Katrina Lanette Shaddix
July 20, 1976
|Education||Kilgore College (AS)|
University of Texas, Dallas (BS)
Early life and education
Pierson was born in Kansas to a white mother and a black father. Her mother gave birth to her at 15 and initially gave her up for adoption, but changed her mind. She grew up with her single mother, in poverty.
Pierson worked for InVentiv Health in 2008; for the Baylor Health Care System from July 2009 to August 2011, as a practice administrator; for ASG Software Solutions from May 2011 to December 2012, as the director of corporate affairs; and then in a variety of jobs until being hired by the Trump campaign.
Early political work
Pierson voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. She became an activist in the Tea Party movement in 2009. Speaking in April 2009 at a Dallas Tea Party event, she called for Texas to secede from the U.S. She founded a local Tea Party group in Garland, Texas. In 2012, Pierson actively supported Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race in Texas and appeared on stage with him on election night in November.
2014 Texas Congressional race
In the 2014 Texas congressional elections, Pierson challenged incumbent congressman Pete Sessions in the Republican primary to represent Texas' 32nd district and lost. Her candidacy was endorsed by Rafael Cruz and by Sarah Palin.
In the March primary, Pierson received 36 percent of the vote, losing to Sessions, who received 63 percent.
In January 2015, Pierson attended a meeting for Tea Party activists in Myrtle Beach with Ted Cruz. While in Myrtle Beach, she also met with Donald Trump. In November 2015 she was hired as the national spokesperson for Trump's campaign, subsequently appearing frequently on television in that capacity, often being seen as one of Trump's staunchest defenders amidst controversial comments.
After the 2016 election, Pierson turned down an administration position as Deputy Press Secretary, and instead worked at America First Policies, a pro-Trump 501(c)(4) group. In March 2018, the Trump 2020 campaign hired Pierson as a senior adviser.
Post-2020 election and January 6 attack
The New York Times reported that Pierson served as a liaison between the White House and organizers at Donald Trump's "Save America" rally on the Ellipse, preceding the 2021 United States Capitol attack. This reporting was later corroborated by text messages obtained by CNN in 2022.
In 2021, Pierson publicly mulled running in the Texas's 6th congressional district special election to replace deceased U.S. Representative Ron Wright. She ultimately decided against a bid for the seat, but stated that she was "not closing the door" on a future run for Congress.
Pierson was one of eleven individuals subpoenaed on September 29, 2021 by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack regarding their involvement in organizing the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the attack on the United States Capitol by Trump's supporters.
According to records obtained by CNN, Pierson texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on January 2 and 3, 2021, noting that "[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction" before declaring "I'm done. I can't be a part of embarrassing POTUS any further."
- Jeffers, Gromer Jr. (February 17, 2014). "Pete Sessions Rival Katrina Pierson Says '97 Shoplifting Charge Helped Turn Her Life Around". Politics. The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- Meghan (February 12, 2014). "Katrina Pierson about Taking on the Establishment GOP". GlennBeck.com. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- Swerdlick, David (February 25, 2014). "Black Tea Partier Katrina Pierson Takes on Obama—and Her Own Party". The Root. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- Georgatos, Debbie (September 22, 2011). "De-Bunking Tea Party Myths: An Interview with Katrina Pierson". TexasGOPVote. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Schreckinger, Ben; Glueck, Katie (November 18, 2015). "Trump's New Face". Politico. Archived from the original on November 22, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- "Katrina Pearson [sic]". TeapartyExpress.com. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- Weigel, David (February 21, 2014). "Weak Tea". Slate. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- LaCapria, Kim (August 15, 2016). "Her Arcane Katrina". Snopes.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Hooks, Christopher (February 24, 2014). "The Katrina Pierson Bubble Bursts". The Texas Observer. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Tuttle, Ian. "The Many Strange Inconsistencies and Occasional Outright Lies of Donald Trump's Spokeswoman". Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- Tinsley, Anna M. (December 14, 2015). "Trump's Outspoken Texas Spokeswoman Likely Will Be Around for Awhile". McClatchy DC. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Kennedy, Bob (November 12, 2015). "Question: Why Jump from Cruz to Trump?". Opinion. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Swartsell, Nick (February 19, 2014). "Sarah Palin Supports Katrina Pierson, Jabs at Pete Sessions". Trail Blazers Blog. Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Gillman, Todd J. (January 13, 2014). "Ted Cruz Adds Katrina Pierson to His Expanding List of the "Utterly Fearless"". Trail Blazers Blog. The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Jeffers, Gromer Jr. (January 6, 2014). "Ted Cruz's Dad, Rafael Cruz, Backs Katrina Pierson for Congress Over Incumbent Pete Sessions". Trail Blazers Blog. The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Kamisar, Ben (November 9, 2015). "Trump Taps Ex-Cruz Supporter as Spokeswoman". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Benen, Steve (December 21, 2015). "Team Trump's Unhealthy Approach to Nuclear Weapons". The Rachel Maddow Show. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- Savransky, Rebecca (March 14, 2017). "Report: Katrina Pierson turned down top White House job". The Hill. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Resnick, Gideon (March 14, 2017). "'Hurricane Katrina' Pierson Turned Down White House Gig". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Bykowicz, Julie (January 30, 2017). "Trump advisers start 'America First Policies' nonprofit". Usnews.com. Associated Press. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
- Manchester, Julia (March 13, 2018). "Trump campaign hires Katrina Pierson". The Hill. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
- Choi, Matthew. "Trump is on trial for inciting an insurrection. What about the 12 people who spoke before him?". POLITICO. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
- "Text messages Sean Hannity, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ivanka Trump and others sent to Mark Meadows". CNN. April 25, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
- Fearnow, Benjamin (February 22, 2021). "Katrina Pierson mulls House run, urges GOP to remove state lawmakers who certified Biden win". Newsweek.
- Axelrod, Tal (March 2, 2021). "Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat". TheHill.
- Betsy Woodruff Swan; Kyle Cheney; Nicholas Wu (September 29, 2021). "Jan. 6 investigators subpoena organizers of rallies that preceded Capitol attack". Politico.
- Annie Grayer; Ryan Nobles; Whitney Wild; Zachary Cohen (September 29, 2021). "January 6 committee targets organizers of Stop the Steal rally in latest batch of subpoenas". CNN.
- Pierson, Katrina. "Katrina Pierson". Twitter. See sidebar: "Born on July 20". Archived from the original on July 22, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
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