Donald Trump began his recent speech to Congress with a line seemingly designed to appease his critics. “As we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month,” he said, “we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains.”
He went on to condemn “recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City”—and, why not, “hate and evil in all its forms.”
Some pundits, who apparently set a very low bar, applauded Trump for this “presidential” moment. Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza, whom Trump himself once called “one of the dumber” pundits, praised Trump on Twitter for his “VERY nice grace note about our shared humanity.”
Was it, though?
For context, Trump was referring to a wave of over 100 recent bomb threats that have been called into Jewish schools and community centers all over the country, as well as the vandalism of hundreds of Jewish graves at cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, in Kansas City, a drunken bar patron shouting “get out of my country!” recently shot two Indian immigrants, killing one. The shooter reportedly thought the men were Iranian, which would have put them on the list of banned migrants under Trump’s seven-country “Muslim ban.”
Investigations are ongoing, but many suspect that racist white nationalists are behind each of these incidents. Yet Trump never named those perpetrators. In the Kansas City case, in fact, he didn’t even name the victims.
Worse still, when talking about the anti-Semitic incidents before his speech to Congress, he even implied they might’ve been a false flag operation—carried out by his opponents “to make others look bad.”
You can be sure this was no accident. Because when Trump talked about other so-called threats, he was extremely explicit.
He gestured for emphasis on every word as he promised to defend the country from “Radical Islamic Terror,” which is capitalized in the speech’s official transcript. And he falsely blamed “the vast majority” of “terrorism-related offenses since 9/11” on immigrants.