Scott Eisen—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Samantha Cooney
December 22, 2016
MOTTO
Samantha Cooney is the content strategy editor at TIME.

After receiving intense backlash for signing a book deal, the founder of a private Facebook group for Hillary Clinton supporters asked for the trust and support of fellow members of “Pantsuit Nation.”

Pantsuit Nation founder Libby Chamberlain announced earlier this week that she would write a book inspired by the group, which allowed Clinton supporters to share personal stories and photos. But group members didn’t take the announcement too kindly, as some accused Chamberlain of attempting to monetize off the “safe space.”

“After reading so many of your comments, after absorbing as much pain and hurt as I could, this is the overarching message I would like to offer you. If you trust me, if you trust what I have created here and fostered, along with our 100+ volunteers, through thousands of hours of work and care and attention, then I ask you to trust me further. I will not let you down,” Chamberlain wrote in a public Facebook message about the criticism. “This is the most important project of my life, with the exception of being a mother and a wife. My goal is to do good. A lot of good. With your help. If you do not trust me, and if you do not trust this group. That’s ok. This space cannot be for everyone.”

Chamberlain clarified that no group members’ stories or photos would be included in the book without their consent, and said that all of the proceeds from the book would go toward the group itself (Chamberlain recently filed paperwork to turn Pantsuit Nation into a non-profit organization) and other “causes that are central to the group.” She also asked Pantsuit Nation members to trust her, saying that the group faces an uphill battle against President-elect Donald Trump.

“If you’re not sure you can trust me, then I invite you to stick around and let me continue to show you what this is all about,” she said. “You could look into my eyes and see how I carry you all in my heart. How unshakeably committed I am to contributing meaningfully to the legacy of Secretary Clinton’s extraordinary career and historic campaign. We can do this, but we can only do it together.”

Read her full message below.

Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com.

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