Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who may or may not seek for re-election or even for president in 2024, understands the significance of representing a state that former and prospective future president Donald Trump won decisively in 2016 and 2020. His former campaign staffer, Charlie Collins, apparently does not, as Fox News reported earlier on Tuesday that on January 17, 2020, he shared a political caricature titled “Hang the convict” in reference to Trump on social media.
Collins wrote on Facebook on April 25, 2020, “Hey, Trump supporters, have you finally realized that this moron is attempting to murder us all? Between his asinine statement about the disinfectant and his press conferences promoting hydroxychloroquine, which doesn’t work, what more proof do Americans need that this man is a complete idiot?
Collins made another post about Trump on June 2, 2020. “You really consider this man to be a religious leader? “Awaken, people!” the message read. “If you believe this idiot, I wouldn’t want to attend any religious services with you.” The message continued, “Hello, America, I’m not your president, but your dictator.”
Collins again referred to Trump in a June 25, 2021, blog post titled “Lock this thug up”
The content is no longer accessible or appears to be concealed, although screenshots are included in the Fox News report.
Fox News also emphasized with screenshots that Collins appeared to have a propensity for sharing anti-Trump posts from Occupy Democrats. A post dated 7 June 2021 defended former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while a post dated 1 February 2021 claimed to the Republican Party, “You sold your soul.”
Collins shared on September 1, 2021, an additional post from Occupy Democrats depicting Trump and Republican legislators as Taliban members, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Jim Jordan of Ohio.
The report cited Manchin’s quarterly Federal Elections Commission filings from April 2023, which indicate that Collins is the only person labeled “salary.” Fox News was informed by a spokesperson for the senator’s campaign that “This individual is no longer employed by the campaign.” The statement also stated, “Senator Manchin has always believed that respectful disagreement is a fundamental pillar of our democracy, and he has zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence.”
The Democrats’ chances of retaining Manchin’s seat in West Virginia depend almost solely on his decision to run again. Manchin’s seat, as well as those of Democratic Senators Jon Tester in Montana and Sherrod Brown in Ohio, are among those to monitor when it comes to the 2024 Senate map, which favors Republicans.
President Joe Biden has the lowest approval rating of any state in West Virginia, and Trump won the state by over 42 points in 2016 and by close to 40 points in 2020. In 2018, Manchin defeated Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, by a margin of just 3.3%, despite the fact that 2018 was a relatively blue year.