Donald Trump has found his own personal Derek Zoolander and actor “slash” model: His name is Antonio Sabáto Jr., and he’s scheduled to speak on the main stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week.
It is a poorly kept secret that Team Trump and the GOP have been experiencing difficulties attracting A-listers and star power—both political and pop-cultural—to their four-day nominating event. The line-up of allegedly “all-star” convention speakers, a partial list of which was released early Thursday, includes Tim Tebow (according to The New York Times), Peter Thiel, Rudy Giuliani, Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, and Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.
The incomplete roster of speakers also features a pastor who says that Hillary Clinton wants a black “genocide” in this country, and a sheriff and Fox News regular who thinks Black Lives Matter is about to team up with ISIS to destroy America.
But perhaps the most curious example on this list is Antonio Sabáto Jr., an Italian-born soap-opera and reality-TV star and former Calvin Klein underwear model. You may remember seeing him on General Hospital and Melrose Place or, more recently, Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Wife Swap.
Even more recently, you might have seen him tweeting about why liberals and socialists are bad and Trump is great, and making the media rounds as an unofficial celebrity surrogate discussing why The Donald should—actually, for real—be leader of the free world.
“Here is a safe way to keep the country safe arrest Obama & Hillary right now,” Sabáto tweeted last month. “Problem solved.”
“Make sure to email us from prison @HillaryClinton & have fun watching @realDonaldTrump be president 4 the next 8 years,” he tweeted earlier that month. “Enjoy the food !!” (Unfortunately for Sabáto and Trump, Clinton will not be indicted this year.)
“Yes I endorse [Trump], yes yes and no he is not a racist No yes yes no bla bla, next please anything else chu got !” he posted in early April, defending his candidate against frequent charges of bigotry and xenophobia.
Sabáto, much like Trump, is a fan of “All Lives Matter”:
The 44-year-old Sabáto has been a supporter and political ally of Trump’s since at least April 2011, which was right around the time Trump started to gain currency in certain right-wing circles with his anti-Obama, racist birtherism. “I am with ya pal @realDonaldTrump no matter what . #alltheway,” he tweeted five years later.
In those five years, the actor and ex-underwear model has befriended the real-estate mogul, met with him, hopped aboard the Trump Train, and privately discussed with the Republican presidential nominee what he could do for the general election.
"He's an honest guy, I believe his politics, and I think that's what we need for this country," Sabáto said on Fox Business in May. "I think a lot of people [in Hollywood] are gonna come out and support [Trump] even more."
During the interview, Sabáto said that he had personally “chatted with [Trump]” and that he was willing to do whatever the GOP nominee wanted him to do during the campaign. “I could probably do executive protection,” Sabáto floated as an idea, saying he was open to joining Trump’s security detail.
It appears he’ll have to settle for convention speaker, at least for now.
The model slash actor’s publicist did not respond to a request for comment.