October 27, 2018

THE PURE ESSENCE OF TRUMPISM:

Here Is a List of Far-Right Attackers Trump Inspired. Cesar Sayoc Wasn't the First -- and Won't Be the Last. (Mehdi Hasan, October 27 2018, The Intercept)

[H]ere is a (partial) list of Trump supporters who are alleged to have carried out horrific attacks in recent years -- some of them seemingly inspired by the president himself.

Scott Leader and Steve Leader, August 2015

On 19 August 2015, Scott Leader, 38, and his brother, Steve Leader, 30, attacked a homeless man in Boston who they wrongly believed to be an undocumented immigrant.

"Donald Trump was right," they told police, after beating the man with a metal pipe and then urinating on him. "All these illegals need to be deported."

Trump's response? He eventually called it a "terrible" incident but only after an earlier statement to reporters in which the then-Republican candidate referred to his supporters as "very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that."

Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Eugene Stein, October 2016

On October 14, 2016, the FBI arrested three men -- Patrick Eugene Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright -- for plotting a series of bomb attacks against the Somali-American community of Garden City, Kansas. Calling themselves "the Crusaders," they had planned to launch what the Guardian said "could have been the deadliest domestic terror attack since the Oklahoma bombing in 1995," the day after the November 2016 presidential election.

Two of these three men were open supporters of Trump, and obsessed with anti-Muslim, anti-refugee conspiracy theories. For Stein, according to a profile in New York magazine, Trump was "the Man." Allen wrote on Facebook: "I personally back Donald Trump." The trio even asked a federal judge to boost the number of pro-Trump jurors at their trial (at which they were found guilty of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and and of conspiring against rights).

Trump's response? The president, who once suggested that Americans had "suffered enough" from an influx of Somali refugees, has never been asked about these three militiamen and has never condemned their plot.

Alexandre Bissonnette, January 2017

On the evening of January 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire on worshippers at the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City, Canada, killing six of them and wounding 19.

Bisonnette, 27, was obsessed with Trump -- he searched for the president on Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube more than 800 times between January 1, 2017 and the day of the shooting. A former university classmate told the Toronto Globe and Mail that he "frequently argued" with Bissonette over the latter's support for Trump.

In his police interrogation video, Bissonnette can be heard telling officers that he decided to attack the mosque after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a message of welcome to refugees in the wake of  the U.S. president's travel ban -- which was issued two days before the mosque attack.

Trump's response? The president may have expressed his condolences to the Canadian premier in private, but he has never publicly mentioned the shooting, the killer or the six dead Muslims.

Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter, and Joe Morris, August 2017

In March 2018, three alleged members of a far-right militia -- Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter, and Joe Morris -- were charged in connection with the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, on August 5, 2017. McWhorter is alleged to have told an FBI agent that the attack was an attempt "to scare" Muslims "out of the country."

Back in 2017, Hari, who owns a security company, submitted a $10 billion proposal to build Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. "We would look at the wall as not just a physical barrier to immigration but also as a symbol of the American determination to defend our culture, our language, our heritage, from any outsiders," Hari said. Sound familiar?

Hari is also alleged to be the ringleader of the "White Rabbit Militia -- Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters, Three Percent," which has posted online messages about "Deep State activities" and "the attempt of the FBI to wiretap the Trump campaign and interfere in the election."

Trump's response? To date, the president has never publicly referenced, let alone condemned, the bomb attack on the Minnesota mosque. His then-adviser Sebastian Gorka suggested the incident might "have been propagated by the left."

James Alex Fields, Jr., August 2017

On August 12, 2017, a car crashed into a crowd of people protesting a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The alleged driver of the car, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with, among other crimes, hit and run and first-degree murder.

Fields, according to a former middle school classmate, enjoyed drawing swastikas and talked about "loving Hitler." The registered Republican, according to a former high school teacher, also adored Trump. In an interview with the Associated Press, the former teacher "said Fields was a big Trump supporter because of what he believed to be Trump's views on race. Trump's proposal to build a border wall with Mexico was particularly appealing to Fields."

Trump's response? The president called the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville "very fine people" just three days after Fields allegedly killed Heyer.

Brandon Griesemer, January 2018

On January 9-10, 2018, 19-year-old Brandon Griesemer allegedly made 22 calls to CNN. In four of those calls, the part-time grocery clerk from Novi, Michigan, threatened to kill employees at the network's Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters, according to a federal affidavit.

"Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down," he told a CNN operator. Again, sound familiar? Trump has spent his entire presidency slamming CNN as "fake news," singling out the network for criticism and abuse. According to the Washington Post, a high school classmate of Griesemer described him as a Trump supporter who "came in after the election and was very happy." The classmate, reported the Post, "compared Griesemer's reaction to that of a fan whose team had won a big game."

Trump's reaction? On the morning of January 23, the day after the news broke of Griesemer's threats against CNN, the president took to Twitter to mock...yep, you guessed it... "Fake News CNN."

Nikolas Cruz, February 2018

On the afternoon of February 14, 2018, 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

According to an investigation by CNN, Cruz was part of a private Instagram group in which he "repeatedly espoused racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views" and "bragged about writing a letter to President Donald Trump -- and receiving a response."

Cruz also posted a photo of himself on Instagram wearing one of Trump's signature red MAGA hats, with an American-flag-colored bandana covering the bottom half of his face. Former classmates have confirmed that he also wore the red Trump hat to school.

Trump's response? The White House has never confirmed or denied whether they received, or responded to, a letter from Cruz.

I COULD GO on and on...


Lawyer for Mail Bomb Suspect's Family: "He Found a Father in Trump" (DANIEL POLITI, OCT 27, 2018, Slate)

"He was attracted to the Trump formula of reaching out, Trump reaching out to these types of outsiders, people who don't fit in, people who are angry at America, telling them they have a place at the table and it's OK to get angry," Lowy said.

Posted by at October 27, 2018 11:27 AM

  

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