He squeezed in some non-insane tweets this morning too touting economic growth and the soaring stock market but that’s not where his heart is. If it was, that would be all he tweeted about — tangible progress for working-class Americans under his administration and the prospect of more to come if tax reform passes and ObamaCare is repealed. “[H]is problem isn’t discipline so much as his entire personality and worldview,” noted Charles Cooke. “He can’t be reasoned out of behaving like this. This is who he is.” Right. And we knew it when we nominated him.
The morning began with a retweet of this:
VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches! pic.twitter.com/11LgbfFJDq
— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 28, 2017
He retweeted two more clips from the same account, one of a Muslim destroying a statute of Mary, mother of Jesus, the other of an Islamist mob pushing a teenager off a rooftop. Two problems with that, assuming you’re okay with the president seeking out examples of bad Muslim behavior to highlight for his 40 million followers. One: Jayda Fransen, the person who posted the clips, is a deputy leader of a far-right group in Britain founded by former members of the neo-fascist BNP. It’d be like Obama tweeting incitement videos posted by the American communist party or Antifa. Two: The clip posted above apparently doesn’t show a migrant Muslim kid beating up a white one. The “Muslim” is just a Dutch teen with dark hair. He’s tweeting out anti-Muslim propaganda that evidently doesn’t involve Muslims, which is a problem for all sorts of reasons. “If you have to fake a video of a threat,” notes Stephen “redsteeze” Miller, “that generally means the threat isn’t as real as you say it is.”
How bad was it? Bad enough that even the guys at Infowars — Infowars — urged him to ease off the accelerator a bit:
Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump's Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics. 🤔
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 29, 2017
But he wasn’t done. He’s been on an anti-media tirade lately even more so than usual, leading some to speculate that a paper is preparing to drop a hugely damaging story on him and he’s trying to preempt it by reminding his supporters to never believe the fake-news press. This, however, was a new low:
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
Scarborough’s political enemies (including such luminaries as Michael Moore and Markos “Daily Kos” Moulitsas) occasionally bring up “unsolved mystery” involving a former intern when they want to fight dirty with him. Mediaite has a primer on the allegations. In 2001 an intern who worked for then-Rep. Scarborough was found dead in his Florida office. But the mystery wasn’t unsolved. It turned out later that she had had a heart condition, had collapsed and hit her head on a desk, and passed away. There’s no evidence suggesting Scarborough had anything to do with it; some quick googling turns up nothing to suggest that he was at the office that day or even in Florida. But the ingredients — young congressman, dead female intern — make the recipe for accusations of foul play irresistible, as Gary Condit might tell you. Until now it’s been mostly cutthroat leftists who have resorted to flinging this baseless insinuation at Scarborough. Today it was the president, hitting back with the heaviest weapon he could grasp against months of relentless criticism of him and his administration on “Morning Joe.” The common thread with the Muslim videos: He has no interest in whether what he’s saying is true or not.
Speaking of which, new from the NYT:
Mr. Trump’s falsehoods about the “Access Hollywood” tape are part of his lifelong habit of attempting to create and sell his own version of reality. Advisers say he continues to privately harbor a handful of conspiracy theories that have no grounding in fact.
In recent months, they say, Mr. Trump has used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He has also repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread voter fraud, according to advisers and lawmakers.
One senator who listened as the president revived his doubts about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate chuckled on Tuesday as he recalled the conversation. The president, he said, has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. The senator asked not to be named to discuss private conversations.
If he’s questioning the “Access Hollywood” tape privately, you’d better believe he’s still questioning the birth certificate privately. And note: Privately. Despite this morning’s bananas tweeting on other subjects, he still hasn’t addressed those two publicly recently. If he’s saying this behind closed doors it can only be because he genuinely believes it, not because he knows it’ll make his fans happy to hear it. The president isn’t a pretend conspiracy theorist because he knows it plays well with populists. He’s a conspiracy theorist. At this point there’s a nonzero chance that he also privately thinks we don’t know the “real story” of 9/11 either. If the “deep state” keeps messing with him, perhaps we’ll find out.
Oh, and he also threw in a tweet about North Korea this morning, in case you’d forgotten that we’re inching closer to nuclear war.
Watch below as the British Parliament pauses to reflect on the leader of the free world retweeting material from a famous reactionary in their own country. You can laugh off the Scarborough thing if you like, as nasty as it is, but don’t laugh too hard about him retweeting those videos. The argument used by multiple judges thus far in striking down his travel ban is that it’s been improperly motivated by religious discrimination against Muslims. Trump has tried to clean that up by writing and rewriting the ban to exclude certain Muslim countries and to include a few non-Muslim ones, and the DOJ has noted in court that Trump’s most inflammatory statements about Muslims came before he took office. Can’t block a president’s policy for what he said as a private citizen, right? Well, here he is as president retweeting content from Jayda Fransen. How do you think that’ll play with the next judge who assesses discriminatory purpose?
Point of Order raised in British House of Commons regarding President Trump's tweets. pic.twitter.com/w4ZIDMMZGo
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 29, 2017
Update: Sarah Huckabee Sanders isn’t concerned with whether what the president is broadcasting to the world is real or not. For all you Rathergate fans out there, we’ve reached the “fake but accurate” stage of conservatism, or what passes for it now.
Update: The president’s tweeting is now an international incident.
No small thing when Downing Street condemns the President of the United States pic.twitter.com/Sd1OItnYQZ
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) November 29, 2017