Donald Trump struggled to meet the mood of a memorial service for Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, better known as “Diamond” of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk.
Speaking Saturday at the gathering in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the former president at times sounded more like a candidate delivering a stump speech than an ex-president memorialising a valued friend or political ally.
At one point, he even quipped that the service had gone on much longer than the “15 minutes” he was promised to deliver his remarks and leave.
“They said about 15-20 minutes, in and out. This is a little longer than 15 minutes, right?” noted Mr Trump.
He also admitted to not having been familiar with Ms Hardaway’s sister Herneitha Rochelle Hardaway Richardson, better known as “Silk”. Ms Richardson typically had far fewer speaking lines in the pair’s videos, but was a fixture nonetheless.
All in all, it was an awkward memorial for a Trumpworld icon who rose to fame on the right solely due to her support for the former president. At times, it veered into campaign issues as it became clear that Mr Trump knew little about the woman he was memorialising.
At another point during the surreal event, Ms Richardson delivered her own remarks and shockingly insinuated that her sister’s death was the result of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, even though the Centers for Disease Control has only identified a single-digit number of deaths over several years found to be causally associated with side effects from Covid vaccines.
There’s also the issue of Ms Hardaway being a noted anti-vaxxer, and never admitted publicly to having received the jab.
Ms Richardson has been active in social media in the days following the 51-year-old Ms Hardaway’s death, sparring with various individuals who have claimed that her death resulted from suffering a Covid-19 infection.