AP — RALEIGH, N.C. According to Diamond and Silk’s Twitter account, Lynette Hardaway, one-half of the conservative political commentary team and a fervent fan of former President Donald Trump, has passed away. 51 years old.
Hardaway, also known as “Diamond,” built out a distinctive position for herself as a Black woman who vocally supported Trump and right-wing policies. She first gained notoriety online before becoming a cable television analyst. She was later fired from Fox News for promoting COVID-19 lies, but she found a new home on a right-wing cable network.
She and her sister Rochelle “Silk” Richardson gained notoriety when they went on stage to endorse Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump embraced the two Black women despite numerous accusations of racism and s*xism.
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The cause of Hardaway’s passing has not been made public. In a Monday night post on his Truth Social platform, Trump referred to her passing as “very devastating news for Republicans” and described it as “completely unexpected.”
In his message, Trump stated that “our beloved Diamond of Diamond and Silk has just gone away at her home in the State she loved so much, North Carolina.” There was never a better TEAM anywhere, ever!
Diamond of the pro-Trump entertainers Diamond and Silk has died at age 51. https://t.co/KGTV90EWpP
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 10, 2023
In a message from November, the couple’s verified Twitter account pleaded with followers to “please pray for Diamond,” without going into any detail. The user posted a memorial fundraising page link and stated, “The World just lost a True Angel and Warrior Patriot for Freedom, Love, and Humanity.”
There will be a memorial service announced. The sisters described themselves as Trump’s “most vocal and devoted followers,” and they claimed to have switched parties to back his first presidential run, which saw him get just 8% of the Black vote in the general election in 2016. They were invited to his 2017 inauguration as well as the White House later on.
The authors of the co-written memoir “Uprising,” which was released in 2020, said that when they campaigned for Trump in 2016, they came under fire from supporters who referred to them as “sellouts” and other derogatory terms. They said that their moment in the spotlight was unintentional.
We were simply going about our daily lives when suddenly we found ourselves catapulted into the political sphere simply because we dared to speak up and stand up for what we thought, they wrote.
The two, who were both raised in North Carolina’s Tar Heel state, accumulated 347,000 YouTube subscribers between them and used their online fame to land several network television appearances and regular jobs at Fox News.
Diamond of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk, has died, Trump announced pic.twitter.com/ExOM3r2Jcs
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 10, 2023
In 2020, the network deleted them from its contributor roster after receiving criticism for disseminating incorrect information regarding the pandemic and vaccines. The two had made bogus claims that the virus was manufactured and that the growing death toll was a media plot to harm the reputation of the Trump administration.
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After they tweeted the unfounded assertion that “quarantining people inside of their residences for extended periods will make them sick,” Twitter temporarily suspended their account for breaking its policy against spreading false information about the coronavirus.
They eventually found employment at Newsmax, a far-right cable news and digital media outlet, where they hosted “Diamond and Silk: Crystal Clear” for three seasons.
Hannah Schoenbaum is a member of the Statehouse News Initiative Corps for the Associated Press/Report for America. A nonprofit national service program called Report for America places journalists in local newsrooms to cover unreported stories.
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