NRA board member Ted Nugent did a nearly 36-minute YouTube livestream interview with presidential son Donald Trump Jr., during which he encouraged the anti-quarantine protesters in his home state of Michigan and said sheriffs enforcing the shelter-in-place orders should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Trump Jr.’s show Triggered is released on the Trump campaign’s app -- it is also livestreamed on the Trump campaign’s YouTube page -- which features other shows hosted by campaign surrogates including former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle and presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump. These hosts rotate on Team Trump Online, which airs every day at 8 p.m. EST as part of what The Bulwark’s Amanda Carpenter calls “an especially unsophisticated political infomercial,” which would “would embarrass even the talking heads” at the Russian propaganda outlet RT.
During the May 21 edition of Triggered, Trump Jr. interviewed Nugent for nearly 36 minutes and asked “what the hell is going on” in Michigan with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shelter-in-place orders. Nugent responded that it’s “heartbreaking, but I see resistance. I see, you know, social uprising.”
Trump Jr. continued on to praise the rogue sheriffs who are not enforcing local orders, saying, “No one is more pro-law enforcement than the Trump family and stuff like that, but it’s good to see these guys saying hey, just because the the governor says something, doesn't mean it’s constitutional.” Nugent agreed, saying the anti-quarantine protesters “are my Americans” and insisting sheriffs who don’t enforce the guidelines “are the heroes of today” and those who do “should be ashamed of themselves.”
Nugent has a long and well-documented history of peddling in conspiracy theories, racism, and thinly veiled death threats against politicians. He pushed the theory that the survivors of the high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, were “crisis actors,” compared unarmed shooting victims Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown to “mass shooters and criminal thugs,” claimed former President Barack Obama wanted to start a race war, and repeatedly said former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton should be “hanged.”
Despite his bigoted rhetoric, Nugent has been repeatedly associated with Trump or his campaign. He was featured in an eight-minute campaign ad in 2016 about hunting and the Second Amendment, in which he claimed Hillary Clinton would “destroy the freedom that is uniquely American.” In 2017, Nugent and his wife were also invited to a dinner at the White House with Trump, musician Kid Rock, and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, supposedly to discuss “anti-science and anti-hunting laws.”