Donald Trump Supporters Denounce His Decision Not to Endorse Robby Starbuck

A number of Donald Trump supporters have openly disagreed with who he wants elected in Tennessee's 5th Congressional District, believing the former president should have picked Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck instead.

On Tuesday, Trump said he "couldn't be happier" about hearing reports that Morgan Ortagus, a former spokeswoman to ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is considering running for the Tennessee seat currently held by veteran Democrat Jim Cooper, who recently announced will not be seeking another term.

In a statement, Trump described Ortagus as an "absolute warrior" for America First and the Make America Great Again movement.

"Morgan was fantastic in her role working with Secretary Mike Pompeo at the U.S. State Department and understands the threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and others, and will be tough, not just roll over like the Democrats and RINOs," Trump added.

"She won't bow to the Woke Mob or the Leftist LameStream Media. Morgan Ortagus will have my Complete and Total Endorsement if she decides to run!"

Following the announcement, a number of staunch Trump supporters said they believe he has backed the wrong candidate, and that he should have endorsed Starbuck, the conservative filmmaker who announced his intention to run for Congress last June.

Among those who said Trump should have backed Starbuck was former White House aide Sebastian Gorka and Kari Lake, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona who has received Trump's endorsement.

In a reply to a Gorka tweet stating "I'm with Robby Starbuck," Lake wrote "Me too."

She added: "Robby Starbuck is one of the top voices in the movement. He is critical to take the Trump Republicans and America First movement to the next level. I fully support him."

In a separate tweet, Lake added: "Robbie Starbuck is a patriot who loves America. I endorsed Robby months ago & believe he's exactly what we need in these difficult times. He's a God-fearing man who loves his wonderful family: he's a true 'citizen politician'. Robby will serve the people of Tennessee well."

North Carolina congressman and Trump ally Madison Cawthorn also said will still back Starbuck, despite the former president potentially going with Ortagus.

"I endorsed Robby Starbuck months ago and I stand by my endorsement," Cawthorn tweeted. "He is the best candidate in the country right now. The MAGA movement needs him in Congress."

Conservative pundit Candace Owens also said that Trump has got his choice "completely wrong" and that Starbuck is the "correct pick for Tennessee's 5th district and Tennesseans have his back."

As well as being a film and music video director, Starbuck, a political novice, is known for accumulating more than 212,000 followers on Twitter where he frequently posts conservative views.

He announced he's running for congress last June with a video endorsement from Kentucky senator Rand Paul.

"I don't endorse many people for Congress, but I'm endorsing Robby Starbuck because he's one of the good guys," Paul said.

According to his website, Starbuck will campaign to end COVID-19 related mandates, "fight to keep Critical Race Theory out of our schools," and support calls for more police funding, rather than having money normally given to law enforcement departments distributed elsewhere.

"I'll fight all of the Marxist forces that want to destroy our way of life and our unique American identity," Starbuck adds. "In short, I'll fight for common sense and American values."

Starbuck has been contacted for further comment.

Robby Starbuck trump
A number of Donald Trump's supporters have said the former president should have endorsed Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. SAUL LOEB-AFP/Robby Starbuck/Getty Images

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts