After spending all day Sunday making the tragic Orlando mass shooting all about himself, Republican nominee Donald Trump used Monday morning to hit the talk shows and blame the tragedy on President Obama. In doing so, he decided to drudge up some old-school birtherism, mentioning several times that Obama won’t say the magical words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ because he’s a secret Muslim. And maybe, just maybe, he was in on the shooting itself.
Appearing first on Fox & Friends, Trump noted that everyone was still congratulating him for totally being right about there being another terror attack in the United States. Because, as we all know, the one thing you must do after a tragedy is humble brag and self-congratulate on Twitter. (Even though he can’t really point to what he was ‘right’ about, but oh well.)
This then turned into the Trumpster going all in on POTUS, bringing out the delicious red meat that his followers just voraciously devour on a daily basis. Speaking to the brain-dead Fox hosts, Trump floated out a suggestion, just a little tiny suggestion, that Obama isn’t doing everything he can against the terrorist threats because he’s sympathetic to the cause.
“I mean, I’ve been right about a lot of things, frankly, I was right about ‘take the oil,’ I was right about many, many things. Our government, we’re lead by a man – look, guys, we’re lead by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind, people can’t believe it.”
They cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
Now, he gave himself enough wiggle room in that interview to allow himself some plausible deniability, if he cared to take it back. But he was definitely sending a signal to white conservatives everywhere, and that signal was received loud and clear. And, instead of walking it back later in the morning, he instead doubled down.
Speaking to NBC’s TODAY, Trump told Savannah Guthrie that a “lot of people think that maybe he doesn’t want to get it” and “doesn’t want to know about it.”
Over on CBS, Trump reiterated how Obama doesn’t want to use the magic words, and Hillary won’t because he’ll send her to jail if she does, and that perhaps Muslims should not be allowed to use the internet or have radio stations, among other things.
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 13, 2016
This is the bad time, folks. We have a bigoted buffoon who is THIS CLOSE to getting the White House, and who will cravenly and cynically use any and every tragedy to his political advantage. And the way he will do so is to demonize and alienate large swatch of people in order to further divide us, all in the hopes that he can mobilize enough white votes to get him the Presidency.
Meanwhile, he’ll continue to stoke racism and Islamophobia, further inflaming hatred and pushing us to the brink, just so he can call himself a ‘winner’ in the end.
This is the bad time.