A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 133rd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

This week highlighted the threat of white supremacy and the epidemic of gun violence in America, and how President Trump enables both.

First Lady Melania Trump holds the two-month-old son of Jordan and Andre Anchondo, as she and President Donald J. Trump pose for photos and meet members of the Anchondo family Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at the University Medical Center of El Paso in El Paso, Texas. Jordan and Andre Anchondo were among the 22 people killed by a white supremacist terrorist who echoed Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

First Lady Melania Trump holds the two-month-old son of Jordan and Andre Anchondo, as she and President Donald J. Trump pose for photos and meet members of the Anchondo family Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at the University Medical Center of El Paso in El Paso, Texas. Jordan and Andre Anchondo were among the 22 people killed by a white supremacist terrorist who echoed Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing his every move. This is week 133.

The above photo shows President Trump and Melania Trump happily posing with the child of two parents who were killed by a white supremacist terrorist radicalized by Trump’s rhetoric. It epitomizes the callous and opportunistic nature of this presidency. Cruelty is the point.

Over the course of several days, the Hispanic community was struck by two attacks. The first, a white supremacist terrorist who murdered 22 people and injured 24 more in El Paso, Texas. It was the deadliest attack targeting Hispanics in American history. The terrorist echoed President Trump’s bigoted warnings of a migrant “invasion” at the border and told authorities he was targeting Mexicans.

The second was an onslaught of ICE raids on the immigrant community in Mississippi targeting 680 people, leaving children without parents to pick them up after school. It was the largest workplace raid in at least a decade. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that the employers were ignoring the law and exploiting these undocumented immigrants. It’s interesting McAleenan did not mention how Trump’s companies hire undocumented immigrants.

Not only did the fact these raids were not postponed spark backlash, the raids violated ICE’s own investigative standards by targeting the workers first. The ICE website states that “ICE will obtain indictments, criminal arrests or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute the targeted employer before arresting employees for civil immigration violations at a worksite.”

After these events, multiple Democratic candidates for the presidency called President Trump a white supremacist. We also learned more information about how Trump has actively worked to stifle his administration’s ability to combat white supremacist terrorism. Whether you believe Trump is a white supremacist or not, his actions certainly align with the white supremacist mission and he is actively coddling the threat.

The Dayton, Ohio shooting, which killed 9 and injured 27, further highlighted that the problem isn’t just white supremacist terrorism, of course, but is also tied to this country’s loose gun laws. This didn’t stop President Trump from scapegoating video games and claiming mental health is the central issue, not access to assault weapons.

We’re in the midst of the congressional August recess, but September will surely be a fast-paced month. Gun control will be a central issue on the legislative agenda and pressure will build on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-SC) to take action. Meanwhile, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) called his Committee’s impeachment investigation into President Trump’s corruption a “formal” inquiry. Buckle up.

We cover all of this and more in yet another Unpresidented week.

This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned, completely ad-free, and take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:

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Trump’s White Supremacy Hypocrisy

Day 928: Monday, August 5

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks Monday, August 5, 2019, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks Monday, August 5, 2019, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Saturday, a 21-year-old suspected white supremacist terrorist killed 22 people and injured 24 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. On Sunday, a young man killed 9 people, including his own sister, and injured 27 in Dayton, Ohio. In the span of 13 hours, 31 lives were lost and dozens were injured. There have now been 250 mass shootings in the first 215 days of 2019.

When it comes to the El Paso shooting, the terrorist posted a hateful manifesto on the website 8chan before the shooting. The manifesto echoed President Trump’s bigoted, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

On Monday morning, President Trump sent out a tweet blaming the media for America’s hateful environment. Then, the nation awaited his speech. Before he frivolously condemned video games, President Trump hit all the marks that his aides wanted him to hit. In his 10 am remarks, Trump said our nation must condemn “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” and said his administration would take on domestic terrorism more forcefully. Trump also referred to Dayton as “Toledo.”

