David Weissman was like any other typical MAGA guy on Twitter during the 2016 campaign, (if being a US Army Veteran living in Israel could be considered ‘typical’). But after Trump took office in 2017, Weissman quickly became disillusioned with Trump’s repeated broken promises. When Weissman famously wrote a public apology to Hillary Clinton, it quickly went viral. Weissman then found himself the target of the exact kind of trolling he’d participated in not that long ago. A former Conservative who now leans very liberal Democrat, David is throwing his energy fully behind Joe Biden. If you’ve ever wondered what it would take for a die-hard Trump supporter to finally throw out their red hat for good, David gives us some insight in this exclusive chat.
TARA DUBLIN: What was it that drew you to Trump when he originally announced he was running for office in 2015? Were you a fan of his from his reality shows before that, or was he someone you didn’t really pay much attention to before he announced his candidacy?
DAVID WEISSMAN: I am a fan of the WWE, so I liked seeing his appearances there, and in movies. I didn’t really know much about him. But he seemed to know what conservatives were passionate about. I trusted conservative pundits like Hannity, Fox News, etc.
TD: So I’m assuming conservative media played into how you viewed Hillary Clinton. Before you supported Trump in 2015, had you formed any opinions of her? Or was everything you tweeted about her during the campaign based upon the narrative you were getting from Trump and your fellow supporters, plus the Fox News pundits?
DW: Absolutely. I hated Hillary Clinton, I believed in the demonization of her from conservative outlets. It came from Trump, MAGA, and before that Fox News and other conservative pundits.
TD: So what was the turning point for you? When did you begin questioning the things you had been told about him and Hillary, and what did you first think when you realized you had bought into their propaganda?
DW: I began to question things when I learned conservative media was wrong about liberal values by having a conversation with Sarah Silverman. I began to reach out to more people after being encouraged to dialogue instead of trolling and learned about the truth of Democratic officials. Then I wondered if they were wrong about Trump and I found out that they were. The first “aha” moment was learning he dodged the draft, and as a vet that hurt me most. Then I learned he wasn’t always a successful businessman. Through this journey, I’ve learned a lot about my world view which was White Nationalistic, the same ideology as Trump. When I realized that was wrong, I learned how racist he is. It wasn’t ignorance. And when I decided to be done with Trump, I saw his meeting with Putin in Helsinki and couldn’t believe a President would leave himself vulnerable to our Russian adversary. Then I realized Hillary Clinton was right. Learning about Hillary Clinton, she took responsibility for Benghazi, she took responsibility for the emails, there was no proof of wrongdoing. I learned about her good works in New York as a Senator. I couldn’t believe it, because you never hear about that on Fox News. They demonized her, and they were wrong. When I realized conservative media was propaganda, I felt betrayed, I was conned. I can never trust conservative media again. I thought they had similar views would never lie to me.
TD: You famously apologized to Hillary, which she graciously accepted, because that’s how she rolls. You received a lot of backlash from MAGA for that. There are some who questioned whether or not you were just trying to play games with the liberals. But you’ve remained staunchly anti-Trump this entire time. What has your Twitter experience been like ever since Joe Biden announced his candidacy? How do you feel about him as a candidate and his ability to beat Trump?
DW: Very supportive experience on Twitter. I’ve learned to tune out the trolling and focus on my message. I feel Biden is the leader we desperately need, and I am excited to campaign and vote for him. He can definitely beat Trump.
TD: Are you still friends with any MAGAs and what are those conversations like?
DW: I am no longer friends with them, but some debates have been civil.
TD: Finally, we obviously hope that Biden is going to win in November and that Trump will be prosecuted for all of the things he’s done. Do you think his supporters will stop tweeting in the same way, because he won’t be around to egg them on as much? In other words, can the MAGA movement still exist without their dear leader?
DW: His supporters won’t stop if Biden wins. The anger was there before Trump announced his presidency. It will always be there. Part of that is the conservative media’s responsibility. Apologize to Hillary Clinton. And Joe Biden. Try to be fair in their reporting without the fear-mongering.
TD: Yeah, I think we both know none of that is going to happen. But’s a good line for an end of an interview!
This took courage. Thank you, David, for speaking out. Now let’s turn to the future and mobilize people for the midterms. https://t.co/hwGjqLVCEu
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 7, 2018