Former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has been spending a lot of time on television lately.
As an adviser to Donald Trump, the longtime Savannah congressman has become one of the campaign’s go-to surrogates for cable news.
And it seems that Trump’s pugnacious social media style has rubbed off on Kingston, whose own Twitter presence has grown substantially sassier or more combative as of late, depending on who you ask.
Now free from the political constraints that come from being a member of Congress, Kingston regularly takes to Twitter to chew out Hillary Clinton, the GOP establishment and the mainstream media:
It’s a stark difference from when Kingston was still in Congress.
“I’d say it’s more fun now that I can do things like Twitter and be a bit little more flippant on Facebook and certainly a little more partisan. I enjoy that freedom,” Kingston said in a recent interview. He said he does about 90 percent of his own tweets.
“I still get pushback from the other (side) and probably a couple times a week get phone calls that are peppered abundantly with F-bombs and other expletives,” Kingston said. “What I do like is that if somebody decides that they want to take them on that I have the freedom of taking them back on.”
An early backer of Ted Cruz, who employed Kingston’s close friend Jeff Roe as his campaign manager, Kingston eventually came on as an adviser to the Trump campaign. Now he’s a frequent guest on CNN and MSNBC, defending the New York billionaire even when many Republicans have backed away.
That’s in addition to his lobbying gig for clients that include the Syrian opposition and a Puerto Rican conservation group. Rumors that he might not be done with running for office also continue to circulate.
Kingston said he enjoys being able to specialize in policy areas as a lobbyist in a way he wasn’t able to do as a busy member of Congress. But he said he misses the debate and fellowship that comes with being a lawmaker.
“I don’t think you could ever walk away completely and say ‘I’m so glad to be out,’” he said. “I think when people say that they’re not being accurate because you can do a lot of good when you have the bully pulpit of being a member of Congress.”
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