Image is further proof of links between GOP officials in Pacific north-west and far right activists who regularly seek out confrontations with anti-fascist protesters
A member of a rightwing militant group that has violently clashed with anti-Trump protesters has been given a commemorative portrait of Donald Trump by a Republican political operative who worked on the presidents election campaign.
John Beavers, a self-described free speech warrior, was presented with a framed replica of a Trump portrait following the violent clashes in Berkeley, California, in April.
Beavers nose was broken during the fracas on the university campus, and a widely circulated image from the protest showed his face gushing with blood.
Three days later, Beavers posted a photo of himself receiving the Trump portrait from Adam Benton, who was paid almost $9,000 to work on field consulting for the Trump campaign. Beavers had a bandaged nose in the photo.
The image is further evidence of links between Republican officials in the Pacific north-west and rightwing activists who are regularly seeking out confrontations with anti-fascist, or antifa, protesters.
Contacted by the Guardian, Beavers initially said the artwork, a replica of a portrait he said hangs in New Yorks Trump Tower, was a gift from the president.
Mr [Don] Benton had it delivered to me from Mr Trump, Beavers said. However, moments later, Beavers said he had been mistaken and that the artwork was in fact a gift from Adam Benton and his father, Don, who is a senior Trump administration official.
Don Benton is a former chair of the Washington state Republican party who is reported to wield an unusual degree of influence over Trump. Beavers noted in a Facebook caption accompanying the image that the elder Benton was currently working for Trump. So bad ass. I feel honored to be given this.
Despite the timing of the present, Beavers insisted the gift had nothing to do with his bruising encounter in Berkeley and was instead intended to be a reward from the Benton family for his tireless work for candidate Trump during the election more than six months ago.
Read more: www.theguardian.com