Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied to reporters about Trump’s history of encouraging political violence, and signaled that the recent string of attempted bombings of Trump’s favorite targets will not keep him from continuing to attack them.
During a press scrum on the White House driveway Thursday morning, Daily Mail correspondent Francesca Chambers noted Trump’s latest attempt to blame the media for the series of attempted bombings, and asked if Trump bears any responsibility or if he regrets any of his comments.
“Look, the president’s condemned violence in all forms, has done that since day one, will continue to do that,” Sanders claimed.
CBS News correspondent Chip Reid then listed a litany of Trump’s attacks on the people who were targeted by the package bombs, and asked if Trump will stop the attacks.
Sanders indicated that he would not, replying that Trump “is going to continue to lay out the contrasts between Democrats and Republicans.”
“The question is, is he going to continue insulting them?” Reid interrupted.
Sanders replied that Trump “is going to continue to lay out the case, and the differences between Democrats and Republicans.”
Sanders’ claim is absurd and dangerous. In addition to the constant attacks and smears against the people who were targeted by these bombing attempts, Trump has a long history of explicitly encouraging political violence.
At a campaign rally just last week, Trump explicitly praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter, and even reenacted the attack onstage, to cheers and applause from the crowd.
To borrow Sanders’ phrase, Trump has been engaged in this campaign “since day one.” During the 2016 presidential campaign, he repeatedly encouraged violence against political protesters, and on at least two occasions promised to pay the legal fees of anyone who assaulted a protester.
Trump has also encouraged political violence by failing to condemn it, or by equivocating. When bodyguards for Turkish President Erdogan viciously beat protesters on U.S. soil, Trump apologized to Erdogan instead of standing up for Americans.
And when a woman was murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, Trump said that there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazi protesters who sparked the incident.
The combination of Trump’s smears against his critics and his explicit encouragement of violence is a recipe for disaster, and Sanders’ willingness to lie about it is not just a disgrace, it is a danger.
Published with permission of The American Independent.