“Never tweet,” goes the popular internet age refrain.
In the case of Matt Wolking, the Trump 2020 campaign’s recently appointed director for rapid response, the aphorism should be tweaked to “never blog.”
From 2008-2011, beginning in college and continuing after he graduated, the Republican communications staffer ran a blog called “Wolking’s World” rife with Islamophobic content and conspiracy theories.
In an archived version of the site accessible via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Wolking said over 90 million Muslims were “murderous thugs,” voiced support for banning the construction of mosques, and compared the passage of the Affordable Care Act to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Wolking’s blog was flagged to TPM by Democratic opposition research group American Bridge. The posts are still findable via the Internet Archive, and a 2009 blog post from the college Republican student group at Patrick Henry College, the Virginia Christian private school that Wolking attended, identifies Wolking as the blog’s author.
After graduating in 2009, Wolking moved to D.C. and quickly made a name for himself in the world of conservative communications. He interned at Laura Ingraham’s talk radio show, eventually serving as the program’s executive producer. In 2013, according to his LinkedIn, Wolking moved over to Capitol Hill, where he worked in the press office of Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AK).
He continued to rise through the ranks, landing a gig as communications adviser for then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Wolking worked as the press secretary to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) when he was leading the House Select Committee on Benghazi, served as press secretary for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and, most recently, was the communications director for Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
In March, the Trump campaign brought Wolking on board as deputy director of communications to lead an “aggressive rapid response team, refuting attacks and exposing the fake news media.”
Asked for comment from TPM, Trump 2020 Deputy Communications Director Erin Perrine wrote: “It’s pathetic that the third-rate Democrat opposition research firm American Bridge is now spending time combing through decade-old, college-era WordPress blogs looking for things to distort, and that they finally found someone in the media willing to play along.”
Wolking did not offer additional comment of his own.
Before he reached his current career heights, Wolking was just a young conservative eager to share his thoughts about the news of the day.
Of all the questionable content on Wolking’s World, the anti-Islam comments stand out.
In one February 2008 post, Wolking wrote that “over 90 million Muslims are murderous thugs, a conservative estimate considering all of those who would rather not go on record as supporting terrorism.” Islam, Wolking continued, is “a religion whose followers danced in the streets on 9/11.”
“Somebody’s awake,” Wolking wrote at the top of a post from April of that year about a senior Church of England leader calling for a moratorium on the construction of mosques. He excerpts a Daily Mail article in which the leader cautions that England is on the way to becoming “an Islamic state” ruled by Sharia law, in which certain areas are a “no-go” zone for non-Muslims.
In another conspiratorial post, Wolking asserted that Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) used the “colors of Islam” on his website to “subliminally” manipulate Muslims from his district and across the U.S. into supporting him.
He bemoaned that Islam was “afforded a special status” because the University of Miami, a private institution, held an “Islamic Awareness Month.” (“Why is there no “Christianity Awareness Month”? Wolking asked).
Wolking shared eyebrow-raising posts on other topics as well.
“Watching them pass ObamaCare will be like watching the second plane hit the South Tower,” Wolking wrote in a May 2010 tweet that shows up on an RSS feed posted on an archived version of www.mattwolking.com.
Wolking also shared a Fox News story about a crowdfunding site where men could sign up to fund women’s breast implants, calling it “an ingenious scheme.”
The GOP staffer appears to have ditched the blog before he made the move to Capitol Hill. Wolking’s World now links to a blog about home lighting.