Among the many unusual speakers slotted to speak at the Republican convention next week in Cleveland was a name that was unusual even among the unusual: Andy Wist.
Everyone else on the list, it seemed, you could identify by a quick Google search, if you hadn't heard of them. But trying to figure out who Wist is isn't that simple.
As it turns out, Wist is the president of a waterproofing company in the Bronx. An employee of Standard Waterproofing indicated that Wist would be attending the convention and would be speaking there. "All I'm allowed to say is that he will be talking at the Republican National Convention, that's it," she told me by phone.
At the time of his wedding in 1988, Wist was also the president of the Wist Development Corporation, headquartered in Manhattan. This was the era when Donald Trump was the celebrity king of Manhattan real estate development, of course, suggesting one way the two might know each other. Wist still owns at least one property in in the city, on East 58th Street.
Wist doesn't have a long track record of involvement in politics. In 2002 he donated $500 to the unsuccessful congressional campaign of Gerald Cardinale, a Republican politician from New Jersey who now serves in that state's senate.
As of writing, Wist himself has not replied to requests for comment about how, specifically, he knows Trump or what the subject of his speech might be. We'll update this article once we learn more.