Margaret, if you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, this week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner. And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy. To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.
A dead brothel owner. I’m sorry. I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.
Now, I know that some of you Democrats out there, especially in Florida, Georgia and Texas, are filling a bit blue today and not in a good Blue Wave way. We’re feeling blue because we fell in love with Andrew, Beto and Stacey and hoped that racists in red states would be standing in line at a Cracker Barrel instead of a polling station. Damn you Cracker Barrel! What happened to your all-you-can-eat chicken fried opossum steak on Tuesdays?
Honestly, it was going to be an uphill battle and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, this is Florida, Georgia and Texas we are talking about. They are GOP red mixed with a little scarlet, crimson, cardinal, ruby, magenta, brick, carmine, rose, vermilion, cerise, coral, and burgundy. The fact that Beto was even in the hunt and the other two are still too close to call is pretty amazing. Sure, it stung. But we really do have a great deal to celebrate. We took back the House. Our wave was big enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression, sending several hundred state and federal members of the GOP packing.
If you are feeling a bit down, maybe this will pick you up. Here are a few of my favorite casualties:
Karen Handel. Remember her? This homophobic, she-devil in wolf’s clothing managed to destroy the otherwise stellar reputation of the Susan G Komen Foundation when she picked a fight with Planned Parenthood. Komen recovered somewhat but it never returned to its former glory. Well, now a Democrat in Georgia named Lucy McBath is my new favorite person and Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s newest Representative. Kiss my ass Karen. The only organization I liked more than Komen was Planned Parenthood and you damaged one in order to attack the other. Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Ever. By the way, McBath ran on more gun control… in Georgia.
Kim Davis. This walking hairball in need of a hairstyle became famous in Kentucky for refusing to give marriage licenses to same sex couples, claiming Jesus told her to hate people. She then crashed a party pretending to be the Pope’s BFF and became the white trash darling for white trash religious nutjobs everywhere when she traveled to Romania to fight gay marriage there. Wait. What? Listen, folks. The cheese slid off this gal’s cracker years ago. Thank goodness that Kentucky Democrats dropped a house on Kim. To be honest, she lost by less than 700 votes, but that was to be expected considering she was related to, married to, divorced by and otherwise had children out of wedlock with a sizable percentage of the male voting population in the county. Hypocrisy is what the GOP now calls a family value.
Jason Lewis. I bet you don’t remember this asshat from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District unless you’re a slut… I mean a woman… I mean a slut. Lewis complained that political correctness had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even call a woman a slut anymore without getting in trouble. He lost to Democrat Angie Craig. I don’t know you Angie, but I love you regardless of what Jason is most assuredly calling you at this moment.
Jack Phillips. He’s probably the most famous baker in Colorado, but not because his cakes taste good, bad or otherwise. Jack is the Colorado Baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and took his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. He then tried to sue the Governor of Colorado because he didn’t want to bake a pink and blue cake for a transgender woman. Guess what? Jack now has a new Governor in Colorado. His name is Jared Polis and he’s gay. Please, please, please Governor Polis, order your inauguration cake from Jack if for no other reason than shits and giggles.
Kevin Yoder. I know nothing about this congressman from Kansas except he was a Republican in Kansas, which is rarely a good thing. He lost to a Native American woman named Sharice Davids. Now Sharice has a remarkable story and you should read about it. But I don’t want to talk about that now because I am being a little selfish. I just want to sit a minute and imagine Donald Trump watching Fox News on Tuesday when they gave a Democratic pick up seat to a woman who happens to be Native American and who also happens to be a lesbian and a mixed, martial arts fighter. Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee… Sharice honey, if you meet the President, please kick him where it counts.
Barbara Comstock. When Florida Parkland Students came to talk to her about gun violence, she refused to meet with them. Barbara lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Bye, bye Barbara. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Listen. I was sad. I wanted Beto as much as anyone. I really did. But here in Texas we picked up so many down ballot Democrats because of Beto that I don’t think being sad is an appropriate way to remember Beto, or Stacey or Andrew. And maybe its not even over for Stacey who is still fighting the good fight. Good luck Stacey. Every vote counts. But no. We can’t be down. We have just too much to be excited about.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who gave us the Affordable Care Act the last time she had that title
That is huge. We took back the House and turned a huge section of the country blue, while Trump kept Georgia, Florida and Texas red… barely. We changed everything. He changed nothing.
