Americans for Trump hosts contentious Republican congressional forum

Americans for Trump hosts contentious Republican congressional forum

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
July 17, 2020

Earlier this week, the Americans for Trump activist group lead by Attorney Scott Newmark, held another one of their candidate’s forum that serves to showcase congressional candidates vying to win their respective Republican district nominations.

The Republican congressional candidates in District 22 – James Pruden, Jessica Melton, Fran Flynn, and Darlene Swaffar, all showed up and put their best foot forward in hopes to win over those undecided voters in attendance.

Newmark, who has historically put on well-planned events, did not disappoint.

Yours truly was not in attendance and was not able to watch via Facebook Live, because I was covering the run-off elections in Texas.

I was able to get around to watch the full debate this past Thursday morning, and as expected, all the candidates just about said the same thing on all the issues.

All four are good candidates who check off all the boxes that matter to the Republican voting base.

They are all Pro-2nd Amendment, support Trump, are all Pro-Life, and all do not have a problem criticizing Rep. Ted Deutch (D), who currently holds the seat in District 22.

But just when you thought there wasn’t going to be any fireworks at this very subdued forum, BOOM!

When Newmark directed a question towards Jessica Melton about her recent support for actor Mel Gibson over an anti-Semitic remark he apparently made, and her false claim that the Republican Jewish Coalition was supporting her, Melton melted down.

The right-of-center political website Algemeiner and The Jerusalem Post both picked up the Floridian's story.

“Meltdown Melton” in an apparent attempt to dodge the question, decided to make outlandish, baseless, and patently false accusations against myself, accusing me of “extorting” her.

Melton also accused "Fast Feet" Flynn of hiring me to run her campaign. We can assume that because Flynn purchased ad space on our website, this is what prompted Melton to make that assertion.

In full disclosure, Melton, Swaffar, and Pruden all inquired about advertising on the website. We furnished them with our rates, and are still waiting for their response.

First, we have to give thanks to journalist Jill Cueni-Cohen for posting the Facebook Live video of the forum. Her Round-by-Round color commentary was absolutely hilarious.

When Melton concluded her accusation against Flynn, Flynn burst out, stating  “are you out of your mind!?”

Flynn took it upon herself to challenge Melton and actually got up out of her seat leaving many to believe that an actual brawl could break out.

Flynn pressed Melton to address the question Newmark posed and went on to call her “a liar.”

“I don’t spew my life on social media like you,” stated Flynn to Melton

The Floridian recently reported that Melton falsely stated that she received the endorsements of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican Jewish Coalition. Both DeSantis and the RJC have refuted Melton’s claim.

We also spoke to the Trump Victory campaign where the representatives emphatically stated that they had not endorsed in this race. Melton has been superimposing images of herself to images of President Trump.

Melton was also caught exaggerating about a letter she received for the House Ethics Committee. Melton claimed that Ted Deutch (pictured) personally penned a letter to her, but in reality, it was a form letter that she received.

Melton received the letter because she refused to file her financial disclosure, and on a podcast with  one of her supporters, Melton, said, “so yeah whatever, I filed it when I felt like filing it, I got other shit I gotta do.”

Can Republican voters trust this candidate?

Even after Melton continued to spout off baseless and slanderous allegations, and as Flynn continued to press her about the lies she apparently made, the question was never answered.

This was the second time that Melton had the opportunity to address her support for Mel Gibson, and she side-stepped it.

During the closing arguments, Flynn took the high road and apologized to the group for the outburst, while Melton did not.

In the end, Flynn, who started off the debate shaky due to a healthy dose of stage fright, showed that she was not afraid to take on an opponent. This was Flynn’s first time addressing any group. She entered the race during the COVID shutdown.

Pruden was steady. While he was overshadowed by the “catfight” between Melton and Flynn, Pruden was able to make his case. He was even-keeled and appeared as though he was addressing a courtroom.

Pruden appears to have the most robust campaign.

Swaffar could be seen as the candidate who benefitted the most from the cage match. Swaffar was able to deliver her pro-Constitutional message while managing to take a swipe at Melton over her skateboarding in Publix. Many of the Facebook video comments named her as the winner of the debate for staying out of the fray.

As far as Melton, well, she showed that she was versed on the issues and could deliver her message in a very succinct way. Unfortunately, her refusal to answer the questions left a bad taste in people’s mouths. One activist later said that by refusing to answer the question, Melton bolstered the accusatory whispers that she could hold anti-Semitic sentiments, not to mention that she is perceived as a habitual liar.

Voters are still waiting for Melton to answer for her antics and to answer the questions she refused to answer.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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