The key quote from his speech: “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

Almost everything President Trump said in his speech was undercut by his own actions. In 2017, Trump rolled back an Obama-era regulation that made it more difficult for people with mental illnesses to obtain guns. On top of that, President Trump and the Republican Party have made efforts to weaken Obamacare and decry any healthcare proposals by Democratic candidates as “socialism.”

President Trump downplayed the threat of white nationalism after the Christchurch terrorist attack, even as white supremacists increasingly behave like ISIS extremists. Mark Potok, an expert on the radical right, wrote in Ranttabout the rise of white supremacist terrorism:

Another study, by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, found that the American far right was behind nearly twice as many domestic terror plots as Islamist groups from 2008 to 2016 — 115 cases versus 63 from radical Islamists. The Anti-Defamation League reports that 71 percent of killings by extremists in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were carried out by radical rightists. And the numbers of both hate groups and hate crimes have recently been rising.

President Trump’s white supremacist rhetoric helps to radicalize these terrorists while ignoring the threat. In moves that reflect Trump’s indifference to white supremacy, his administration cut funding to domestic terrorism and anti-white supremacy programs. As I wrote after the Christchurch shooting:

On June 23, 2017, the Trump administration cut funding ($400,000) from the “Countering Violent Extremism” program which backed an anti-white supremacist organization founded by former neo-Nazis. And according to The Daily Beast, the DHS disbanded their Domestic Terror Unit last year:

“The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.”

To circle back on that video game talking point for a moment: it’s nonsense. This chart by Vox debunks it.

Long story short, don’t take anything President Trump says at face value. Until you see definitive action taken against white supremacist terrorism or meaningful gun control legislation passed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – who has blocked the Democratic gun bills. Better yet, don’t let up the pressure until he’s out of office.

In other news…

Trump’s Enablers

Day 929: Tuesday, August 6

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

For the last two and a half years, everyone from political news junkies to pundits with shreds of a conscience left have been asking the same question. Why do Republicans who howl in rage and frustration in private and on background to journalists support and enable Donald Trump? After all, in the words of 2015 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump is a “jackass”, a “kook”, a “bigot”, and is “unfit for office.” The 2015 version of Graham also called Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” who “doesn’t represent” the Republican Party. Graham today is basically Trump’s caddy.

So, why do they march lockstep with the man they seem to absolutely revile?

Read The Full Article From Rantt Editor Greg Fish

In other news…

SIGN THIS PETITION TO CALL FOR GUN VIOLENCE TO BE TREATED LIKE AN EPIDEMIC 

Trump Is A National Security Threat

Day 930: Wednesday, August 7

President Donald Trump listens to reporters questions about the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally. This was the day he called them "very fine people." - Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump listens to reporters questions about the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally. This was the day he called them “very fine people.” – Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In July, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee: ”I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well.” One would think the President who constantly fear mongers about the false national security threat of migrants and once raved about ISIS would take this new terrorist threat seriously, right? Wrong.

At Rantt Media, we’ve spent the last 2 and a half years highlighting President Trump’s racist rhetoric. We’ve also discussed the ways in which Trump has spouted white supremacist rhetoric and stifled programs meant to address the threat. Today, CNN broke some news that further showcased the extent to which the Trump Administration has gone to prevent white supremacist terrorism from being combatted. CNN reported:

White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN.

“Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,” one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. “The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.”

CNN quoted a current senior Trump official who said, “DHS is surging resources to the [domestic terrorism] issue, but they’re behind the curve because of lack of support from the White House.” The National Counterterrorism Strategy, released by the U.S. in October 2018, named “Radical Islamist terrorists” as the main threats to America. The report only had one paragraph about “other forms of extremism” and didn’t even name white supremacy by name. Instead, it said “racially motivated extremism.” The Trump administration was warned of the threat of white supremacist terrorism by the  FBI and DHS but still failed to prioritize it.

