It has been several days since the arrest of Christopher Hasson, a domestic terrorist who compiled a cache of weapons and ammunition with the intention of murdering Democrats and journalists. But Donald Trump has still said nothing about it, even though he has commented on the Jussie Smollett case, 6G communications technology (which doesn’t exist), and a remorseful “ISIS wife” who wants to return to her home in the U.S.
In the absence of any comments from the President, reporters asked his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, if she could provide any insight into Trump’s feelings on the matter. This lead to an exchange that was purely pablum for Deplorables:
Reporter: Is there any plan for the President to maybe tone down his rhetoric, and do you think this contributes to these sorts of extremists getting these ideas?
Sanders: I certainly don’t think that the president at any point has done anything but condemn violence against journalists or anyone else. In fact, every single time something like this happens, the president is typically one of the first people to condemn the violence and the media is the first people to blame the president. We should all join together and start condemning the violence whether it’s against members of the media, whether it’s against Democrats, Republicans, any person in this country. That is unacceptable, and that is why every time it comes up we have been consistent and repeatedly said that we condemn violence in all forms.
Here's Sarah Sanders saying Trump hasn't "at any point" done anything "but condemn violence, against journalists or anyone else."
(In October, Trump publicly praised a sitting congressman ???????????? for the fact that he violently assaulted a reporter.) pic.twitter.com/oeHVjioPnx
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) February 22, 2019
The first notable part of this robo-reply is that it didn’t mention Hasson or his plot to commit mass murder. Sanders pointedly did not condemn him or make any statement to deter others from conspiring to commit the same atrocities. She simply generalized the horror and pretended that it’s a problem for both sides of the political aisle, although the data shows that right-wing domestic terrorism is far more prevalent and on the rise.
What’s more, Sanders’ claim that Trump hasn’t “done anything but condemn violence” is provably false. In fact, Trump has encouraged violence at his cult rallies, telling people to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and not to worry about it because “I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.” Trump also praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, who was convicted of assaulting a reporter, saying that “Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type.” And of course, Trump’s repeated assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people” are unambiguously incitements to violence, particularly of the sort aspired to by Hasson and committed against the Capital Gazette of Maryland.
During the same press avail, Sanders was asked about the media reports that special counsel Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation and what Trump’s thoughts were about the pending report. Here is the question and Sanders’ response:
Reporter: You were saying a minute ago that there was no need for the campaign to collude with the Russians, but there have been so many indictments. There have been convictions. And there were so many contacts with the Russians. How do you balance that?
Sanders: It’s real simple to me. The President was far and away the better candidate. He had a better message and he outworked Hillary Clinton. And that’s why he’s president. He didn’t need to, nor did he, collude with the Russians. Pretty simple.
"The president far and away was the better candidate," Press sec. Sarah Sanders says, "and he outworked Hillary Clinton. That's why he's president."
— ABC News (@ABC) February 22, 2019
Notice what’s missing in Sanders’ reply? Pretty everything that was asked about in the question. Sanders said nothing about the indictments, convictions and numerous contacts with Russians by many of Trump’s closest associates and family, all of whom lied about their activities before being confronted with evidence that forced the truth out of them.
The result of Sanders’ remarks are not inconsequential. By failing to specifically condemn Hasson and anyone else who would seek to emulate him, Sanders is implicitly condoning those actions. Why does she find it so easy to universally condemn innocent refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. as criminals, rapists, and drug traffickers, but cannot denounce actual right-wing terrorism? And by refusing to address the facts surrounding Trump and his nefarious relationships with Russia, she is giving permission for our foreign adversaries to continue to undermine our democracy.
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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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What both of these failures to stand up for American principles and sovereignty demonstrate is the tendency by the Trump administration to act against the interests of the United States. In some circles that is referred to as treasonous. At the very least it reveals a suspicious leaning toward some self-interest on Trump’s part that benefits our enemies. And that’s about as solid a justification for impeachment that you’re ever going to see.
This Just In: Trump finally addressed the Hasson matter, but only after he was asked by Hallie Jackson of NBC News. His answer is unbelievably disgusting. He called it “a shame.” WTF? It’s a shame when your kid cheats on a math test. A terrorist plotting mass murder is an atrocity. And Trump’s assertion that he hasn’t been fully briefed a week after the arrest is undoubtedly another lie.
.@HallieJackson: Do you think you bear any responsibility for moderating your language after news of Coast Guard lieutenant’s alleged plot?
President Trump: “I think it's a very sad thing … No, I don’t. I think my language is very nice." pic.twitter.com/zqxGzBd6eg
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 22, 2019