- Jonathan Swan
- Nov 29
The darkest day of Trump's presidency
Photo: Evan Vucci / AP
- Incited violence against Muslims without reason or regret by retweeting unverified anti-Muslim videos.
- Insinuated Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a former intern.
- Insinuated TV heads and critics should be investigated for unknown reasons.
The most incendiary of Trump's tweets were his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos of questionable origin. A senior White House official expressed shock and dismay at the tweets — which purport to show videos of a "Muslim migrant" beating up a Dutch boy on crutches and a Muslim destroying a statue of Virgin Mary. They are perhaps his most indefensible tweets as president; and have the obvious potential to incite violence against Muslims living in America.
Some open questions:
- How does Trump's national security team feel about this, given their Middle East strategy rests on the cooperation of Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia?
- Chief of Staff John Kelly likes to say he ignores Trump's tweets, but when you have the British Prime Minister releasing a highly unusual statement condemning Trump, it's impossible to ignore them. They are now directly affecting foreign policy and can't be dismissed as fluff.
- What reaction can we expect from the moderate / liberal wing of the administration — White House officials like Gary Cohn, who condemned Trump's response to Charlottesville?
Be smart: Many Arab and Muslim countries will continue to work with the U.S. because it's in their interests. But these tweets make it harder, not easier.