with the latter banning Ms. Loomer from its social network last year upon finding she violated its policies against dangerous individuals and organizations, effectively denying her from campaigning for Congress on either platform.

Ms. Loomer is set to run in the fall for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Lois Frankel, Florida Democrat, that includes Palm Beach and the surrounding area.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday afternoon that Mr. Trump regularly congratulates people who officially get the Republican nomination for Congress and that he had not done a “deep dive” into Ms. Loomer’s remarks about Islam.

“I don’t know if he’s even seen that, but he supports the Muslim community,” Ms. McEnany said during a White House press briefing.

Mr. Trump, a New York native, changed his primary residence last year to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, potentially making him one of Ms. Loomer’s constituents should she make it to Capitol Hill.

One of the president’s former advisers intends to help Ms. Loomer in the meantime, she told The Washington Times early Wednesday. Retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, called Ms. Loomer to personally congratulate her Wednesday morning and offer his “full support,” she told The Times.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI after leaving the Trump administration in 2017, plans to help the Loomer campaign once related legal issues are resolved, she added.

“As soon as his issue is resolved he will be coming out on the campaign trail with me and, in his own words, creating a warpath like nobody has ever seen before,” Ms. Loomer added.

Flynn could not immediately be reached for comment.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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