November 28, 2016 at 3:50 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Trump’s nat’l security pick outed gay brother dying of AIDS
KT McFarland, gay news, Washington Blade

KT McFarland outed her gay brother before he died of AIDS. (Photo courtesy U.S. Naval Academy)

One of Donald Trump’s latest picks for his administration outed her gay brother to her parents before he died of AIDS in 1995, refusing to see him in his dying days and blaming his condition on paternal abuse her family said never happened.

On Friday, President-elect Trump announced he has selected as his deputy national security adviser Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, who works as a Fox News commentator and unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in New York to challenge Hillary Clinton for her U.S. Senate seat in 2006.

“I am proud that KT has once again decided to serve our country and join my national security team,” Trump said in a statement. “She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe.”

A Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, McFarland in 2006 sought to run against Clinton for her Senate seat and was considered a moderate in her bid for the Republican nomination.

A profile piece for New York Times Magazine in 2006, however, reported she “couldn’t abide” her brother being gay. The article unearthed a 1992 letter to her parents in which she reportedly outed her brother, Michael Troia, shortly after she discovered he had AIDS, and blamed her family’s troubles as a result of childhood abuse.

“Have you ever wondered why I have never had anything to do with Mike and have never let my daughters see him although we live only fifteen minutes away from each other?” McFarland reportedly wrote. “He has been a lifelong homosexual, most of his relationships brief, fleeting one-night stands.”

Pressed about her brother by New York Magazine for the 2006 profile piece, all McFarland would reportedly say about him was “Ummmm. He was sick and then he died.” According to the article, McFarland said her memory of her father’s behavior toward her family surfaced as a recovered memory and a therapist put her up to writing the letter.

An obituary in The New York Times listed three “companions” for Michael Troia, who died of AIDS on June 8, 1995, and said after graduating from George Washington University he became a longtime credit analyst at Merrill Lynch, according to a report in The New York Post,

Seeking to tamp down the impact of the New York Magazine article, McFarland in other media reports — which cited advisers publicly fearing she would appear homophobic — emphasized she allegedly grew up in a physically abusive home.

”In seeking to put a painful past behind me, I wrote two candid letters to my parents in 1992 at the advice of a counselor,” McFarland said in a statement at the time. “Now, in the midst of a political campaign, those letters have found their way into the hands of a magazine reporter.”

In a subsequent interview with the New York Times, McFarland reportedly said she grew up in a home where from the age of 2 onward she was beaten and whipped with belts along with her brother. At times, McFarland reportedly said, her father would wave a gun in her face, threatening to kill the family.

After they grew up and left home, McFarland and her brother lived only a few miles apart in New York City from 1985 to 1995, but McFarland admitted she largely cut him out of her life after she learned he had HIV and refused to let her young children see him.

“I was really living a life of going to Central Park with my kids, and he was increasingly living — there was no secret about it — he was openly gay,” McFarland was quoted as saying. “I had no problem with that, I loved him. But I was increasingly concerned because he talked about a very promiscuous lifestyle. And it saddened me a great deal.”

During the interview, McFarland reportedly denied the abuse made him gay, but said it contributed to his reported “promiscuity.”

“I think the abuse absolutely affected his riskier behavior, his more promiscuous — I don’t want to use the word self-destructive — is there another word like that?” McFarland reportedly said. “I don’t think it’s something that made him gay; he was always gay. That stuff leaves emotional scars on everybody, and everybody copes with it in different ways.”

According to the New York Times, McFarland said her brother was often sick during the 1990s and she would visit him at his home or the hospital, but she didn’t have any contact with him during the last two years of his life.

“Do I wish I spent more time with him? Of course I do,” McFarland is quoted as saying. “It’s the great regret that I have of my adult life, that I didn’t spend more time with him, that I was not with him in his final months.”

McFarland’s parents reportedly denied the household was abusive. The New York Magazine profile piece quotes McFarland’s mother, Edith Troia, denying the account and accusing the publication of “casting dark shadows on this whole race.”

A New York Post reporter seeking comment went to the Madison, Wis., home of McFarland’s father, Augie Troia, who denied at the time he had abused his family. After telling the reporter “you know darn well I never did any of that” and offering to take a lie detector test to verify his story, Troia threatened him, saying “you’d better get out of here or they’re going to carry you out of here,” the Post reported.

Also at the time, McFarland’s brother, Tom Troia, of Janesville, Wis., accused McFarland of lying about family abuse in an interview with the New York Post, saying, “If I had one word to describe my sister, it would be ‘evil.’”

