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Jones hit by storm of protest after he backs Trump on Facebook

Marcus Jones, One Bermuda Alliance senator and former Senate Leader (File photograph)

The former Senate leader of the One Bermuda Alliance faced a storm of criticism yesterday after he defended impeached US President Donald Trump.

Marcus Jones’ own party distanced itself from his views and the ruling Progressive Labour Party slammed his support for Mr Trump.

The row blew up after Mr Jones, who still sits in the Upper House, said in a Facebook post that he was a “staunch” supporter of Mr Trump and would pray for him.

Editorial: OBA trumps itself

Mr Jones wrote on his personal Facebook page: “I have taken up the mantle with you to pray for America and president Trump.

“Since he was elected as president in 2016 Holy Spirit has prompted me to be an intercessor for your president who in that time has become my president.”

Mr Jones admitted: “Most of my family and friends, who are believers, dislike president Trump and cannot see God’s hand in His plan to place him in this office.

“They disregard the President’s policies that have defended religious freedom, declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel or recognised what he has done to improve your economy.

“So I am a minority supporter of the president in my community but a staunch one.

“I believe God and the prophets and I encourage you not to leave or lose hope in what God has spoken.“

But Cole Simons, the Opposition leader, said: “While the OBA recognises that Bermuda has the privilege of religious freedom and that each one of us is entitled to their own personal opinion, their opinions may not necessarily reflect the sentiment of the party, which is the case of the recent social media post from Senator Marcus Jones.”

“With that said, as a Bermudian political party, we have no intention of officially commenting on, or of getting involved with the internal politics of the USA or any other country.“

Mr Jones is the Senate Opposition spokesman for the Ministries of Finance, Tourism, Transportation, Works and Engineering and Legal Affairs.

His Facebook post was in response to an online article written by right wing Christian fundamentalist pastor and writer Dutch Sheets where he backed the outgoing president.

Mr Sheets referred to an “international family” in his article.

Mr Jones told Americans: “I felt a part of that family and wanted you to know that this family included someone from Bermuda.”

A spokeswoman for the PLP said yesterday: “When evaluating who should serve in the Senate, we believe that one’s political philosophy counts.

“If an individual supports someone who is associated with white supremacy, sexism, violent insurrection and division, we believe their judgement should be questioned.

“Cole Simons needs to ask himself, is this who he wants to serve in the Senate?”

Mr Jones’ post attracted a torrent of social media comments.

Most blasted his stance on Mr Trump, who was impeached for "incitement of insurrection" over the storming of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6 that resulted in the deaths of five people.

Trump was earlier accused of an attack on democracy by his refusal to concede last November’s election to president-elect Joe Biden.

Mr Jones responded to a comment from Makai Dickerson, a former Progressive Labour Party General Election candidate.

Mr Dickerson asked: “What is the meaning of this? Is this a shared sentiment of the One Bermuda Alliance?

He said: “This seems to be a heartfelt endorsement of Donald Trump and an attack on Bermudians who are against his presidency.

“With all the evidence proving Trump to be a racist, bigoted, misogynistic fascist, how could the OBA in good conscience and faith allow their sitting Senate Leader to openly display his loyalty to a man like this?“

Mr Jones wrote: “Allow me to make myself clear. My sentiments and support of President Donald Trump is mine and not the OBA.

“Makai posted a note I sent to a religious organisation that prays for government leaders and in this case it happened to be the current president.

“I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ who believes in praying for the leader of my country’s Premier, David Burt, and for Barack Obama when he was president.

“I am sure that we all can agree that Donald Trump needs prayer.”

Mr Jones said: “I endorse the policies of the current president that promotes defending the unborn, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and promoting religious freedom.

“I realise that in a world that we live in today, it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in especially when it is unpopular.”

Dwayne Robinson, a former OBA senator, defended Mr Jones – but also tried to put clear blue water between the party and Mr Jones.

He said on Facebook: “This is not an official stance from the OBA.

“This is his personal page, where he expressed a personal opinion.

“Unless speaking in official capacity for the OBA, he can express his personal views.”

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Published January 19, 2021 at 9:55 am (Updated January 19, 2021 at 9:55 am)

Jones hit by storm of protest after he backs Trump on Facebook

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