A report came out from Bloomberg Monday stating that Donald Trump told a number of high-profile surrogates and supporters to go out and defend him vigorously regarding his racist attacks on a federal judge. The article quoted anonymous sources on the call, who said that Trump refuted talking points they received from a campaign staffer which told them to stop talking about the Trump U lawsuit, calling the staffer stupid. Instead, the real estate mogul informed them to attack critics, calling them the real racists, as well as the judge himself, claiming Trump is in the right to insult him.
As one would expect, the Trump camp immediately tossed cold water on the report, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski labeling it as inaccurate and false. However, based on what we’ve seen since Monday afternoon, supporters have tried to flip the script and follow the advice Bloomberg reported on, making it obvious that the story was legit.
We first saw a glimpse of this on Monday night’s broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor, where Trump-supporting host Bill O’Reilly called on Curiel to recuse himself from the fraud case. This was prior to Bill-O giving Trump a fluffer session in which he was later accused of giving the former reality TV star questions ahead of time. Of course, O’Reilly and Fox deny they did this, and Papa Bear will defend his demand that Curiel drop out by saying it has nothing to do with supporting Trump, but I think we all know the real truth.
By Tuesday morning, though, the new plan of attack was fully in place, and we saw the Trumpkins really try to follow Daddy’s orders, to mostly ridiculous and hilarious results. Following Paul Ryan calling Trump a racist (sort of), Andrew Jackson cosplayer Jeffrey Lord shouted out that Ryan was the true racist because he was playing identity politics. (Lord also wrote a shitty article regarding this subject for the American Spectator.) All CNN host Carol Costello could do was shake her head and move on.
In multiple appearances on CNN and MSNBC, official spokespeople Katrina Pierson and Healy Baumgardner laughably tried to state that Trump was not the one bringing up Curiel’s ethnicity. Instead, it was all a liberal media conspiracy to bring Trump down. Even when the hosts brought up the fact that the Republican nominee was the one who first broached the subject and kept at it repeatedly, the two spox stayed on script, blaming the media.
Another jawdropping moment occurred when Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) showed up on CNN’s At This Hour. Speaking to host John Berman, Zeldin did his best to stay on point, going after Democrats and President Obama and making it known that they are the REAL RACISTS.
“[W]hen you’re micro-targeting a community, and you are putting blacks together and Hispanics together, and certain economic messages and positions on issues, quite frankly, with the way I define racism, I see it in a lot of policies and statements that have taken place,” Zeldin said.
“You can easily argue that the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and his rhetoric,” Zeldin said. “You could go back to presidents of the past.”
It was a pained television hit. And at one point it seemed as if host John Berman felt a modicum of sympathy for the New York Republican.
“I’ve got to say, Congressman, has Donald Trump put you in an incredibly awkward position today, in this campaign?” he asked.
Indeed, John. Indeed.
But the past example of a surrogate doing Trump’s insane bidding was Chris Christie. During a press conference, the highly unpopular New Jersey Governor first went after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for telling Republicans that they should start looking at un-endorsing Trump. He followed that up by giving a pained and strained explanation on why Trump’s comments weren’t racist, especially in comparison with Christie’s own actions from years back.
Chris Christie stands squarely behind Trump, in spite of own history of standing up for federal judges. pic.twitter.com/5QMM8UdIJu
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 7, 2016
All in all, a sad but predictable display. And one that won’t be ending anytime soon.