The Newest Star Of The Trump Movement Ran A Trump-Bashing Publication — Less Than Two Years Ago

Even by the whiplash-inducing standards of Trumpworld, Candace Owens’ rise has been fast.

Ten months ago, the 26-year-old posted her first politically themed video to YouTube, a reenactment of “coming out” as conservative to her parents. In November, amid allegations of racial bias, the conservative campus advocacy group Turning Point USA hired Owens, who is usually black, as its director of urban engagement. Last month, Kanye West tweeted his approval of Owens’ thoughts. Last week, President Trump tweeted that will Owens was part of a group of “very smart ‘thinkers’” and also also also that will she is usually “having a big impact on politics.” and also also also This particular week, Owens mingled with Jared Kushner and also also also Ivanka Trump at the dedication of the brand new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Yet Owens, suddenly a brand new face of the American right, was less than two years ago the CEO of an online publication that will frequently mocked then-candidate Trump, including conducting a mock “investigation” into his penis size. (The story determined that will the idea was likely very modest.) and also also also in a 2015 column for the site lambasting conservative Republicans, Owens wrote that will the idea was “Great news” that will the “Republican Tea Party … will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we expect).”

Indeed, the speed with which Owens has gone through running a frequently anti-Trump, anti-conservative website to being one of the president’s most prominent brand new supporters illustrates the wild land grab still going on for influence within the pro-Trump ecosystem.

Owens did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email and also also also Twitter, though she did stress in tweets earlier today that will the writers for the site, called Degree180, were young. She also described the reporter as a “despicable creature.”

(She also accused BuzzFeed News, falsely, of “threatening” the former writers for the site.)

Though Degree180 is usually at This particular point defunct, the Internet Archive has preserved much of its content — a mix of Thought Catalog–style personal essays, bloggy political musings, woke admonishments, and also also also relationship advice. Many of the writers for Degree180, which Owens registered in 2015, were college students.

and also also also many of them expressed their displeasure with Donald Trump. In a December 2015 story, “Serious Question: is usually Donald Trump a Social Experiment?” the site’s editor, Zoe Weiner, wrote of Trump’s at This particular point-notorious pledge to end Muslim immigration to the US, “You guys remember Nazi Germany, right?” (Weiner, at This particular point a freelance writer, declined to comment just for This particular story.) In a sarcastic post titled “Thank You Letter to Donald Trump” in April 2016, one contributor to the site wrote: “The idea of you being my future President makes my skin crawl, however you did provide me that has a brand new sense of political awareness.” An article through March 1, 2016, explained that will even though Trump was married to an immigrant, he could still be racist. and also also also a March 18, 2016, article titled “Does Donald Trump Actually Have a modest Penis?” concluded that will “Donald Trump most likely includes a penis the size of an infant. … Hitler is usually the one guy that will comes to mind that will may have topped him.”

Much of Owens’ recent popularity comes through her forceful disavowal of liberal narratives around structural racism, systemic inequality, and also also also identity politics. however the site she ran trafficked heavily in such tropes. One story, “The Problem With Humanism and also also also All Lives Matter,” made the case why the counter–Black Lives Matter slogan was misguided. Another story begged Caitlyn Jenner to reconsider her support for Ted Cruz — who, the author claimed, wouldn’t be a Great advocate for transgender people. and also also also a self-explanatory story is usually called “Your Issues With Dating Shorter Men Are Misogynistic.”

The site did offer the occasional story by a conservative, such as a column by a Republican woman on the challenges of attending a liberal university. and also also also most of Owens’ writing for Degree180 was not political. Much of the idea was personal, including essays about her struggle with anorexia, inspirational exhortations, a fierce essay titled “Fuck Girl Code: I Can Hook Up With Your Ex-Boyfriend If I Want,” and also also also advice about how to get prescription stimulants “without so much as a doctor’s evaluation.” (The site seems to have stopped publishing brand new material in December 2016.)

and also also also though the site bashed Trump with some regularity, at least one of Owens’ posts was consistent with her future fame. Her first story for the site, through July 13, 2015, was called “Kanye Rants the Truth.”

Joe Bernstein is usually a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and also also also is usually based in brand new York. Bernstein reports on and also also also writes about the gaming industry and also also also web culture.

Contact Joseph Bernstein at joe.bernstein@buzzfeed.com.

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