In an interview on “Morning Joe,” David French, who was recently floated as a possible third-party candidate, said that Donald Trump’s campaign engaged in what French called “ham-handed attempts at intimidation.”
He said that his wife’s family in Tennessee received a call from someone who said he was with Trump’s operation and said he was “instructed to call and deliver a message that the race would be very difficult for me.”
“Well, you know, it was probably one of the more ham-handed attempts at intimidation, which out of the Trump operation you can expect things to be done in most incompetent way possible,” French said, going into more detail about the call.
“An individual calls—he says, ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve been asked by the Trump campaign to make sure that David knows this will be really, really bad for him.'”
French also related that even before he was considered a candidate he already had neighbors concerned about attacks in his neighborhood, and his youngest daughter had been the subject of racially motivated abuse online.
“I assumed if I did this, look, I have been up against Trump for some time, and the assaults on my family have been overwhelming just as a writer,” French said.
“As everyone knows, Trump has an online racist mob that he often stokes by retweeting some of these horrible white supremacists. As that online racist mob is fond of pointing out I have a multiracial family and so they have gone after my youngest daughter in the worst way imaginable.”
As a result, he said on “Morning Joe” that Trump had “unlocked something terrible in this country.”
French, a self described “obscure” lawyer and columnist for the National Review said no to a presidential bid after being lauded by big names like 2012 candidate Mitt Romney and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.
The columnist said he “gave it serious thought,” but concluded he was “not the right person for this effort” due to not being “extraordinarily wealthy (or has immediate access to extraordinary wealth),” nor “a transformational political talent.”