bush

Before it was expedient? New Hagerty ad features Donald Trump Jr.

A new ad for Bill Hagerty features Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, speaking on the Republican U.S. Senate candidate’s behalf at a fundraiser and rally in Gallatin last week. The ad also features the dubious claim by the president’s oldest son that Hagerty was “on the Trump train before it was politically expedient.”

As The Tennessee Journal reported in September:

Despite Hagerty’s heavy emphasis on his links to Trump, his relationship with the president doesn’t go back all that far. The new candidate had been an early backer of Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential bid and was named to the former Florida governor’s Tennessee slate of delegates alongside former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Nashville) and fellow former state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd.

When Bush’s bid fizzled out, Hagerty wrote a $2,700 check to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Florida, on the eve of the Tennessee presidential primary. But Trump ended up carrying all but Williamson County in that contest and was formally awarded the Republican nomination in July. [Hagerty was named a Trump bundler, or state victory finance chair, on July 1, 2016]

Hagerty contributed $2,700 to the Trump campaign in September 2016, but by that point he had already been tapped as the director of presidential appointments for the nominee’s transition team, a position responsible for selecting and vetting, more than 4,000 jobs. Hagerty had done similar work for Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008.