President Trump Reiterates Support for Ortagus, Says He Didn’t Know Starbuck but Heard ‘He Voted for Obama’


President Donald J. Trump says he stands by his offered endorsement of Morgan Ortagus and that he didn’t know Robby Starbuck but heard that he voted for Obama.

President Donald J. Trump appeared on the Newsmax program Rob Schmitt Tonight on Tuesday. He was asked about the blowback his offered endorsement of potential candidate and former Trump Administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus received.

Strong Trump supporters such as Candace Owens and Sebastian Gorka, along with several others, decried the offered Ortagus endorsement, instead endorsing Robby Starbuck for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

When asked if he was satisfied with his offered endorsement of Ortagus over Starbuck, President Trump said, “Well, I didn’t know Robby Starbuck; I have known Morgan; she’s been in the administration; she did a good job.”

“I didn’t know Robby Starbuck,” he continued. “I hear good things about him, but I also hear he voted for Obama. If he voted for Obama, then I am very satisfied.”

President Trump also said, “I’ve done a lot of things that were somewhat controversial and they’ve worked out,” Trump concluded. “She’s solid.”

Both Ortagus and Starbuck are newcomers to Tennessee. Ortagus reportedly moved to Nashville roughly 9 months ago, while Starbuck moved to Tennessee in 2019. Neither has voted in a Tennessee Republican primary.

Ortagus took fire when previous comments she made strongly disparaging President Trump came to light. She made those comments back in 2016 when she was working for a Super PAC that had supported Governor Jeb Bush in the Republican presidential primaries. Ortagus went to work for the Trump Administration in 2019 and served until 2021.

President Trump had previously issued the following statement on Morgan Ortagus’ potential candidacy:

I am told the very strong and impressive Morgan Ortagus is exploring a run for Congress in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. I couldn’t be happier because she’s an absolute warrior for America First and MAGA! Morgan was fantastic in her role working with Secretary Mike Pompeo at the U.S. State Department and understands the threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and others, and will be tough, not just roll over like the Democrats and RINOs. She serves in the U.S. Navy Reserves and will fight for our Military. She won’t bow to the Woke Mob or the Leftist LameStream Media. Morgan Ortagus will have my Complete and Total Endorsement if she decides to run!

Ortagus has yet to make any definitive public announcements about her plans to run for the TN-5.

In addition to Ortagus and Starbuck, several Republicans are reportedly considering entering the TN-5 race, including former Tennessee State House Speaker Beth Harwell, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, former Tennessee National Guard Brigadier General Kurt Winstead, and Nashville businessman Baxter Lee. Candidates can begin collecting qualifying petitions on February 7th, 2022.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Morgan Ortagus” by Morgan Ortagus. Photo “Robby Starbuck” by Robby Starbuck. 





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7 Thoughts to “President Trump Reiterates Support for Ortagus, Says He Didn’t Know Starbuck but Heard ‘He Voted for Obama’”

  1. […] President Trump has examined the existing or potential field in the GOP primary for TN-5, except to say on Newsmax that he didn’t know Robby Starbuck and that he heard he voted for […]

  2. Stuart I. Anderson

    Of course, with Trump’s endorsements it’s simply who Trump knows and who kisses-up to Trump. As we approach the August primary, may I suggest every Republican voter decide whether he/she is a conservative or a Trumpidian. As in this case, the two are not synonymous.

    There was Trump, Cruz, Rubio and other proven conservatives running in 2016 and who does Ortegas support, BUSH. She’s buddies with Trump, but then again she was buddies with leftist Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is a pal of liberal Ivanka Trump. Trump has no idea who is ultimately going to run in the new Fifth District and he obviously doesn’t care. Trump knows Ortega, Ortega made nice to Trump and presto she has his endorsement. It’s simply too idiotic for words!

    We have two individuals with proven conservative records who may run – Beth Harwell (ACU-86%) and Andy Ogles. I prefer Andy as the more conservative of the two, but Beth would be acceptable if Andy decides not to run. Until we know that both of them have no interest in running I suggest conservatives watch and wait while ignoring the ambitious No Record Candidates who want to talk or buy their way into Congress.

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Sorry, I tried two spellings of Trump’s endorsee’s name and I got neither one right. O-R-T-E-G-U-S. Hopefully, I won’t have too much cause to remember that after the April 7th filing deadline.

  3. Molly

    The By-Laws need to be applied equally, No Exceptions, Period.
    Regardless of endorsements.

  4. 83ragtop50

    I would not vote for either Starbuck or Outrageous. Too many unanswered questions to put them in such a power of position from Tennessee.

    I strongly disagree with Trump on her. Heaven knows he has made a lot of bad choices in those he has endorsed. Didn’t he endorse Hagerty?

    How about finding someone who does not seek out the spotlight?

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      He did indeed endorse Hagerty and so did I. Hagerty is presently sitting in the U.S. Senate with a Heritage Action score of 94%. For conservatives like you and me ragtop that’s pretty darn near perfect.

      1. 83ragtop50

        Stuart – A great conservative score while getting nothing accomplished. Maybe I am being a little harsh because of the current Donkey control in Congress. But I have not learned of anything Hagerty has accomplished that makes me believe he is anything more than a Mitch McConnell follower. I truly hope that I am wrong.