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A self-described “proud Islamophobe” whose racism got her banned from using UberEats just landed a surprise victory for the GOP nomination for her district in Florida — and a de-facto endorsement from President Trump.
Laura Loomer, 27, is a far-right troll running for Florida’s 21st congressional district, which encompasses Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and where he’s registered to vote. Hours after Loomer’s victory was declared Tuesday night, the president sent out a congratulatory tweet.
Loomer also received endorsements from the likes of Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Florida Republicans.
Loomer, however, can’t tweet about her victory because she was banned from Twitter after writing a series of insults about newly-elected Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and her religion in October 2018.
She later chained herself to Twitter’s New York City headquarters while wearing a yellow Star of David (similar to what European Jews were forced to wear in the Holocaust) and a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “#StopTheBias” and carrying printouts of tweets. Loomer was demanding that Twitter reinstate her account and accused the company of bias toward conservatives.
Loomer has also been banned or blacklisted by other tech companies, including Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, GoFundMe, and Venmo. She was even barred from using Lyft, Uber, and UberEats after she complained about how difficult it was to find a non-Muslim driver.
But Loomer probably won’t win in November: Hillary Clinton won her district by nearly 20% in 2016. She’ll also be running against Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, who has won reelection twice. So far, Frankel has raised about $850,000, compared to the $1.6 million that Loomer’s raked in, according to FEC filings.
And the fact that she managed to beat out five other Republican candidates and take home more than 42% of the vote is yet another troubling example of the ascent of far-right conspiracy theorists into mainstream politics.
Loomer, whose resumé includes reporting for conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones, has made a name for herself in far-right or MAGA circles for bizarre, garish publicity stunts since the 2016 election. For example, she showed up to cast her ballot that year wearing a burqa and claimed her name was Huma Abedin, a top aide to the Clinton campaign and a favorite target of conspiracy theorists.
When a white supremacist opened fire on two mosques in New Zealand last year and killed 51 people, Loomer took to Telegram to complain about the attention the attack was getting in the U.S.
“Nobody cares about Christchurch. I especially don’t,” she wrote. “I care about my social media accounts and the fact Americans are being silenced more than Christchurch.”
In October 2017, after an accused ISIS sympathizer carried out a terror attack in Manhattan that killed eight people, Loomer went on a vitriolic tirade against Muslims online, according to tweets archived by Right Wing Watch. “Let me be the first to say I never want another Muslim entering this country EVER AGAIN! #ProudIslamophobe.”
She also posted a photo of two women in hijabs. “Muslims are out in full force at the scene of the NYC #ISIS attack today rubbing it in everyone's faces,” she wrote. In another tweet, she referred to Muslims as “savages.” And in another, she wrote “Islam is a cancer & we should never let another Muslim into the civilized world.”
Loomer has also spread false claims and conspiracies about other tragedies. For example, she falsely claimed that the “deep state” and the “Federal Bureau of Islam” was providing cover for the shooter in Las Vegas who left 58 people dead in October 2017. Loomer claimed, without evidence, that the shooting was actually an ISIS terror attack.
After the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead, Infowars sent Loomer to interview teenagers who survived the massacre. She later suggested they were puppets in a liberal conspiracy to promote gun control.
Cover: In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, political activist Laura Loomer holds up a sign across the street from a rally organized by Women's March NYC after she barged onto the stage interrupting Women's March NYC director Agunda Okeyo who was speaking during a rally in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)