After the domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, President Trump resisted calling out the hate groups behind the event by name. At the same time, he’s had no compunction about assailing the press in increasingly violent terms.
On the day that 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed after she was struck by a car driven by a neo-Nazi, Trump’s re-election campaign posted a video that included over a dozen images of prominent journalists, labeling them his “enemies.”
This morning, the president retweeted an image of a train running over a CNN reporter.
Trump sent the image, with the caption “Nothing can stop the Trump train!!” to his 36 million followers.
Trump RT’d this pic showing a CNN journalist hit by a train days after a white nationalist ran his car into activists, killed Heather Heyer. pic.twitter.com/tWjdoE70AS
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 15, 2017
The Tweet was deleted, but not before it was liked and retweeted hundreds of times.
Trump did not condemn the white nationalists behind the Charlottesville killing for nearly 48 hours after the incident. Only after political pressure grew on both sides of the aisle did the president denounce the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, calling white supremacists “repugnant to all that we hold dear as Americans” in a speech yesterday.
Political observers noted that those groups comprise part of Trump’s political base, and that he is generally not demure in calling out people who run counter to his interests. That also was the case after the “repugnant” speech Monday. Within an hour after Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who is African-American, announced he was leaving Trump’s corporate advisory board because of the president’s handling of Charlottesville, the president tweeted, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!””
At a photo op related to international trade that day, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump why he had waited so long to condemn the hate groups by name and why he hadn’t answered questions from reporters.
“I like real news, not fake news,” Trump said. Pointing at Acosta, Trump added: “You are fake news.”
The next morning, he retweeted the image of a red-white-and-blue Trump train about to crush a man in a suit with a CNN logo for a head.
Tuesday will likely not be remembered as Trump’s most successful day on Twitter. This morning, he retweeted a man who called him a fascist.
I’m announcing my retirement from Twitter. I’ll never top this RT. pic.twitter.com/HuGHkiPoyR
— Mike Holden (@MikeHolden42) August 15, 2017