Amid disputes over Ann Coulter's scheduled lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, one city official involved in managing the controversy derisively referred to Coulter's supporters as an "army of groupies", according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
In an email sent to local ally Jiro Arase-Barham on what was supposed to be the eve of Coulter's lecture, Jacquelyn McCormick, a senior adviser to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, previewed the "crazy day" she anticipated ahead of the demonstrations planned for April 27:
"While Ann Coulter has 'canceled'," McCormick wrote, "her army of groupies is still planning on attending — as are their counterparts."
In another exchange, this time with a constituent who accused conservatives of planning lectures to bait the Left into violence, McCormick claimed the city was the victim of unfair treatment from the "right wing" media.
"Our office agrees that Berkeley has been unfairly portrayed in much of the media and particularly right wing social media outlets," she wrote.
McCormick's emails, obtained by the Examiner through a California Public Records Act request, show she tried to mitigate potential violence, even at one point revealing that she "plead" with the anti-violence group "Respect Berkeley" to stay away from the event to ease the burden on police.
Nevertheless, a personal Facebook page belonging to one Jacquelyn McCormick whose occupation matches the title in her email signature is markedly anti-Trump, no surprise for a government official in Berkeley. The account's profile picture, posted the day after the inauguration, depicts a protest sign that reads, "Stay f——-g mad." In another comment thread, McCormick referred to the days surrounding Trump's election as a "miserable week." A Twitter account that appears to belong to McCormick contains similar sentiments, frequently retweeting Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
The so-called "army of groupies" she slighted in the email likely referred to leaders of the rally organized by pro-Trump writers Gavin McInnes and Lauren Southern, who previewed their plans to show up after Coulter indicated she was backing out. The demonstration also included representatives from organizations such as Oath Keepers and Bikers for Trump, both of which reportedly attended with the purpose of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere.
In another email to Arase-Barham sent the day after Coulter's lecture was scheduled to occur, McCormick wrote, "We are also relieved yesterday's 'event' didn't explode!"
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.