According to Bloomberg, Donald Trump’s advisors are currently working to get former heavyweight champion and current registered sex offender Mike Tyson to appear at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the plan, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the Trump campaign is lining up a veritable who’s who of unhinged sports icons to attend the event, including Bobby Knight, Mike Ditka and Tyson, who was convicting of raping 18-year-old Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington in 1992:
The sports stars’ specific roles at the convention have not yet been finalized, and it is unclear whether they will speak on stage to delegates and television cameras. Representatives of those lined up to appear did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump has said on the campaign trail that he wants the event to be a gathering of “winners”—and not politicians, like at past conventions. “We’re going to do it a little different, if that’s OK,” he said in Virginia earlier this month. “I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”
Since the early ‘90s, Trump has repeatedly questioned Tyson’s guilt, once telling New York magazine the boxer claimed Washington “wanted it real bad.” In April, Trump celebrated Tyson’s endorsement, saying, “I love it. He sent out a tweet. Mike. Iron Mike.”
“You know, all the tough guys endorse me,” Trump told a crowd in Indianapolis, the city where Tyson committed the rape. “I like that, OK?”
UPDATE 11:15 P.M.: Tuesday night, Donald Trump denied that Tyson was “asked to speak” at the convention, but said he was “sure he would do a good job if he was.” Notably, this does not directly refute the original Bloomberg report, which stated that Trump aides were “lining up” Tyson to “appear” at the convention.
Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention though I'm sure he would do a good job if he was. The media makes everything up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2016