Model Elizabeth Pipko has experienced harassment since going public with her support for the president, but she doesn’t regret it one bit.
By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News
Elizabeth Pipko is a 23-year-old New Yorker, Maxim model, one-time competitive figure skater and proud Jew who keeps the Sabbath and Jewish dietary laws.
She is also a proud Trump supporter, a fact she had kept hidden in order not to endanger her modeling career. But in late January, in an interview with the New York Post, she decided to speak about her life on the campaign.
Although she has experienced some harassment since, including being called a Nazi, she doesn’t regret her decision to go public with her views. In fact, recently married, she met her husband while working on the campaign.
Pipko recently sat down with World Israel News to talk about her life.
How did you get started with the Trump campaign?
“I decided to be involved because I’ve always been obsessed with politics. Since I was of voting age, I said now is the time to get involved. My brother and I went to involved. I actually never told anyone this story, so it’s cool. I wrote a letter to the director of the data team on the actual campaign of what I thought could be done, worked on and improved in the volunteer center for the campaign to win. I asked an intern to bring it upstairs to him. They called me within 48 hours and I was on the campaign.”
How were you raised in terms of your Jewish background?
“My family emigrated from the Soviet Union. My brother, cousins and I are the first generation born in America. My parents and grandparents came from Ukraine, Estonia, etc. My grandfather was a famous Jewish artist who had just died.
“It wasn’t mostly about keeping Shabbat and Kosher – strictly about the laws – but about being proud of being Jewish. I was very aware of everything my family went through, when they weren’t allowed to be Jewish, escaping to America. I went to an Orthodox day school from 3 years old to 13. After that, we became strictly kosher, and I became an Israeli citizen at 18.”
What made you want to come out and tell your story about fearing the consequences you might face for working with Trump?
“After two years of being in office, I think he’s done well – at least the things that are more important to me. He’s done well overall and he’s kept his promises. He’s done a lot of things that make me proud as a Jew, an American and a conservative. I think to watch people being so negative…[making] vulgar about him, I want to defend him, myself and the people who voted for him. No one ever says, ‘well, at least we can appreciate him for this …’ I wanted Jews to know, he moved the embassy and he’s sticking up for things we believe in.”
Have you faced any backlash since you began to talk about your work with the campaign?
“It’s been a mix. People in the industry haven’t said a lot. I had a few photographers who I was very close with make weird comments. They stopped contacting me, which is fine. I see them interacting with people on my comments on photos. They’re making fun of me with internet trolls. It’s pathetic. People have called me a Nazi and fascist, things like that. It’s terrible. Of all insults.
“I go to synagogue and my house is kosher. Come on. I support the president because of what he’s done for Israel, but you’re calling me a Nazi?”
How did you develop a relationship with President Trump?
“I wouldn’t say we’re that close. I actually – when I got on the campaign – had a job. Hillary Clinton had about 900 staffers. We had 115 only in Trump Tower. That was our whole team. The top 30 were all advisers and the bottom 30 were interns. Combine that and it’s a group of about 50 people. Everyone was interacting with each other. Kelly Ann Conway introduced herself to me on my first day. I didn’t think I’d be in that position out of nowhere.
“Almost every day, at least one of the Trumps were there, thanking us for what we’re doing. I met my husband on the campaign. He was on the political team. He’s been in politics for years, on the Romney campaign and other stuff. He had a higher position than I. Since 2016, there’s been a small group of people who have stayed on to help for 2020. My husband stayed on, so he works closely with the Trumps and the small team that’s there. We’ve made some trips to the White House, interacted with the family and got close with them.
“It’s been insane. It’s the craziest ride.”
Did you ever think you’d meet your husband while working on a political campaign?
“I remember the first day my brother and I volunteered. We met our parents at a diner, and we had tears in our eyes. I was so excited to be in Trump Tower, making phone calls. Within five months, I finished my job there. We won the election. I had this guy I knew I was going to marry, and it was just the craziest ride. I owe a lot to the president.”
Do you see yourself getting more involved in politics in the future?
“Yeah, definitely. Being a model and doing all of these different things was great. I’ve had a passion for politics since I was little. Most important, I got more involved because of President Trump. There’s a lot of things that come with the support. Sure, the negative comments are terrible. But I’ve also received plenty of positive comments from people telling me they’re inspired by what I’m doing, and they want to be more open and honest like I am.
“If I can help the world, even if it’s one person at a time, that would be an honor. To be involved in politics would be a dream of mine, but I’m not sure in what capacity yet. Judaism is really important to me. Some kind of group where I can be involved in Israeli-American situations and Jewish voters is really important. I don’t know yet, but I definitely plan to be involved.”
What can Americans do to fight the BDS movement?
“It’s a difficult balance because of free speech. Israel is a foreign country. But at the same time, it’s not condemning actions of Israel versus Palestine. It’s becoming more of an anti-Semitic act. When you see kids protesting on college campuses, they’re not shouting about specific things going on in the Middle East. They have no idea what’s going on. They’re just shouting anti-Semitic things. Whoever is promoting this is teaching young people the completely wrong things. Instead of supporting free speech, they’re supporting anti-Semitism.”
Do you think President Trump can be the one to help lead a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
“All I know is that as a Jew and an American, every previous administration has said they want to fix what’s going on, strictly for votes. President Trump genuinely wants to change it. I don’t really know. It’s been going on forever and it might go on forever. I think he’s the one president, unlike everyone before him – who promised to move the embassy and to create peace – he’s the one person who genuinely wants to fix it.