The former Donald Trump campaign chair who was forced to resign after blaming President Barack Obama for racism sat onstage behind Mike Pence during an Ohio rally.
Kathy Miller, a Republican elector and Trump’s campaign chair in Mahoning County, made international news last week after telling a reporter that black Americans had not taken advantage of opportunities granted to them by whites, and she stepped down from both political posts later that day in the resulting firestorm.
But Miller and her son sat behind Pence during a rally Wednesday in Leetonia and met Trump’s running mate after his speech, reported the Youngstown Vindicator.
Miller, who apologized for her comments on black Americans but did not retract them, said she and her son got front-row seats because they arrived early.
“My son wanted to go so we went early and that is where we ended up,” she said.” I thought we could sit in the bleachers [behind Pence], but that was apparently for volunteers.”
About 650 people attended the rally at a school gymnasium, and Miller spoke briefly to Pence afterward.
She asked the vice presidential candidate to sign a red “Make America Great Again” cap for her son, but she insists they did not receive special treatment.
“Pence stopped at everyone that was standing along there,” Miller said.
The head of the county’s Democratic Party blasted Miller and the Trump campaign.
“The fact that Kathy Miller, whose ignorant, abhorrently racist comments were the subject of worldwide derision, has been seated in the front row of a Trump campaign event provides clear evidence that Donald Trump and his campaign embrace the type of bigotry for which she was justifiably criticized,” said David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.
He said Miller also appears to still be volunteering for the Trump campaign despite her resignation as county chair.
“Although officials accepted her resignation from her position in the campaign, she continues to work daily in the local Trump office,” Betras said. “This indicates that they accept her and her racism. Why? Because her bigotry is a perfect match for Trump’s.”
Miller responded to questions about her role by claiming that she had received death threats by phone call and text message, and she has asked local police for additional patrols in her neighborhood.