Trump: The Great Distractor

85438C88-6139-40E0-96EF-FFBE32A8213CI’ve never done this before, but today I’m going to post here, verbatim, an editorial that appeared in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle. Because this is what Donald Trump does….

We’ve seen this sequence before: A story, one that that President Trump wants to go away fast, erupts. He quickly says or does something so outrageous that it overtakes the news cycle.

Coincidence?

It wasn’t on Nov. 20, 2018, according to former National Security Adviser John Bolton in his new book, “The Room Where It Happened.” In that case, the story Trump wanted to eclipse was a Washington Post revelation that daughter Ivanka had sent hundreds of emails to White House aides on a personal account in violation of federal records rules. That was obviously an embarrassing story for a president who, as a candidate, had attacked his opponent Hillary Clinton for using a private email server while secretary of state.

So what could be jaw-dropping enough to bury the Ivanka story? Why, how about a defense of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal dismemberment of Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, contradicting the CIA’s conclusion that the prince ordered the assassination.

“This will divert from Ivanka,” Bolton quoted Trump as saying in drafting the statement.

It did.

Now along comes an even more explosive allegation Friday night: a New York Times report that Russian operatives offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan. The story alleged that Trump had been briefed about the intelligence finding, along with a menu of options that included sanctions, yet Trump had taken no action against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But that was not the story dominating social media on Sunday. Cyberspace was buzzing with Trump’s retweet of a video with his white supporters in Florida shouting “white power!” in an angry exchange with anti-Trump protesters. Trump’s retweet, with his salute to “the great people of The Villages” retirement community, was later deleted, but not before it had 4 million views. The Team Trump spin crew tried to claim the president did not hear the “white power” words even though they came at the start of the 2-minute video.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnaney said the president, purportedly unaware of the racist shouts, retweeted the video to show solidarity with supporters who are “oftentimes demonized.”

Then on Monday morning Trump was back at it, retweeting without comment a video of a white couple pointing a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun toward a peaceful procession of Black protesters in St. Louis.

There are two disturbing trends on display in Trump’s Twitter feed. One is his art of deflection. The other is his unapologetic appeals to racism.

Trump is the distractor-in-chief. But as I wrote in my earlier post today, he is a traitor to America. If you are going to vote for him in November, you, too, are a traitor to America.

Image from this post on Medium.