(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
After eleven mostly elderly Jews were massacred in a synagogue in Pittsburg Trump almost canceled a political rally because he had a ‘bad hair day,’ due to standing too close to Airforce One while answering questions from reporters. Earlier the president had already blamed the victims for not having an armed guard in their temple, who would undoubtedly have prevented the shooting, ignoring the fact that four policemen were shot before the gunman, who was inspired by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, could be taken down. In the aftermath of the shooting Pittsburg’s authorities asked Trump politely not to come to their town before all the victims were buried, so that no resources would have to be taken away from providing security at the funerals. Trump ignored the request and came anyway, with Melania, Ivanka and Jared in tow, but without Mitch McConnell, Chuck Shumer, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, who were invited to join him but all had more urgent things to do. After his unwanted visit Trump tweeted that Pittsburg had shown ‘his office’ a lot of respect, something the president had denied the city.
Now that he had properly taken care of healing the nation Trump could go back to dividing it, by announcing that he had sent 5,200 military personnel to the southern border to protect America against a ‘caravan’ of refugees from Honduras and Guatemala that is still at least four weeks away. Trump called the caravan an ‘attack on our country,’ which was illustrated by Fox News contributors who informed the public that the refugees would bring smallpox and leprosy to the US. Specialists pointed out, however, that smallpox has been eradicated in the 1980s, and noted that leprosy is the disease most mentioned in the bible, undoubtedly chosen to keep the Evangelicals in Trump’s corner. With the 2,000 troops already on the border the military would have a stronger presence there than in Iraq and Syria combined, but because according to Trump – who touted himself as a good estimator of the size of masses – the caravan was bigger than reported and contained a lot of ‘very rough’ people, the Commander in Chief announced that in all 15,000 troops would be deployed at the border, more than the US forces in Afghanistan.
Trump’s fear mongering against immigrants – his final bid in the 2018 elections – is not working out very well for him, but he has nothing else. He withdrew his announcement that there would be a 10% tax cut for the middle class, and replaced it with the statement that he would eliminate birthright citizenship by repealing the 14th Amendment per executive order, something even Paul Ryan understands the president cannot do. Attempting to shut the Speaker up Trump tweeted that Ryan should focus on keeping a Republican majority in the House, making clear where future blame for a loss would go.
While Robert Mueller is working in even more silence than usual in the run-up to the elections, an infantile attempt was made by a right wing operative to smear the Special Counsel with sexual misconduct allegations. Out of character Trump did not take the bait, not even once tweeting that ‘a lot of people’ believe this to be true, and that might have to do with a mysterious, sealed subpoena in the Mueller probe that may very well be for the president himself, and that his lawyers are possibly already challenging.
Abusing the White House for a campaign event Trump yesterday raised the toxicity level of his rhetoric by stating that if any stones would be thrown at US soldiers it would be considered gunfire, and the troops would have to shoot back. In the reality the president is trying to distort US military personnel is not allowed to perform law enforcement duties by law, let alone shoot at unarmed asylum seekers, which would be considered attempted murder.
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