Thursday, June 29, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He falsely claimed through a spokesperson that he has never done anything to incite violence.

Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had the advantage of a few hours' preparation between her daily press briefing and Trump's bizarre, enraged tweets about Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. She responded to the first question about it by characterizing Trump himself as the victim of unfair persecution by the media, and that his habit of lashing out at the media, private citizens, and anyone or anything else who displeased him was simply "fighting fire with fire."

Sanders then made the oddly specific--and easily disprovable--claim that Trump "in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence." The list of times that Trump has done exactly that is long enough that there are several competing video compilations from the campaign alone. During the campaign, Trump also suggested that "second amendment people" would be the only thing stopping Hillary Clinton from appointing anti-gun judges if she were elected.

Even the people Trump succeeded in encouraging to violent acts seem to agree. Alvin Bamberger, sued over his assault on anti-Trump protestors at a rally, is in turn suing Trump for "urging and inciting" the crowd he was in with specific instructions.

What's the problem here?

  • It's bad if presidents (or presidential candidates) promote violence against their political opponents.
  • Claiming that you have not done something does not undo it.