Who Is Karen Giorno? New Details About The Witness In The Alva Johnson Lawsuit Against Trump

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Who Is Karen Giorno? New Details About The Witness In The Alva Johnson Lawsuit Against Trump
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She is a controversial figure among Trump supporters.

Alva Johnson is seeking justice three years after she alleges then-presidential candidate Donald Trump kissed her without her consent at a campaign rally in 2016. She filed a lawsuit in Florida on Monday, and spoke with the Washington Post about alleged sexual misconduct.

In the documents, Johnson mentions two witnesses: Pam Bondi, who was the Florida attorney general at the time, and Karen Giorno.

Bondi has denied the allegations—but Giorno has kept mum. Why? While Giorno is not a politician, she is deeply entwined in politics, and is a controversial figure in the realm of Trump supporters.

So who is Karen Girono? Here's what we know. 

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1. She heads Kingston Public Affairs.

Giorno is the principal and founder of Kingston Public Affairs. The firm got its start in April 2005. It works in both the private and public sectors. The firm also works with governments in the United States and abroad, and with campaigns.

The firm has locations in Florida, Washington, D.C., New York, and California, but is based in New Jersey.

For Trump’s campaign, Giorno was named the national senior advisor and Florida chief strategist.

2. She worked closely with the Bush family.

Giorno had presidential experience before working on Trump’s campaign. She was the senior advance representative for George H. W. Bush. She wrote press releases for the president and was his scheduler from 2001 to 2007. She was also the senior advance representative for First Lady Laura Bush from 2003 to 2009.

Their ties go back to before Giorno graduated college. While at Marymount University, she was a presidential intern in the office of Presidential Scheduling and Advance for President George H. W. Bush, then joined his staff after graduating in 1990. She worked and volunteered for him for over 25 years.

When the former president passed away, Giorno posted a touching tribute to the man who jump-started her career.

“It is not that common in our lives and careers to have a former US President shape our intellect, political life, and life in general. But President Bush did that for me. We discussed many topics over the years and I learned from him, his perspectives and his wealth of knowledge that will always be fundamental for my understanding of the world and who I am as a person.”

It is not often that I become emotional. Most who know me, know that. But today is one of those times. This week I happened to be in Washington DC. On Tuesday I was invited to attend a White House Christmas reception with President and Mrs. Trump. It is always an honor and a privilege to work for, with or help get elected a former and/or a sitting President. My 30 years in Presidential politics started with George H.W. Bush and I owe him, his family and my former WH bosses my career. They shaped me, molded me and guided me, and I will forever be grateful. When I was 21 years old I was a Senior at Marymount University and a Presidential Intern in the office of Presidential Scheduling and Advance for President George H.W. Bush. When I graduated, I joined his staff at the White House and after his Presidency I continued to work and volunteer for him and Mrs. Bush for over 25 years, whenever I was needed. It is not that common in our lives and careers to have a former US President shape our intellect, political life, and life in general. But President Bush did that for me. We discussed many topics over the years and I learned from him, his perspectives and his wealth of knowledge that will always be fundamental for my understanding of the world and who I am as a person. He was a selfless, public servant, humble and thoughtful. He loved America and always had a kind word and genuine optimism that was infectious. He had a fundamental way of seeing the world that realistically acknowledged that there were many problems in our country as well as globally, but that as Americans we can overcome those obstacles, however so slowly, however so slightly, to improve our nation and the world completely, by bringing people together. The world and our Great Country has lost a Great man and Former President, the last of his kind. He served our country as the youngest pilot in the navy in WWII and in my opinion was the last of 20th Century Presidential Statesmans. I deeply respected, admired, and loved this President and I will miss him terribly. I trust he is now with his beloved wife and our beloved First Lady, Barbara and together they are now reunited.

A post shared by Karen Rosalie Giorno (@krgiorno) on Nov 30, 2018 at 11:07pm PST

3. She’s had some scuffles in Florida politics.

Back in August 2018, Giorno was accused of being paid to endorse candidates for the Florida Senate and the Florida House. Giorno endorsed Florida Senate candidate Belinda Keiser in early summer of 2018. About two weeks later, Keiser paid Kingston Public Affairs $70,325 on July 16 for “political consulting,” according to the Florida Division of Elections.

Giorno’s Florida issues go back even further. Politico reported in 2016 that Giorno had resigned from Governor Rick Scott’s administration in 2011. She was his external affairs director. Why did she leave? Giorno said, “I enjoyed my time in Tallahassee but decided to leave to take advantage of a good professional opportunity.”

However, her resignation came soon after a Disney G.O.P. fundraiser that did not go the way she wanted. Giorno reportedly tried to rearrange seating at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for the Palin family — Sarah Palin was the Republican Party of Florida’s keynote speaker for the Victory Dinner. Not only did she muddle with the seating charts the RPOF staff made, but she also was not allowed to do so. The dinner was a political function; as a state official in Governor Scott’s administration, Giorno was attempting to control beyond her reach.

“I do remember a hell of a lot of drama going on at the time,” a former party employee said of the debacle. “Staff was really fired up.”

Another former employee said, “[Giorno] yelled at RPOF staff and got into an altercation with some fundraising folks, then was summarily told to leave the room and not come back.”

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4. She is “no friend of Donald Trump.”

In September 2016, just two months before the election, Trump removed Giorno from her position as senior political advisor. She was replaced by Susie Wiles, in the hopes that Wiles would do more to get votes, as Trump and Clinton were neck and neck in the significant election state. Giorno was not bitter after she was ousted.

“Wiles is a winner,” Giorno said. “She knows how to win.” She told Politico that she has a “confrontational style,” while Wiles has “a cheerful disposition and a reputation of being a consensus-builder.”

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, reportedly told Trump during his campaign, “If I were you, I would run as fast as you can away from that person.” Giorno is originally from New Jersey; Trump hired her out of the state in October 2015.

In Florida, Giorno worked closely with Alva Johnson, who joined the Florida campaign at the end of July after she helped contribute to Trump’s successes in other states. According to Johnson’s documents, Giorno was there in the RV with Johnson, Trump, and other supporters. As the alleged kiss happened, Bondi and Giorno were behind Johnson on the RV. According to the documents, “[as] Ms. Bondi walked off the RV [after the kiss], she glanced at Ms. Johnson and smiled. Ms. Giorno, walking behind Ms. Bondi, grabbed Ms. Johnson’s elbow and gave it an approving tug.”

She has not yet commented on the allegations, but according to accounts of people who have worked with Giorno in the past, her interests lie in herself and herself alone.

“She makes a lot of promises, but I don’t think she’s for Trump,” Kevin Sifferman, a volunteer for the Trump campaign in Florida, said. “I don’t think she’s for Florida. She’s only in it for herself.”

5. She’s a proud dog owner.

Outside of politics, Giorno’s Instagram often highlights her dog. Cosabella is a 15-year-old Dachshund — as Giorno put it, she is 105 in dog years. While her dog is blind and diabetic, Giorno still considers her a puppy.


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Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.

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