Teen caught up in Trump Twitter spat says she received death threats

What it’s like to be on the WRONG side of the Trump Twitter mob: Teenager targeted by POTUS after asking him a question about women’s rights at a campaign rally claims she received death and rape threats and was sent excrement in the mail

  • Lauren Batchelder attended a Trump rally in New Hampshire when she was 18
  • Asked Donald Trump a question about his record on women and abortion
  • Following day Trump tweeted accusing her of being ‘arrogant’ and a plant
  • Lauren says it opened floodgates of online abuse with threats to rape or kill her

A woman who was targeted by Donald Trump on Twitter after asking him a question about women’s rights at a campaign rally claims she was mercilessly trolled, sent death and rape threats and received excrement in the mail.  

Lauren Batchelder was 18 she attended a political event in her home state of New Hampshire in October 2015 ahead of the 2016 US election.

Having always been ‘incredibly passionate’ about politics and gearing up to vote for the first time, Lauren posed a question to Republican candidate Trump about his record on women.

Speaking in new BBC Three documentary Trump in Tweets, Lauren explained: ‘He owns the Miss Universe pageant, and that really bothered me, and I also knew that he had said he didn’t support abortion and that really worried me.

Lauren Batchelder was targeted by Donald Trump on Twitter after asking him a question about women’s rights at a campaign rally and claims she was mercilessly trolled, sent death and rape threats and received excrement in the mail

‘I decided to attend this political event where he would be speaking.’

At the event Lauren – a political activist who now considers herself to be more left-wing – asked the future president: ‘Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think you’re a friend to women.’

Trump replied: ‘I knew I shouldn’t have picked her,’ before going on to say he ‘respects women incredibly’ and ‘cherishes’ them.

Lauren continued: ‘I want to get paid the same as a man and I think you understand that. So if you become president will a woman make the same as a man and do I get to choose what I do with my body?’

In response, Trump quipped: ‘You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job, and I happen to be pro-life.’

Lauren was 18 she attended a political event in her home state of New Hampshire in October 2015 ahead of the 2016 US election

At the event Lauren – a political activist who now considers herself to be more left-wing – asked the future president: ‘Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think you’re a friend to women,’ to which Trump replied: ‘I knew I shouldn’t have picked her’

The following day Trump tweeted about her, writing: ‘The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion was a Jeb staffer! HOW CAN HE BEAT RUSSIA & CHINA?’ 

Lauren explained that she had spent time working for Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s political rivals.

‘I decided to intern for the Bush campaign because I thought it was going to be an interesting opportunity but it wasn’t working for me and so we parted,’ she said.

‘I think it’s very obvious that I wasn’t a plant because Jeb Bush is catholic, and he is against abortion. Why would the campaign send someone in to ask a question about a woman’s right to choose? It just doesn’t make sense.’

The following day Trump tweeted about her, writing: ‘The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion was a Jeb staffer! HOW CAN HE BEAT RUSSIA & CHINA?’

Lauren said suddenly going from a private citizen to a public figure was ‘absolutely terrifying’

The day after the Trump event, Lauren told how everything started to ‘blow up’ in the mainstream media.

‘All of a sudden there were hundreds of people who were either tweeting at me or trying to message me,’ she recalled.

After calling her out for being a ‘plant’, Lauren said she was bombarded with comments which soon turned very personal. 

‘They asked whether or not I knew I was ugly. They started to get incredibly sexual,’ she said.

Lauren explained that she had spent time working for Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s political rivals, but insisted she was not a plant

‘There had been a lot of things that had happened that summer; I was a survivor of sexual assault and I was filled with so much anger. They said that they were going to find me and rape me.

‘One person pooped in a box and they mailed it to me house.

‘The most shocking and scary one to me was a comment that said they knew where I lived and they said they were going to stomp my head in a curb and urinate all over my face.’

Lauren said suddenly going from a private citizen to a public figure was ‘absolutely terrifying’.

It got so bad that Lauren even considered dropping out of university. She described it as one of the darkest periods of her life

‘There’s no security,’ she explained. ‘I remember lying in my bed with the covers over my head and I couldn’t imagine that this was ever going to end.

‘This whole situation told me that this campaign was going to cross lines that haven’t been crossed before. The second that you take a teenager and throw them out to be eaten by the wolves, you’ve crossed that line.’  

It got so bad that Lauren even considered dropping out of university. Speaking to the BBC, she confessed it was ‘truly just one of the darkest moments of my life’ and admitted it’s had a lasting impact on her, adding: ‘Trauma doesn’t follow a stopwatch.’

Lauren said: ‘The most shocking and scary one to me was a comment that said they knew where I lived and they said they were going to stomp my head in a curb and urinate all over my face’

Lauren added that she doesn’t feel lasting anger towards the president or the trolls who harassed her – but hopes they can change their ways.

‘You cannot heal when you’re angry. I think in order to truly move forward I had to forgive all these people,’ she said.

‘I think that Donald Trump can change and that’s really my hope.’

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