Top Trump staffer, Ayotte advisor says campaign will deploy “soldiers” to polls

Top Trump staffer and advisor to Kelly Ayotte Karoline Leavitt, who ran a failed campaign for congress in New Hampshire in 2022, said in an interview Monday the campaign would deploy “soldiers” to polls in 2024 to prevent election fraud. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

By Colin Booth

March 26, 2024

National press secretary for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and New Hampshire political figure Karoline Leavitt said in an interview on Monday that the Trump campaign would send “soldiers” to polling places in the 2024 election to ensure “there are no irregularities and fraud like we saw in the last election cycle.”

Leavitt was recently revealed to be a paid consultant for the campaign for Kelly Ayotte, after finance filings showed the campaign paid $17,000 to Kcl LLC, a firm owned by Leavitt, which Ayotte failed to disclose when Leavitt interviewed Ayotte during a talk radio interview in late 2023.

Leavitt made the remarks in an interview on Kimberly Guilfoyle’s show, where she was speaking on the Trump campaign’s voter protection program, saying the Trump campaign would deploy these “soldiers” to prevent voter fraud at the polls, revisiting the election conspiracy theory often referred to as “the big lie” that has been a cornerstone of both Trump and Leavitt’s political careers.

“We’re going to play offense this time around, we’re not going to play defense, like we unfortunately did in 2020, we’re going to have soldiers, poll watchers on the ground, who are making sure that there are no irregularities and fraud like we saw in the last election cycle” Leavitt said.

The Biden-Harris campaign quickly highlighted Leavitt’s words on social media, saying they were “continuing Trump’s violent rhetoric.” 

RELATED: Kelly Ayotte endorses Donald Trump amidst bipartisan criticism for political about-face

The promise of “soldiers” from the Trump campaign comes just a little over a week after Trump said there would be a “bloodbath” if he was not elected, sparking mass outrage that the former president was again stoking election violence as he did during the January 6 insurrection on the Capitol, for which he was impeached.

Leavitt ran for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district in 2022, winning the primary before losing to Congressman Chris Pappas by nearly 10 points. Many political pundits attributed her dismal performance to her extreme far-right positions and rhetoric, which they said were a poor fit for both the district and her opponent, who has recently been recognized as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress.

Brad Cook, chairman of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission, said there was no need for a campaign to deploy a force of any kind to combat voter fraud in New Hampshire.

“I know there was no evidence of irregularities or an improper result in New Hampshire, and I believe that in every place that was litigated, there was no evidence that there were irregularities that would indicate an election had been stolen, in any other state in which it was investigated and litigated.” Cook said.

“If what she and the Trump campaign is talking about is that votes were not accurately counted and reported, I think there’s no evidence to support that.”

Fergus Cullen, the former chair of the NH GOP previously called Leavitt “a full-throated election denier,” during her run for office.

Ryan Mahoney, Executive Director of AmplifyNH, a political advocacy organization that focuses on government accountability called on Ayotte to distance herself from the rhetoric of an advisor associated with her campaign.

“This kind of dangerous rhetoric threatens the safety of our election officials and local law enforcement who protect our elections. Threats of intimidation and violence have no place in our democracy, and Kelly Ayotte needs to immediately condemn these comments from her campaign strategist.”

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

CATEGORIES: GOP ACCOUNTABILITY

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