Donald Trump has gone on a hiring spree, tapping several individuals as he expands his campaign.
Most notably he has been hiring quite a few black Republicans, including Tea Partier Katrina Pierson, who now serves as national spokesperson. On Thursday he announced that Earl Phillip had joined his team as his North Carolina state director, one of two additions to his team in that state.
"It's great to announce the [addition of Earl] … who will be [one of the] valuable members of our operation in North Carolina, where I have been leading in every poll for many months. I look forward to being back in North Carolina soon as I continue to share my vision to Make America Great Again!" Trump said of the addition, according to a press release obtained by The Root.
"North Carolina is a very strong Republican State that knows and understands upfront, common-sense leadership. Mr. Trump exudes that leadership. I will lead the campaign's effort here in North Carolina to further continue that leadership," Phillip said in the press release.
Phillip has a history in Republican Party leadership, having served as North Carolina African-American state director for the Republican National Committee, chairman of National Veterans for Republicans Association and chairman of the National Minority Conservative Convention.
It was as the state's African-American director for the RNC, however, that Phillip made quite a few memorable statements, including the assertion that Democrats cannot be Christians and that President Barack Obama is not a citizen.
"You cannot be a Christian and be a member of, or support, or be a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party," Phillip said at an Iredell County Republican Women's meeting back in January 2014, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. "I don't believe in abortion because it's against the Bible. I do not believe in same-sex marriage; I do believe that marriage is between one born-man and one born-woman. I don't believe that we should put God aside for the feelings of other human beings. What are you going to tell God when he comes?"
Phillip went on to dismiss Obama's black identity, the Record & Landmark reported, saying that although he was African American, since his father was Kenyan, he was not black because he did not grow up in a black neighborhood. Phillip said that his own background, having been born in the Virgin Islands but raised in Baltimore, made him culturally black, since he grew up in a high-crime area.
"I don't fault him for that whatsoever. He's never said he did; other folks have given that assumption for him," Phillip said, according to the newspaper. "I'm not a fan of [Obama] because I don't believe in his ideology, I don't believe he's a Christian, I don't believe he's a citizen. But I do believe what he wrote in his book, what he says he wants for America, and that's the issue I have."
Back then, Phillip had the job of making sure that the values of the GOP reached the black community and boosting black votes for the Republican Party. Phillip has always believed that the party is the best choice for blacks.
"The Republican Party, as we all know, was brought about for blacks. President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are the fathers of the Republican Party, [which] is responsible for engineering, implementing and sustaining freeing the slaves," Phillip said, according to the Record & Landmark. "The main reason I'm a Republican is because the Republican Party's platform stands for exactly what my family and I believe in, which is: No. 1, faith in God; No. 2, strong families and a strong economy; and [No. 3], equal opportunities for all."
It will be interesting to see what Phillip brings to the table for Trump.