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Tipsheet

Joe Manchin Campaign Staffer Shared Troubling Social Media Posts Calling to 'Hang' Trump

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who may or may not be running for reelection or even for president in 2024, knows the importance of representing a bright red state where former and potentially future President Donald Trump won handily in 2016 and 2020. His former campaign staffer, Charlie Collins, evidently does not though, given that Fox News reported earlier on Tuesday that on January 17, 2020 he made social media posts sharing a political cartoon "Hang the convict," speaking about Trump. 

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A previously public Facebook post from Collins from April 25, 2020 read "Hey Trumpsters, have you finally figured out this idiot is trying to kill all of us? Between his idiotic statement about the disinfectant and his press conferences promoting hydroxychloroquine, that doesn’t work, how much more evidence do Americans need to see what a complete moron this man is."

On June 2, 2020, Collins made another post about Trump. "You really call this a religious president? Wake up people!!," the post read. "If you believe this idiot I wouldn’t want to attend any services with you." The post then read "Hello, America, I’m not your president but your dictator."

In a post from June 25, 2021, Collins wrote to "Lock this crook up," again speaking about Trump. 

The content is no longer available, or appears hidden, though the Fox News report contains screenshots. 

Collins it would appear had a penchant for sharing posts from the particularly anti-Trump Occupy Democrats as well, as Fox News also highlighted with screenshots. One post from June 7, 2021 defended former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and another from February 1, 2021 claimed to the Republican Party that "You sold your soul."

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Another post from Occupy Democrats, which Collins shared on September 1, 2021, depicts Trump as well as Republican lawmakers as members of the Taliban, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Jim Jordan of Ohio. 

The report cited Manchin's April 2023 quarterly Federal Elections Commission filings, which shows that Collins is the only person marked paid a "salary." A spokesperson for the senator's campaign did provide a statement to Fox News that "This individual is no longer employed by the campaign." The statement also noted that "Senator Manchin has always believed that a core pillar of our democracy is civil and respectful disagreement and he has zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence."

Whether or not the Democrats have any chance of holding onto Manchin's seat in West Virginia depends almost entirely on him running again. Republicans look particularly favored when it comes to the 2024 Senate map, with Manchin's seat being one to watch, as is the case with Democratic Sens. Jon Tester in Montana and Sherrod Brown in Ohio. 

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West Virginia has given President Joe Biden his lowest approval rating of any state, and Trump won there by over 42 points in 2016 and by close to 40 points in 2020. Manchin won reelection in 2018 against Republican Patrick Morrisey by just 3.3 percent, despite that year being considered something of a blue year. 

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