This news comes just days after a white supremacist terrorist murdered 22 and injured 24 people in El Paso, Texas. The terrorist proclaimed in his anti-immigrant manifesto that he was targeting Latinos because of the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”. Aside from echoing President Trump’s migrant fear-mongering, the terrorist cited the Christchurch white supremacist terrorist’s manifesto, which called Trump “a symbol of renewed white identity”.

Mark Potok, an expert on the radical right, outlined the rise of white supremacist terrorism.

Another study, by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, found that the American far right was behind nearly twice as many domestic terror plots as Islamist groups from 2008 to 2016 — 115 cases versus 63 from radical Islamists. The Anti-Defamation League reports that 71 percent of killings by extremists in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were carried out by radical rightists. And the numbers of both hate groups and hate crimes have recently been rising.

In spite of the growing threat, President Trump had a “very bad people on both sides” moment today, falsely equating white supremacist terrorists and Antifa.

As I’ve written before, what we’re seeing here is an internationally cooperative terrorist movement of white supremacists built via online radicalization – a movement the President of the United States openly stokes while curtailing the mechanisms combating it. With today’s CNN report, it further proves that in the face of insurmountable evidence of the growing white supremacist threat, President Trump has weakened the government’s ability to address it. And it goes far beyond what was reported today.

On June 23, 2017, the Trump administration cut funding ($400,000) from the “Countering Violent Extremism” program which backed an anti-white supremacist organization founded by former neo-Nazis. And according to The Daily Beast, the DHS disbanded their Domestic Terror Unit last year:

“The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.”

Business Insider further highlighted the cuts:

For instance, while the DHS office handling domestic terrorism “managed $10 million in grant funding, 16 full-time employees, 25 contractors, and a total budget of approximately $21 million,” two years ago, today, resources within the office comprise of “no contractors, and no other means of supporting existing programs beyond a team of eight dedicated, full-time employees and an operating budget of $2.6 million.”

This is why President Trump’s speech this week condemning white supremacy and claiming his administration would take on domestic terrorism rang hollow. We mush ask ourselves, why is President Trump hell-bent on downplaying the threat of white supremacy? The simple answer is that he holds these views himself.
In other news…

Facebook’s New Initiative

Day 931: Thursday, August 8

zuckerberg f8 keynote

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivering a keynote presentation at the Facebook Developer Conference

Facebook may have just been fined $5 billion for misleading users about how their data would be used by its platform, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to abandon its investment into a new headband capable of translating the blood flow in your brain into commands computers can understand. Their goal? To make it so effortless to use the tools and apps tools they own, you only need to think about it, another in its attempts to survive younger generations’ attempts to escape its model of social media.

Read The Full Article From Rantt’s Politech Editor Greg Fish

In other news…

Trump’s Fascist Rhetoric

Day 932: Friday, August 9

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London and is the author of Concentration Camps: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2019). His take:

In an article published in 2007, Andreas Musolff, a scholar working in ‘critical discourse analysis’, showed how the metaphors employed by Hitler in Mein Kampf advanced the idea that the German nation was an organic body that needed to be cured from a deadly disease caused by Jewish parasites. Metaphor, Musolff noted, is ‘a stylistic device of “meaning transfer” based on a tacit comparison.’

We use metaphors all the time in everyday speech; indeed, one can argue that ‘past-making’ disciplines such as history are nothing but an extended metaphor, ways of substituting narratives about the past constructed in the present for something that no longer exists. Problems arise when we find the content of metaphors, their imagery, dangerous, offensive, or rhetorically and politically inflammatory. Since the power of metaphors resides in their ability to allow us ‘to derive conclusions from the respective source concepts by treating them as seemingly unproblematic assumptions or presuppositions’ when people are compared to diseases the consequences can be alarming.

Read The Full Article

In other news…

Over the weekend…

Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in prison, and President Trump dangerously spread conspiracy theories.

Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and completely ad-free. We strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:

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Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Gun Control / Immigrants / Latino Rights / White Nationalism