Maybe the Blue Wave wasn’t as big in some parts of the country as others. As it swept from east to west across the country like an invading army of immigrants… no wait. As it swept from east to west, it hit patches of gerrymandering and mountains of voter suppression. But it indeed swept across the country no matter how large or small it seemed at times. One thing we know for sure, if left unchecked, Trump could bring out the worst in all of us. And sadly, he’s proud of that. But then again, he’s an idiot. The blue wave came, and it was big enough. I mean it. Really.
A New Jersey man who coughed on a supermarket worker and told her he had the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with terrorism.
Amid the chaos and fear over the deadly COVID-19, several individuals are making headlines, and sparking fury among social media users, for threatening to spread the virus. New Jersey resident George Falcone, 50, is the latest to exploit the growing health crisis.
Falcone reportedly made terroristic threats inside Wegmans in Manalapan, N.J. on Sunday. According to BuzzFeed, when an employee asked him to step away from her and the prepared food on display, he allegedly moved closer and coughed on the woman’s hand and laughed, telling her he had coronavirus.
He also told two other staffers that “they are lucky to have jobs.”
According to prosecutors, Falcone initially refused to identify himself when approached by a police officer inside the store. He was subsequently allowed to leave but was charged Tuesday following an investigation.
Falcone has been charged with harassment, obstruction and making terroristic threats in the third degree, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced Tuesday.
“Exploiting people’s fears and creating panic during a pandemic emergency is reprehensible,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
Falcon is not the first New Jersey resident to threaten to spread the coronavirus, but he is the only one so far charged with terrorist threats.
Last week, Lea Piazza, 28, allegedly coughed on an officer repeatedly during her arrest for drunk driving, telling the cop, “by the way, I have the coronavirus and so do you.”
Among the charges, she was hit with included DWI, reckless driving, and false public alarm over her bogus coronavirus claim.
The Justice Department has reportedly given law enforcement agencies around the country the green light to charge Americans as terrorists under federal law if they intentionally threaten to spread the coronavirus.
New Jersey reportedly has 3,675 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths. The state has the second-highest number of coronavirus diagnosis in the country, behind New York.
(BELTON, Mo.) — A man fatally injured by the FBI was planning a bomb attack on a medical facility in the Kansas City area, the agency said in a news release Wednesday.
Timothy Wilson, 36, was injured Tuesday when FBI agents served a probable cause arrest warrant in Belton after a long-running domestic terrorism investigation, according to a statement Wednesday from Timothy Langan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City office.
The statement did not detail what happened when agents served the warrant, but said Wilson was armed when he was injured and died later at a hospital.
A monthslong investigation determined that Wilson was a potentially violent extremist, motivated by religious, racial and anti-government beliefs, according to the statement. He had planned for several months to carry out a bombing and decided to target a Kansas City-area hospital using a “vehicle-borne” improvised explosive.
Wilson chose a hospital that was providing critical care during the current coronavirus pandemic and had taken steps to acquire materials to build the bomb in an attempt to cause “severe harm and mass casualties,” according to the statement.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force kept close watch on Wilson and was prepared to arrest him when he tried to pick up what he thought was a bomb, although there was no bomb, the statement said. The FBI worked with federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys office in Kansas City during the investigation.
Goddamn foul, evil fucking people. Yeah, the ones doing this? Are Traitor Trumps Trumpanzees. They have said again and again they were going to do this because? They just simply hate. In their hate of Democrats, Liberals or others who do not defend and support their fucking shitstain on the underwear of humanity, Donald J Trump? They feel they got a right to go out and purposefully infect people, even though they know by doing so? Could cause people to die.
Trump and his Trumpsters are in fact? The most evil fucks in our country. They all deserve to reap back what they have sown and any of these fucking disgusting degenerates caught doing this? Should be given the death penalty because they are purposefully going out and committing First Degree Murder by their actions.
FBI warning: groups threatening to target police, Jews, non-whites by “infecting them with coronavirus”
One thing you can always count on. Times like this bring the nuts out of the closet, and this one is no exception. Intelligence gathered by the FBI is warning that neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are encouraging members who contract coronavirus to spread the virus to police and Jews. The alert, which went out on Thursday, notified local police agencies that extremists are asking their followers to use spray bottles to spread bodily fluids to cops on the street. Extremist groups are also directing followers to spread the disease to Jews by going to “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”
A Man Who Allegedly Coughed At A Woman And Said He Has The Coronavirus Was Charged With Making Terrorist Threats
George Falcone is not the first New Jersey resident to allegedly threaten to spread the virus, though the state Attorney General’s Office said he is the only one charged with terrorist threats by the state so far.
