KEY POINTS

  • Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis was ridiculed for a tweet with a quote falsely attributed to Teddy Roosevelt
  • Ellis clarified that the "ifea" was more important than actual accuracy, only enhancing the irony of the post
  • Ellis was once a sharp critic of Trump, but she changed her tune after his nomination. 

Trump’s legal adviser Jenna Ellis was the subject of ridicule Wednesday after tweeting out a quote falsely attributed to Teddy Roosevelt about how much conservatives value the truth. She followed up to explain that she shared it because the sentiment behind the quote was true, not because the quote itself was. 

“To anger a conservative, lie to him,” the quote in question reads. “To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.”

The replies were quickly mobbed with people mocking Ellis for the false attribution and noting the irony of sharing a false quote claiming one’s political group values the truth. Ellis’ explanation did nothing to calm the crowd, especially given her misspelling of ‘idea’ as ‘ifea.’

Teddy Roosevelt was trending high throughout the day as commenters unleashed a stream of responses, many containing real quotes from Teddy Roosevelt that ran counter Ellis’ politics or false quotes from historical figures personally attacking her.

Many of the quotes from Roosevelt focusing on fealty to country above party are thinly-veiled references to Ellis’ own about-face on Donald Trump following his selection as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. A review of her public statements and online posts during the primary by CNN shows that she was once very critical of the man she now doggedly supports.

"Why should we rest our highest office in America, on a man who fundamentally goes back and forth and really cannot be trusted to be consistent or accurate in anything," she said in a 2016 radio broadcast.

Other highlights from the primaries include her description of Trump as an “idiot,” “a bully,” “boorish and arrogant,” not a “real Christian,” an “American fascist" and an "unethical, corrupt, lying, criminal, dirtbag.” 

Jenna Ellis Jenna Ellis, a member of President Donald Trumps legal team, holds up a cell phone to the microphone so President Trump can speak during a Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing Wednesday at the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel next to Rudy Giuliani on Nov. 25, 2020 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

"I could spend a full-time job just responding to the ridiculously illogical, inconsistent, and blatantly stupid arguments supporting Trump," she wrote on Facebook in March 2016. "But here's the thing: his supporters DON'T CARE about facts or logic. They aren't seeking truth. We don't have truth seekers; we have narcissists."

Depending on your perspective, her Wednesday Tweet either contradicts or is entirely in line with those statements. Either way, her beliefs have publicly done a complete 180 following his nomination and eventual hiring of her. She now is a vital part of Trump’s legal challenges to the results of the 2020 presidential election and says her initial evaluation of him was wrong.

"It's no secret that I did not support Donald Trump early in the primary process in 2015, like many others who didn't know him,” she said in a statement to CNN. “I am glad to have learned that I was completely wrong about Trump back then. President Trump is a sincere Christian, the best president in modern history, and made and kept his promises to the American people.”