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(LifeSiteNews) — Former president and likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested that conservatives should give Bud Light brand owner Anheuser-Busch InBev a “second chance” on the same day it was announced that a lobbyist for the pro-LGBT company would be throwing a major fundraiser for the candidate.

Last April, Bud Light came under fire for a promotional partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a male TikTok celebrity who “identifies” as a woman, in which it congratulated him on “365 days of womanhood” with commemorative Bud Light cans bearing his face. The news sparked a substantial backlash against the brand and its owners to the point that it eventually fell out of the top 10 most popular beer brands in the United States, and was forced to sell a handful of its lesser drink brands, including their associated employees, pubs, and breweries. Last summer, Anheuser-Busch wholesalers said they did not anticipate alienated Bud Light drinkers returning to the brand.

In response, Bud Light vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid took a leave of absence, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement insisting the brand “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” and the company attempted to placate former customers with more traditional advertising. But the company neither apologized for injecting gender ideology into its brand nor committed to abstain from doing so again, and in fact went on to sponsor multiple LGBT “pride” events as well as give $200,000 to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, an LGBT activist group.

On Tuesday, however, Trump posted on his personal social network Truth Social that while the Mulvaney ad “was a mistake of epic proportions” for which “a very big price was paid,” in his view “Anheuser-Busch is not a Woke company” because it “spends $700 Million a year with our GREAT Farmers, employ 65 thousand Americans, of which 1,500 are Veterans, and is a Founding Corporate Partner of Folds of Honor, which provides Scholarships for families of fallen Servicemen & Women. They’ve raised over $30,000,000 and given 44,000 Scholarships.”

“Anheuser-Busch is a Great American Brand that perhaps deserves a Second Chance?” the former president suggested. “What do you think?”

The same day, Politico reported that the statement coincided with the news that Jeff Miller, a Republican Anheuser-Busch lobbyist, will be hosting a fundraiser for the cash-strapped Trump campaign attended by a host of Capitol Hill Republicans:

Trump’s comments were echoed by Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner, former athlete and “transgender” Republican.

I raced for @AnheuserBusch in the 80’s,” Jenner said. “I agree with @realDonaldTrump.” 

Trump, who owned between $1-5 million of Anheuser-Busch stock as of 2021 (it is unknown if he has since divested himself of it), largely stayed out of the original controversy until eventually declaring in May that “Money does talk—Anheuser-Busch now understands that.” But his latest remarks echoed comments made last year by his son Donald Jr., who argued that conservatives should not boycott Anheuser-Busch because the company donated more to Republicans than to Democrats and was not “focused” on woke causes, despite its long history of left-wing activism. 

The 45th president has a mixed history on LGBT issues, starting with his status as a mainstream celebrity and conventional liberal New Yorker before his entry into Republican politics. In 2012, as the owner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant, Trump repeatedly endorsed the inclusion of so-called “transgender women,” i.e. males, in competition with actual women, in the name of what the Trump organization called “modernized” rules at the time, eliciting praise from LGBT pressure group GLAAD.

While running for president in 2016, Trump criticized a North Carolina law banning male students from female restrooms and said anyone should be allowed to “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” By the time he was in office, he flipped on the issue, rejecting Obama-era guidelines on the subject and announcing that the Department of Education would no longer indulge bathroom-related “discrimination” complaints.

A supporter of same-sex “marriage,” Trump nominated several homosexual officials to government posts and judicial vacancies and continued some Obama-era pro-LGBT policies, such as an executive order on “gender identity nondiscrimination” and U.S. support for international recognition of homosexual relations at the United Nations Human Rights Council. His campaign actively courted LGBT-identifying voters with rainbow merchandise.

At the same time, Trump prioritized religious liberty and was generally aligned with social conservatives against the gender-fluidity movement, from banning gender-confused soldiers from the military to protecting women from having to share close quarters such as homeless shelters with men claiming to be transgendered. His White House also opposed the so-called “Equality Act” and maintained a biological definition of sex in its implementation of federal laws and regulations.

While running for 2024, Trump has pledged to “protect children from left-wing gender insanity” including banning federal funding, approval, and promotion of “gender transition” practices. In December 2022, however, he hosted a gala for the Log Cabin Republicans at his Mar-a-Lago resort home, where he declared, “we are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard. With the help of many of the people here tonight in recent years, our movement has taken incredible strides, the strides you’ve made here is incredible.”

Nevertheless, Trump resoundingly prevailed over his more conservative challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in last month’s Iowa caucuses, prompting DeSantis to suspend his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump maintains a commanding lead for the nomination over his sole remaining GOP opponent, the similarly moderate former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

Fluctuating national polls currently have the ex-president narrowly leading a close race with incumbent Democrat President Joe Biden, although voters also say that potential convictions in his various ongoing trials will make them less likely to support him. It’s also speculated that Democrats may replace Biden with a younger, healthier Democrat such as Gavin Newsom or Dean Phillips, and it is not yet certain which candidate would lose more votes to Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s third-party presidential run.

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