The staff in Donald Trump's inner circle resembles their boss in many ways — unorthodox, bombastic, and lacking in traditional political experience.
But perhaps no one embodies the reality television quality of Trump himself more than his national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, who is now literally on a reality television show herself. Pierson has appeared several times on Sisters in Law, a television show on WE tv in the vein of The Real Housewives franchise that centers around a group of African-American female lawyers in Houston, Texas. The show premiered on March 24.
Pierson's debut on Sisters in Law, which was filmed months before she joined Trump's campaign, offers some insight as to why Trump might have picked her as his spokesperson. Much like her boss, Pierson has a knack for getting under people's skin.
In her first appearance on the show, Pierson tried to attend a fundraiser hosted by a civil rights attorney named Rhonda Wills, but is quickly outed as a black Republican. Wills is shocked, leading to a lengthy argument between the two women before Pierson has even truly entered the party. "Republican? That is like, to me, a dirty word," Wilson says.
Pierson argues that the Republican Party was founded by black men, before pointing to what she calls Lyndon B. Johnson's "great deal," an apparent reference to his "Great Society" programs.
Wills then tells Pierson she's had enough of her "ignorant opinions" and your "lack of knowledge on very basic things like the Civil Rights Act," and asks Pierson to leave her house. Before Pierson is ushered out, she responds that "being louder doesn't make you right."
Pierson, like Trump, has an apparent zeal for argument and controversy.
In December, a month after Trump named her as his national spokesperson, Pierson was a guest on Fox's O'Reilly Factor to discuss the topic of nuclear weapons. "What is the point in having a good nuclear triad if you are afraid to use it?" Pierson pondered. This caused Kurt Schlichter, a conservative commentator who was also on the program, to exclaim that "the point of the nuclear triad is to be afraid to use the damn thing!"
A week later, Pierson appeared on CNN wearing a necklace made out of bullets to discuss gun violence. After her choice of accessory provoked anger from viewers online, Pierson tweeted that next time she'd wear a fetus to "bring awareness [to] 50 million aborted people that will never [get] to be on Twitter."
Pierson has also vehemently defended Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States
Pierson appeared again on Sisters in Law last week, to rehash the debacle at Wills' home and explain her political leanings to another cast member, attorney Monique Sparks. "I did grow up on welfare," Pierson explains. "Now I'm a Republican because I survived the liberal system, the entitled system, the redistribution of wealth system."
Pierson was born to a 15-year-old mother in Kansas, before becoming a political activist in Texas. After voting for Obama, she discovered the tea party and later became an active supporter of Ted Cruz during his 2012 Texas Senate bid. But when it came time for the presidential race, Pierson accepted a job with Cruz's main rival, Trump, who was eager to have a spokesperson with ties to the tea party on his team.
"This is a nontraditional campaign," she said at the time. "I can be a little bit more who I am. That's what I mean when I say it's like a perfect fit."
Pierson seems to have made up her mind about the 2016 race while on the show. At one point she says, "Donald Trump's my boy," but still identifies herself as a frequent political TV commentator, not a presidential campaign spokeswoman. Pierson joined the Trump campaign in November, a few months after filming the show.
Most presidential campaigns do not have a national spokeswoman who once tweeted that 9/11 could have been an inside job. But Trump, of course, is not most candidates. His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, remains steadfastly by Trump's side, even after being charged with simple battery for grabbing a female reporter. And Trump's national press secretary, Hope Hicks, is a 27-year-old former Ralph Lauren model who had zero political experience before joining the campaign.
So it makes perfect sense for Trump's top spokesperson to be an occasional guest on a reality television show. Especially one with the catchphrase, "Drama is always in session."Follow Olivia Becker: @oliviaLbecker