Former Trump campaign senior adviser A.J. Delgado is living in Miami with her mother, and is singlehandedly raising the son she shares with one-time fellow Trump staffer Jason Miller, according to a new profile in the Atlantic from McKay Coppins. She doesn’t have a job in politics and has largely been abandoned by the campaign she helped push, against all odds, to the White House.
Delgado and Miller’s affair—Miller is married with children, though he reportedly told her he was separated—was major gossip fodder during the second half of 2016, and resulted in Miller turning down the job of White House communications director. The relationship re-entered the news last week, when the New York Post reported that Miller was the father of Delgado’s child, conceived during a visit to Las Vegas during the campaign.
Coppins’s profile focuses on Delgado’s life and pregnancy since Trump’s ascension, and he paints her experience as “emblematic” of today’s current political tensions.
“It’s the story of a woman with working-class roots navigating a world dominated by rich and powerful men,” he writes, “of a conservative Catholic who carried her baby to term despite feeling pressured to have an abortion, only to be ostracized by parts of the pro-life movement; of a president’s most visible Latina supporter who ended up on the sidelines after helping him win office.”
Coppins writes that Delgado revealed she was pregnant while she and Miller were in bed; at the time, he told her his wife was pregnant too. She says he asked her twice if “there was any chance I’d terminate the pregnancy,” although Miller denies it.
Since the scandal became public, Miller has reconciled with his family and become a CNN contributor, but Delgado, unsurprisingly to those who have heard this story before, hasn’t had the same luck. Coppins writes:
When I asked Delgado how her former colleagues and friends from the Trump campaign had treated her, she declined to comment. (Campaign employees were reportedly made to sign extensive non-disclosure agreements.) But she allowed that not everyone in the political world has been as supportive as she’d hoped. She said she was especially disappointed with many in the conservative movement that she helped marshal in 2016.
“There were some...very high-profile people who are supposedly pro-life, who knew me and heard about what happened, and who didn’t reach out,” she said. “I thought it was very telling … You see these people saying, ‘Oh, we should reach out to women with unexpected pregnancies and let them know they’re not alone’—and I’m like, ‘I’m right here!’”
Coppins notes that Kellyanne Conway, the most high-ranking and visible woman on the campaign, has spoken out about her pro-life values, and about reaching out to pregnant women in crisis: “Our message and our positive action must also reach those women who face unplanned pregnancies,” she said at a March for Life rally earlier this year. “They should know they are not alone. They are not judged. They, too, are protected and cared for and celebrated.”
Delgado said she hasn’t heard from her.
It reads like fiction, a plot specifically crafted to yield maximum irony, a woman done in by the ones she thought were her heroes. But what did Delgado, one of the key figures in a campaign that proudly boasted an unchecked indifference to women it could no longer use, expect to happen? She is a perfect example of the Trump woman—an attractive, well-spoken soldier for the boss’s wishes, to be tossed aside when she becomes vaguely inconvenient; a fractal of the idea that a campaign can be for all women without having to respect any one in particular.
Republicans have the remarkable inability to imagine themselves as the victim of misfortune they legislate against—it’s one of the main qualities that help them remain members of their own party, especially when Trump, a man known above all for his fidelity to infidelity, is in power. Surely Delgado didn’t think that Trump had suddenly become pro-life upon accepting the Republican nomination, after showing a lifetime’s worth of disrespect for mothers and most children, or that his primary advisers would either.
Are we to have sympathy for the latest high-profile victim of belief in a platform founded upon a shameless rejection of any kind of values to begin with? What about for the Americans who weren’t campaign surrogates, but believed their message, despite all evidence to the contrary? What about the single mothers who won’t get an Atlantic profile written about them? Who do you blame when you’re a victim of your own champion?
Read the full profile here.