Asked by the New York Post why McFarland would make up charges her father abused her family, Tom Troia reportedly said, “Evil needs no reason.” Although Tom Troia acknowledged his siblings growing up were sometimes spanked — sometimes with a belt — for misbehavior, he said the punishment “was on an acceptable level of the time. McFarland never threatened the family with a gun, Tom Troia said, because there was never one in the house.

McFarland in 2006 would end up the losing the race for the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate in New York to John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers whom the state Republican Party organization endorsed. Before the primary, McFarland dropped out of the race following news that her 16-year-old daughter was charged with petty theft and possession of stolen goods after being caught shoplifting.

The Trump transition team didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether McFarland’s views of gay people have changed or whether the president-elect is OK with the way she treated her brother. McFarland also didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article.

McFarland’s relationship with her family is but one controversial aspect of Trump’s addition to his team. At the time of her Senate bid, the New York Post reported McFarland maintained two voting addresses in the period between 1996 to 2006, which could be a felony. Additionally, McFarland claimed helicopters were flying over her home taking pictures and were sent by Clinton because she was so worried about the challenge to her seat, although McFarland later said she was joking.

As a Defense Department official, McFarland also was accused of exaggerating her contribution to President Reagan’s “Star Wars” speech and her claims of being the highest-ranking woman in Reagan’s Pentagon. The latter was demonstrably not true because there were two other women with ranks higher than hers.

According to Media Matters, McFarland as a Fox News commentator made dubious claims, such as saying the Benghazi CIA compound under attack in 2012 didn’t receive additional security because Chris Stevens couldn’t contact Clinton via a State Department email address. Requests for security do “not rise to the level of the secretary of state” and it’s not unusual for ambassadors to not have the email address of a secretary of state, according to the Council for Foreign Relations.

In a discussion about the Iran nuclear deal, McFarland made a racially tinged comment, suggesting Saudi Arabia is dishonest about supporting the agreement because “they’re Arabs” and “not going to say to your face something that they know is going to upset you.”

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said his organization opposes the outing of gay people, but vouched for McFarland based on the experience he’s had with her over the years.

“Log Cabin Republicans opposes outing, and always has,” Angelo said. “Beyond that, family matters should be left to families to work out. All I can say is that my interactions with KT over the years — and there have been many, from my time as chairman of Log Cabin Republicans of New York State to CPAC to today — have always shown me KT supports a big-tent approach to politics.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • tristram

    Sounds like a nice family.

  • Shinji’s Soul Reaver

    Trash human being. tRump keeps picking one piece of crap after the other.

    • lnm3921

      Is that a surprise?? It only get worse from here.

  • T Jensen

    Another of Fuhrer Drumpf’s “all the best people”.

  • scottrose

    Who are these vile Log Cabin Auntie Toms defending an indefensible person like this?

    And never mind that during the campaign, Trump vowed to overturn the “shocking” Obergefell decision.

    • turbo27

      Trump said it’s “settled law.” just 2 weeks ago. Not an issue to him.

      • Paul Simon Hay

        While he may not care, Pence and Ryan and McConnell and Chief of Staff Priebus understand that they will lose the evangelicals if they dont follow through on the Party platform. Here’s a quote from an assessment of Judge William Pryor, a leading candidate for Scalia’s seat: “[Pryor] believes that it is constitutional to imprison gay men and lesbians for expressing their sexuality in the privacy of their own homes and has voluntarily filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court urging the Court to uphold a Texas law that criminalizes such private consensual activity.” If you believe Trump on this issue you are naive. This is no time to relax.

        • turbo27

          People didn’t vote for Trump based on the platform specifics. they voted for him and his promise to shake things up in Washingston (whether true or not.) They also voted against at least for more years of the current direction, and of course some voted for him because he was perceived as the lesser of two evils.
          Pryor is one of at least fifteen people who have been mentioned for the seat.
          I’m tired of hearing “the sky is falling!” before the newly elected President is even in office.

          • kate sarginson

            Then you are in for a real shock when he really gets going.

          • turbo27

            I’m one of those lesser of two evils people. Whatever he does it can’t be worse than what Clinton would have done, my opinion ony, of course.
            But I’m willing to give him a chance. He won.

          • Paul Simon Hay

            You aren’t paying attention then. The cabinet picks alone are sufficient to indicate his course. And any of the 15 will be anti Obergfell and Roe and pro discrimination on the basis of religious belief. He said it and Pence and the Fundies will hold him to it. You may be tired but not half as tired as most of the country will be after this guy who was elected by 25.5% of registered voters is done. “Relax”, my butt.

