Donald Trump is now being forced to face the consequences of a mess he created by spewing more than two years of hate speech and violent rhetoric. That’s what happens when a wannabe-despot radicalizes his base, two of which committed horrendous acts of domestic terrorism this week.
Trump doesn’t appear to be handling it very well.
First, he tried to call for national unity after one of his rabid supporters, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was arrested for sending over a dozen pipe bombs by mail to prominent Democrats, Trump critics, and intelligence analysts.
“Americans must unify,” Trump said after Sayoc’s arrest, adding “we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens…”
Moments later, he blew an anti-Semitic dog whistle by ranting about “globalists” and George Soros, a target of one of the mail bombs. It was the same type of garbage conspiracy theory that led accused domestic terrorist Robert Bowers to commit the worst attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history the very next day.
Following that attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Trump blamed the synagogue for not having an armed guard—despite the fact that it took an entire SWAT team to apprehend Bowers, who wounded four law enforcement officers in the subsequent shootout, two of them critically.
Saturday was a whirlwind day for Trump. He began a speech at a National FFA Organization event in Indianapolis, IN, condemning the “wicked act of mass murder” in Pittsburgh as an act of “pure evil.”
“Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief. This was an anti-Semitic act. You wouldn’t think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don’t seem to learn from the past,” he said, in a droning, robotic voice, while reading from a teleprompter.
Then, he went on to praise his own administration’s policies.
There had been questions about whether Trump would cancel the event, along with another campaign rally later in southern Illinois, in light of the mass shooting. Of course, Trump had no intention of canceling either speaking engagement. Instead, he made a joke about his hair.
“By the way, somebody just said, ‘Your hair looks different today.’ I said, ‘Well, I was standing under the wing of Air Force One, doing a news conference…and the wind was blowing, and the rain, and I was soaking wet…And I said, maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day.’”
Funny stuff, Mr. President.
Later, in Murphysboro, IL, Trump tried to justify going forward with the political rally just hours after 11 people were murdered and six others injured by comparing the aftermath to 9/11.
To demonstrate his own “resolve” in trudging ahead, Trump invented a bogus story about the New York Stock Exchange. Everyone knew he was lying.
“And with what happened early today, that horrible, horrible attack in Pittsburgh, I was saying maybe I should cancel both [the FFA event and the IL rally],” Trump said. “And then I said to myself, I remembered Dick Grasso, a friend of mine, great guy, he headed up the New York Stock Exchange, and Sept. 11, and the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day. He said, and what they had to do to open it you wouldn’t believe. We won’t even talk to you about it.”
He’s right, we won’t believe it, because both the NYSE and Nasdaq exchanges were closed until Sept. 17, 2001, the longest shutdown since 1933, as Bloomberg noted.
But the most embarrassing part of Trump’s day happened earlier when the world learned that the president of the United States doesn’t know how to close an umbrella properly. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. Whatever it is, we all are that umbrella.