Trump, in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday, announced the hire and said that Bossie has been a “friend of mine for many years” and that he was “solid. Smart. Loves politics. Knows how to win.”
Bossie gained fame in the ’90s when, as a congressional investigator, he probed the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He resigned in 1998 amid controversy over the release of an edited taped prison recording of Webb Hubbell, a Clinton associate.
The next decade, through his activist organization Citizens United, he ventured into documentary filmmaking, starting with a response to Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” called “Celsius 41.11.” In 2008, he released “Hillary, the Movie,” tied to Clinton’s presidential bid. But he challenged federal election law guidelines that restricted the movie’s marketing, and the litigation made its way to the Supreme Court and ended in their landmark Citizens United ruling in 2010.
Despite the focus of the ruling on its impact on campaign finance, Bossie has defended it as an important victory for the First Amendment.
Bossie produced “Occupy Unmasked,” a critical look at the Occupy movement, in 2012 from a screenplay by Stephen Bannon. Trump named Bannon his campaign CEO last month.
Bossie will work with Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager.
Clinton has cited “Hillary, the Movie” in her calls for overturning the Citizens United ruling.
“They took aim at me, but they ended up damaging our entire democracy,” Clinton told the Associated Press last year. “We can’t let them pull that same trick again.”
Bossie has been a party activist as the head of Citizens United and its political action committee, but he was taking a more direct role in the GOP even before he was hired by the Trump campaign.
Bossie was a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and told USA Today that his membership in the RNC was a sign that the “establishment is really moving much more towards the conservative movement, which is an exciting thing for the grassroots.”
Update: The Clinton campaign issued this statement from campaign chairman John Podesta: “David Bossie is so craven and maniacal that in the heyday of the overreaching, Gingrich-era Congress, the top Whitewater conspiracy theorist in the House had to fire him for doctoring evidence. He has devoted his career ever since to trying to tear down Hillary Clinton. For months now, Citizens United has been acting as an arm of the Trump campaign, and this hiring of Bossie now makes it official. This is just the latest sign that Donald Trump has put the most extreme elements of the right-wing fringe in the driver’s seat of his campaign.”