          • turbo27

            I agree with his picks, satisfied he is chosing people who are qualified, to this point. 25’5 % means nothing, it’s not how we elect a president.

          • Floyd Wilson

            He hasn’t selected a single qualified person yet.

          • turbo27

            OK FLoyd, then you are going to have a long 4-8 years.

          • Floyd Wilson

            He will be impeached or resign in less than two, besides I live in a civilized country not the 3rd world cesspool of the united states.

          • Im Just Sayin

            Relax? I think we all know what aspects of Trump’s platform attracted the vast majority of people who voted for him.

          • turbo27

            No I don’t think so, as it was pretty much a moving target on anything of substance. Still moivng to some extent now.
            Build a wall, tighten immigration, ok you may disagree.
            But racist, misogynist, terms for him are nonsense.

          • Floyd Wilson

            Funny how the two things you mention he has already aid he wouldn’t do.

          • turbo27

            What he says and what he actually does are two different things (you never know.). We’ll have to wait to see once he’s in office.

      • kate sarginson

        Sorry Dumpf flip flops so often and often in the same sentence I wouldn’t believe anything he ever said. First he would never prosecute Clinton then all of a sudden he is threatening her with prosecution if she goes ahead with the recount. The man is insane.

        • turbo27

          That’s why we need to see what he does, not what he says. He’s a typical New York businessman. I worked with them for many years.

          • kate sarginson

            Sorry. If that is an example of NY businessman I want nothing to do with them. I believe in honesty, straight forward dealings with customers and
            decency. I don’t want a POTUS who plays games for the fun of it and Tweets people in the middle of the night spewing hate.

          • turbo27

            He doesn’t spew hate, aren’t you tired of repeating that line yet. I do agree he needs to lose twitter.

          • Im Just Sayin

            Then you know Turbo, that like a typical CEO he will never let not knowing what he doesn’t know stop him from plowing forward. Of course failures will always be the fault of staff who let him down, never his leadership, which I am sure he will describe as great.

          • turbo27

            Oh, I agree that his picture should be in the dictionary next to narcissist. I won’t disagree with that. All politicians are, but yeah, I think he’d be at the top.
            I still would rather see what he does, what he’s able to accomplish instead of looking at his presidency as years of dread.

      • Floyd Wilson

        He said he would release his tax returns, arrest Hillary and repeal Obamacare, before he said he wouldn’t do any of those things. Wake up idiot you got played.

        • turbo27

          I’m an idiot because I’m not trying to guess what he will try to do. Why don’t we wait to see what actions he takes.
          I don’t care about his tax returns– he lied, but it’s none of my business, he’s been audited enough to know he didn’t do anything illegal there. Beyond that, I don’t care. Hillary- not interested, she lost, let her fade into the past, regardless of the server issues. Obamacare we don’t know what will occre, though pre-existing conditions need to be protected. Other provisions can change, but overall something needs to be done to reign in healthcare expenses. Not an easy answer from anyone on either side.
          I see you are someone who believes if Trump does it , it must be wrong. I don’t. I never voted for Obama, but I’m not bad mouthing him and all of his poliices every chance I get.
          It would be nice to try to be fair, but you are free to do what you want.
          Re gay marriage, even if he cared, it should be way down the list in terms of importance. It’s just government micro managing our lives.
          Hey, thanks for being rude.

          • Im Just Sayin

            What was it he just said in Ohio? Oh yes, I believe it was: “I am just really the messenger, although I have been a pretty good messenger.” Sounds like we should be paying a lot of attention to his messaging then, doesn’t it. Actions for a man like Trump are distractions delegated to lesser beings.

      • Im Just Sayin

        It is as settled as “Roe v. Wade is settled meaning, it is until it doesn’t suit Trump’s purpose. All it takes is one new case and a new mix of justices who want to roll back the clock in order to “Make America Great Again.” One need only look to Trump’s choice of AG to understand the agenda that will come out of the justice department when it comes to defending things like a woman’s right to choose or marriage equality.

        • turbo27

          We don’t agree. Like the rest of the US. That’s ok.

  • Bob

    Tom Troia lives or lived in Janesville, Wisconsin? That would be Paul Ryan’s hometown. Wonder if they are acquainted.

  • Isleguy

    Let thee who has not sinned cast the first stone. I am surprised she’s not roadkill by now! (And I am Atheist !)

    • Thisoldspouse

      Leftists tend to be the biggest judgers, hypocrite.

