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Brandon Straka, a gay Trump supporter who launched the WalkAway social media campaign encouraging voters to leave the Democratic Party, has been arrested in connection with the assault on the U. Capitol this month. Straka was arrested Monday in Nebraska, where he grew up, and was charged with impeding law enforcement officers during civil disorder, knowingly entering restricted grounds and engaging in disorderly conduct with intent to disturb a hearing before Congress, NBC New York reported.
Three months ago, Brandon Straka was a New York City hairstylist and aspiring actor with a small social media following. Now, he's a frequent Fox News contributor with nearly 70, Twitter followers, whose posts have been shared by Donald Trump Jr. His ascent to conservative-media darling began on May 26, when Straka posted a now-viral video describing why he fled the Democratic party.
His video — with the catchy hashtag urging people to WalkAway from the left — has been viewed millions of times, catapulting him to Fox News fame.
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Those on the right are eager to hear stories — true or not — about a shrinking left, and Straka is delivering. Straka, 41, hails from rural Nebraska, where his graduating class had 18 seniors. He said he faced violence and discrimination for being gay in his conservative hometown.
After high school, he moved to New York to pursue acting and singing. At 38, he realized he had to get sober, and he did. Straka said he had his last drink on Jan. Straka said he voted for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election and despaired when Donald Trump emerged victorious.
However, in retrospect, he said he had already begun to drift toward the GOP. Straka traced his journey to conservatism to mid, while he was eating lunch on a park bench in Manhattan. Shaken, Straka took to Facebook to vent. In an October Facebook Live videoStraka complained about the lack of response to his social media posts. Earlier this year, he posted a few short videos about gun control, but they were less produced and less dramatic than the WalkAway video.
They were also unquestionably flops: Only a handful of users engaged with them. My 1st video for my new YouTube channel! Please share!!!
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Soon after he posted the WalkAway video, Straka took to social media to aggressively promote it, asking for shoutouts from conservative influencers like Dana Loesch, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and President Trump. Eventually, it started to work. The next day, Donald J. Trump Jr. The truth is somewhere in between.
In many of the videos posted to the WalkAwaypeople describe leaving the Democratic party before the election ; some say they've been Republicans for decades. He shared his own WalkAway video on July 2.
As a black man, democrats want me to be a victim. They call me an Uncle Tom for talking about problems in the black community.
It was time for me to WalkAway pic. Gregory T. Still, he believes the hashtag will grow as the November midterms approach. Miller said Straka reflects "the underlying shift in the party away from me, or my ideological worldview. An NBC News exit poll from the presidential election found just 14 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters cast their ballots for Trump, compared to 78 percent for Clinton.
As he seeks to enlarge this movement, he has access to an undeniably influential platform: Fox News. IE 11 is not supported.
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Follow NBC News. By Tim Fitzsimons. Kit Ramgopal contributed.