Donald Trump’s campaign organization has been woeful—from his shambolic showing in the delegate selection process toward the end of the primaries to his tardiness now in setting up campaign offices in key swing states. But are things really this bad?
The 12-year-old in question is Colorado’s Weston Imer, who, according to a report on Sunday by local TV station KDVR, is running Trump’s Jefferson County field office:
Jefferson County is one of the most populous counties in Colorado and is part of the Denver metro area.
Imer is in charge of the operation where volunteers will gather and help get out the vote, and while sitting behind a desk may not be the coolest thing to do, he hopes to use the position to inspire others.
But what, exactly, is Weston’s position? As the report itself notes, Weston’s mother, Laurel, is the officially designated field coordinator and claims she gave Weston “most of the responsibility” to show others “how to get their kids involved.” Translation: Weston was given a few responsibilities as a civics lesson, and not a bad one either. Weston himself says he’s the “co-chair” of the operation—which, incidentally, didn’t open its doors until this past Saturday. And he will be the “co-chair” until school starts back up. Weston said in a speech at a Mike Pence town hall earlier this month that he attends Golden View Classical High School, which means he’ll likely leave the campaign on Sept. 6, their first day of school. He’ll be “running” the Jefferson County office for a little more than two weeks, which, in fairness, is a lifetime for a campaign that has proven pathetically unable to stay on message for more than 48 hours.
The report is, shockingly, mum on what Weston’s responsibilities actually are. So, I called him at a number posted on a page run by Colorado Kids for Trump, which Weston has said he founded. Here is a transcript of our conversation:
Slate: Hi there, is this Weston Imer?
Weston: Um, may I ask who this is?
Slate: This is Osita Nwanevu. I’m a reporter with Slate.
Weston: Um, I’m giving no comments right now. Thanks.
Click. Weston is already a natural at dodging the press and could very well be going places. But it’s doubtful that he’s doing anything more for Trump’s operation than what he’s seen doing in the KDVR report—namely making phone calls for Trump and looking precocious. His mother, Laurel, did not return a request for an interview.
Before not-running Trump’s Jefferson County field office, Weston was evidently tasked with making calls to anti-Trump Colorado delegates, according to a report from the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs in July:
One candidate for alternate received a voicemail from a 12-year-old who insisted he was speaking on behalf of both the Trump campaign and the Colorado Republican party and said that the Colorado Republican party wanted nothing to do with the effort to “free the delegates”.
…Another was told in a phone call from the 12-year-old Trump supporter that those seeking to free the delegates were somehow plotting to steal the nomination from the real estate developer and hand it to Jeb Bush.
Trump’s Colorado director Patrick Davis later told Jacobs that Weston was only speaking—adorably, chillingly—for the Trump campaign. Weston was also speaking for the Trump campaign during his aforementioned speech at Mike Pence’s town hall event earlier this month, where he warned that school shootings could triple in a Clinton administration and expressed support for blocking the entry of Syrian refugees. He later talked at length about his support for Trump in an interview with NBC affiliate 9 News in which he praised Trump’s willingness to deviate from being “politically correct” and mocked Clinton supporters with a lack of self-awareness typically shown by Trump voters more than twice his age:
Whenever I talk to a Hillary supporter, I go, “Ok, would you trust her with the nuclear codes? Would you trust her to have the nuclear key in the palm of her hand, so that she could just say, ‘Ok, here we go—push button.’ ”
Weston also spoke for the Imer 2040 campaign. He told 9 News’ reporter that a run for the presidency is a certainty. Weston also said he’d be open to running as fellow 12-year-old Barron Trump’s running mate—but perhaps his mother, who cut in loudly with a “NO” when the question was asked, will change his mind.
Politics isn’t Weston’s only pastime. As Laurel Imer has carefully documented on YouTube, he’s been singing since he was four. One recent appearance included a Trump rally at Wings Over the Rockies in late July, where he performed “America the Beautiful” to his mother’s cheers.
If you don’t have time to watch the clip, he’s not bad! Weston sings with an earnestness that has been as absent from the Trump’s megalomaniacal, bigoted campaign as decency and tolerance. In any case, there isn’t anything to see here but a mother who loves her impressionable and ambitious son.