      • thecyberczarina

        Wait… McFarland espouses bigotry (and ignorance) and LIES but if people call her out on it, that makes them judgemental hypocrites?! What a false equivalent. Talk about making excuses to avoid “personal responsibility”! .. People like her and other haters need to OWN their prejudices and quit claiming their deity demands them to be bigots, racists, misogynist, etc.

      • George Kelley

        Judging someone’s actions to decide if they should have a job or not is normal. She is a liar and hateful person.

        • Count Dracula

          Bwa ha ha. Her “hate” is nothing compared to the filth in these comments.

        • Ichabod

          Do you have VERIFIABLE PROOF of the veracity of this story? No? Didn’t think so, so this story is a false “Hit piece”.

      • Isleguy

        And people who ASSume know nothing!

      • kate sarginson

        No we leave the bigotry, xenophobia, hypocritic hate speech to the right wingers like you.

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    KT McFarland is also a parsimonious tipper.

  • Dr.Excellent,AstonishinglyMD.

    is there any group that wins less than Log Cabin Republicans?…like liberal Oklahomans

    • Jack M.

      You’re such an ignoramus. Because of their work, every single GOP senator in Rhode Island voted for marriage equality and won the day. Republicans in Maryland voted for marriage equality and pushed us over the top. 8 GOP US Senators voted to repeal DADT. There are victories. Yes, Log Cabin operates in a harsh, hostile environment, and they often are defeated. But their willingness to do the work in such an unforgiving environment should earn them praise, not contempt.

      • Ninja0980

        A couple of victories in really blue states doesn’t change the fact they aren’t doing a damn thing for LGBT rights for the most part other then making excuses for the bigots in their parties.

      • Culture Club Warrior

        Would you disagree with the suggestion that the LCRs’ main function is to provide cover to the Republican Party when it needs to look inclusive, and that they let the progressive LGBT orgs do the heavy lifting? That seems to be the source of the contempt.

  • Jack M.

    If she kept her kids away from her brother not because her brother was gay, but because he was promiscuous and talked about his casual s*x, then I have no problem with her shielding her kids. I wouldn’t want kids in my care to be exposed to that. Sexual orientation is one thing, promiscuity is something entirely different. That having been said, I doubt that she was telling the truth about her motivations.

    • Culture Club Warrior

      Not sure what, exactly, she is trying to say here. Was she concerned about her brother giving her children the lowdown on all of the action that he was getting? Seems unlikely.

    • Drt

      Yeah because the last thoughts a dying person has is telling children about sexual exploits…..Jesus F Christ whats wrong with people

      • Dee

        I know ur serious but this made me lol. You’re right.

  • La Cieca
  • Dan Pennywell

    This article made me physically ill to read.

  • S. Valenti

    Hope someone asks Dr. Tom Price about his history with prostitutes and alcohol.

  • George Kelley

    she like Trump is a pathelogical liar.

  • Tracy


    • Tracy

      My mistake, she was referring to the Saudis.

  • Bruce Majors

    Rofl. The Blade and the gay press continue the anencephaly that lost you the election. A woman says she loves her brother and didn’t care that he was gay, but didn’t want her children to be around him because he was promiscuous, and didn’t want him to be promiscuous as he ended up with AIDS. Another sibling has some fight with her and calls her names. She criticized Hillary for letting American embassy employees get killed on the job – Clinton’s fecklessness with workers’ occupational health and safety. And this means to you she is anti-gay.

    You are again raving lunatics and your headlines are usually crap and your paper too often approaches Pravda lows of propaganda.

    • Count Dracula

      Lol. I came here by accident a few months ago. And lo and behold, I discovered they use disqus. There’s a handful of people that seem reasonable and sincere, but for the most part it’s just a bunch of lunatics.

  • Parker Lewis

    the buffoon president and his followers. I wish I had enough money to leave this country for 3 1/2 years.

  • Phyllis Weiss

    the lowest forms of life are involved with Drumpt..Get rid of them all..period..

  • thatgirlinnewyork

    Why do you keep posting this?

    • Count Dracula

      The fact that it’s a very good post may be one reason.

      Last sentence not withstanding

  • Bruce Majors
  • Rita Jane Clark-Smith

    “She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement
    the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing
    is more important than keeping our people safe.” She might keep Americans safe, except for gay people. Another dumb choice by Trumpf.

  • meir

    At least she is not killing gays in mass shooting like card carrying Democrat pig did in Oranldo last year.

  • Liberals love the teachings of the Bible when it comes to the poor, but despise it when it comes to its teachings on homosexuality.

  • Rick Stokes

    What a c*nt.

  • enolayol

    How sad, any port in the storm proves true.

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