New York Daily News

Bernie backs Hillary today

- BY JASON SILVERSTEI­N jsilverste­in@nydailynew­s.com Jason Silverstei­n

DONALD TRUMP has hired a new communicat­ions guy who’s ready to rumble with the press — perhaps literally.

The Trump campaign last week hired Steven Cheung, formerly of Ultimate Fighting Championsh­ip, as its “rapid response” director.

According to a statement from the campaign, Cheung will spend his time “pushing back on false or unbalanced reporting.”

Cheung worked as UFC’s director of communicat­ions in Las Vegas for more than three years, according to his LinkedIn page.

Before that, he stepped into the political ring for several campaigns — and got KOd every time.

According his LinkedIn, Cheung was the “rapid response” director for the unsuccessf­ul Senate campaigns of former Texas Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst and Nevada Tea Party embarrassm­ent Sharron Angle, as well as director of online messaging for the unsuccessf­ul gubernator­ial campaign for former California Insurance Commission­er Steve Poizner.

Cheung was also an administra­tive assistant for John McCain’s unsuccessf­ul presidenti­al run in 2008, the page says.

He entered politics in 2004 as a White House speechwrit­ing intern under President George W. Bush.

Cheung made at least one other contributi­on to politics: A sexist tweet.

As Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff noted, Cheung in 2012 tweeted a screenshot from a television debate with a pressing question: “Oof! Who’s the hot blonde in between Rubio and Hannity?”

Cheung also used to tweet in support of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of Trump’s rivals in the vicious GOP primaries.

“Want real leadership on foreign policy? Look no further than @MarcoRubio’s speech at the @LBJLibrary,” Cheung wrote in April 2014.

He also tweeted an article urging Rubio to run for the GOP presidenti­al nomination.

The hiring of Cheung and Bryan Lanza — a Citizens United alum who will handle surrogates’ communicat­ions — comes as Trump’s flailing campaign tries to abruptly beef up its staffing.

For most of Trump’s White House run, his press operation was run singlehand­edly by Hope Hicks, a 27-year-old who did PR for the Trump Organizati­on but had never worked in politics.

The new hires came after Trump fired his controvers­ial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowsk­i, who has since become a contributo­r to CNN. Lewandowsk­i had never before worked on a successful national campaign. BERNIE’S FINALLY going to be with her.

Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns jointly announced a Tuesday event in Portsmouth, N.H., where Sanders will endorse Clinton, just two weeks ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The two campaigns put out a joint statement Monday saying the event would be to “discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”

Sanders eventually decided to come aboard after pushing the Democratic Party platform left on a number of issues, including a higher minimum wage and convincing Clinton to adopt a more robust college affordabil­ity plan.

The event will be held in the same state where Clinton endorsed President Obama eight years ago.

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