The White House has been scrambling to explain just what the hell President Trump was thinking when he retweeted a trio of vile Islamophobic videos this morning.
Locked aboard Air Force One with White House reporters as Trump traveled to Missouri for a speech, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah did his level best to justify his boss’ obvious bigotry. Unfortunately for Shah his best wasn’t quite good enough. Here are a few highlights, courtesy of the White House press pool:
Q: Can you concede there are far better ways to highlight security issues than by retweeting inflammatory and fake videos that upset allies?
Shah: The president has been talking about these security issues for years, from the campaign trail to the White House. He talked about it yesterday at the pool spray. He’s going to continue to talk about them on Twitter. He’s going to talk about them in speeches. He’s going to talk about them, you know, in policy discussions.
I think the president raised a security issue that we have been talking about at length. We are now looking at the possibility of a difficulty in passing government funding legislation because of disagreements on immigration policy. The Democrats priority is amnesty. Our priority is safety and security.
Racist hoaxes are okay because it’s about the ISSUES, man.
Q: I have no idea what that has to do with a tweet of a video that has nothing to do with Muslims or immigrants or the United States. Can you make the connection?
Shah: The president is raising the security issues that he has been raising for years.
Q: Why is the president retweeting a far-right, anti-Muslim group thats been condemned?
Shah: Again, were going to be focusing on the issues that are being raised, which is safety and security for the American people. We’re talking about extreme vetting policies, ensuring that individuals that come to the United States do not pose either a public safety or terrorism threat. And the other measures that we want to take for example, ending the visa lottery system that allows individuals to come to the United States, and replacing it with a merit-based system. Remember the eight individuals who were killed in New York City last month, the killer, the terrorist came in under the visa lottery system. So the president is going to continue talking about these issues because they’re important for the safety and security of this country.
Listen, even racists can have a great point, okay? Let’s all listen to the great point raised by the racists.
Q: Why tweet videos from these groups?
Shah: A lot of folks want to focus on the videos. We want to focus on the issues. Its about safety. Its about security. Its about ensuring that individuals that come to the United States don’ t pose a public safety or terrorism threat.
Stop asking me about the racists.
Q: Why retweet videos?
Shah: He’s raising the issues.
...La la la, issuessssss
Q: Couldn’t he do that in a wake that doesn’t include fake videos?
Shah: He does do that often. He did that yesterday, and he continues to do that all the time. He’s talked about extensively about these issues. He’s signed presidential proclamations, signed executive orders. He talked about these issues at quite some length, and today was just another example.
He doesn’t ALWAYS share hoaxes with his 45 million twitter followers. Let’s at least give him credit for that.
Q: Does the president feel that Muslims are a threat to the United States?
Shah: No, look, the president has addressed these issues with the travel order and he issued earlier this year, and the companion proclamation. There are plenty of Muslim-majority nations whose citizens can come to the United States without travel restrictions. Those that pose public safety or terrorism threats, to our worldwide security review that was overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, is why there were certain travel restrictions put in place.
They’re not a threat. But, what if...they’re not NOT a threat?