Lara Trump's dream RNC hire was previously linked to lewd photos on Craigslist

Trump wants to hire QAnon conspiracy theorist and right-wing activist Scott Presler, who allegedly posted sexually explicit photos of himself in an RNC office on Craigslist in 2016

New co-chair of the Republican National Committee Lara Trump recently indicated her intent to hire QAnon conspiracy theorist Scott Presler to beef up the organization’s so-called “legal ballot harvesting division.”

But when Presler worked alongside the RNC in 2016, as a Republican Party of Virginia operative, he resigned after allegedly posting explicit photos of himself engaged in sexual activity — at an RNC office, no less — on Craigslist.

According to Politico Playbook, here’s how it went down:

He previously worked with and reported to the RNC as a Republican Party of Virginia operative until the party suddenly cut ties in August 2016. According to three people familiar with the circumstances, Presler engaged in sexual activity inside a Virginia Beach office the RNC shared with the state party — and posted explicit pictures of the encounter on Craigslist.

Yes, you read that right. Craigslist.

After party officials were made aware of the photos, Presler was confronted about what had happened and — seeing the writing on the wall — resigned. Federal campaign finance records confirm the state party stopped paying Presler just two months before the 2016 election.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Presler hung up on Playbook, and he did not respond to subsequent messages detailing the allegation. The RNC declined to comment, except to note that Presler never worked directly for the committee, and the Virginia GOP did not respond to messages seeking comment.

During a March 14 interview with right-wing influencer and serial plagiarist Benny Johnson, Trump heaped praise on Presler, saying, “I'm going to have a call very soon with Scott Presler, who is an amazing vote register, he has registered so many people in this country.” 

“I think he's fantastic,” she added. “I want him on our legal ballot harvesting division."

Video file

Citation From the March 14, 2024, edition of TENET Media's In The Arena   

LARA TRUMP (GUEST): There are millions of people. I'm gonna say 75 million-plus Americans who still are like, what the hell happened in 2020? They didn't get any answers. They all wanted us to move on, but they all feel like something was awry, something was amiss. Because let's be honest, 81 million people were not so inspired by a guy campaigning out of his basement who could barely string two sentences together. They said, we're gonna come out big for this guy. Absolutely not. No one believes that.

So at the RNC, it is something that we're taking incredibly seriously. We have the first ever election integrity division. This is an entire wing of the building dedicated solely to that. So how do you do that? Right now, you just talked about a lawsuit we have in Michigan. We have in 23 states, 78 lawsuits single-handedly to address this issue to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in 2024. We know about all the states who illegally changed their voting laws in 2020 under the guise of COVID. It flips some of those back round, but it also adds an extra layer of protection on top of that.

In addition, we now have the ability to train poll workers. These are not just poll watchers, people who physically stand in a polling location and kind of look around and maybe might be able to see something. These are people, Benny, who get to handle a ballot, who can count the ballots coming in and the ballots going out so they know what the numbers should be at the end of the day.

On top of that, we are also hiring and we are asking for volunteer attorneys all across this country, we want you in a polling location near you every single minute that there is voting going on because we want to be able to address a problem immediately, in real-time. We cannot wait until it's too late. We also have to strike the fear of God in people who would ultimately be cheating in this capacity. If you are a person who is paid to cheat, do not do it because we will come after you, the full extent of the law will be laid on you, we will prosecute the hell out of you. It's not worth it, don't do it.

But we also have to start thinking about things like legal ballot harvesting. Something we've never embraced as a party. We're going to start doing it now. I'm going to have a call very soon with Scott Presler who is an amazing vote register, he has registered so many people in this country. I think he's fantastic. I want him on our legal ballot harvesting division.

We also have to embrace early voting, Benny. I know we want one day of voting in this country. It doesn't exist right now. We've got to bank enough votes going into November 5th that we're not playing catch up on Election Day. We need to swamp the system so it doesn't matter how many 3 AM drops they have or suitcases filled with ballots. There will be no question on the night of November 5th that Donald Trump is elected as the 47th president.

Presler responded to Trump’s invitation to work at the RNC on X (formerly Twitter), writing, “Let’s come together as a family & save the country we love."

Presler has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory dozens of times on Instagram and was on the U.S. Capitol grounds during the January 6, 2021, insurrection. Additionally, Presler has worked for Act for America, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as an “anti-Muslim hate group."

In January, Presler appeared on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon's War Room podcast to attack then-RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel.

The RNC also recently hired former Trump attorney and former OAN host Christina Bobb as “senior counsel for election integrity.”