A grocery store threw out $35,000 in food that a woman intentionally coughed on, sparking coronavirus fears, police said
A woman purposely coughed on $35,000 worth of food at a Pennsylvania grocery store, police said. She likely faces criminal charges for coughing, one of the primary ways the novel coronavirus spreads.
The unnamed woman entered small grocery chain Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township and started coughing on produce, bakery items, meat and other merchandise, chain co-owner Joe Fasula wrote on Facebook.
New Jersey man charged with terrorism after coughing on woman, claiming coronavirus
George Falcone has been charged with harassment, obstruction and making terroristic threats in the third degree. Amid the chaos and fear over the deadly COVID-19, several individuals are making headlines, and sparking fury among social media users, for threatening to spread the virus. New Jersey resident George Falcone, 50, is the latest to exploit the growing health crisis.
Extremists Use Coronavirus to Advance Racist, Conspiratorial Agendas
Others eagerly imagine the coronavirus as a bioweapon against their enemies. One Telegram user advised readers that if they get the virus they should go to the bank, take out hundreds of dollars in small bills, and, “take the shekels home and cough and lick them…Then go on a shopping spree!” In one meme shared on Telegram, a soldier and the virus are depicted preparing to fight together against people targeted by white supremacists, including minorities, the LGBTQ community, and “communists.” A 4chan commenter wrote, “Send the sick to Israel – if you already die at least take out as many Jews as you can.”
Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”
She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater.
In shock, Ms. Zhu, who is 26 and moved to the United States from China five years ago, hurried the rest of the way to the gym. She found a corner where no one could see her, and she cried quietly. “That person didn’t look strange or angry or anything, you know?” she said of her tormentor. “He just looked like a normal person.”
As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asians-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.
In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by Muslim-Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But unlike 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of Muslim-Americans, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.
Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.
Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he was calling the virus “Chinese” to combat a disinformation campaign by Beijing officials saying the American military was the source of the outbreak. He dismissed concerns that his language would lead to any harm.
“If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., who fears for his son, Larry, 8. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”
Mr. Du said he posted on Facebook that “this is the darkest day in my 20-plus years of life in the United States,” referring to Mr. Trump’s doubling down on use of the term.
While no firm numbers exist yet, Asian-American advocacy groups and researchers say there has been a surge of verbal and physical assaults reported in newspapers and to tip lines.
San Francisco State University found a 50 percent rise in the number of news articles related to the coronavirus and anti-Asian discrimination between Feb. 9 and March 7. The lead researcher, Russell Jeung, a professor of Asian-American studies, said the figures represented “just the tip of the iceberg,” because only the most egregious cases that would be likely to be reported by the media.
Mr. Jeung has helped set up a website in six Asian languages, to gather firsthand accounts; some 150 cases have been reported on the site since it started last Thursday.
Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., said that hearing government leaders call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” had made him afraid for his son, Larry, 8.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Benny Luo, founder and chief executive of NextShark, a website focused on Asian-American news, said the site used to get a few tips a day. Now it is dozens.
“We’ve never received this many news tips about racism against Asians,” he said. “It’s crazy. My staff is pulling double duty just to keep up.” He said he was hiring two more people to help.
No one is immune to being targeted. Dr. Edward Chew, the head of the emergency department at a large Manhattan hospital, is on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus. He said that over the past few weeks, he has noticed people trying to cover their nose and mouth with their shirts when they are near him.
Dr. Chew has been using his free time to buy protective gear, like goggles and face shields, for his staff, in case his hospital runs out. On Wednesday night at a Home Depot, with his cart filled with face shields, masks and Tyvek suits, he said he was harassed by three men in their 20s, who then followed him out into the parking lot.
“I heard of other Asians being assaulted over this, but when you are actually ridiculed yourself, you really feel it,” he said the following day.
A writer for The New Yorker, Jiayang Fan, said she was taking out her trash last week when a man walking by began cursing at her for being Chinese.
“I’ve never felt like this in my 27 years in this country,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I’ve never felt afraid to leave my home to take out the trash because of my face.” Attacks have also gotten physical.
In the San Fernando Valley in California, a 16-year old Asian-American boy was attacked in school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus. He was sent to the emergency room to see whether he had suffered a concussion.
In New York City a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched in a Manhattan subway station, and a man in Queens was followed to a bus stop, shouted at and then hit over the head in front of his 10-year-old son.
People have rushed to protect themselves. One man started a buddy-system Facebook group for Asians in New York who are afraid to take the subway by themselves. Gun shop owners in the Washington, D.C., area said they were seeing a surge of first-time Chinese-American buyers.
At Engage Armament in Rockville, Md., most gun buyers in the first two weeks of March have been Chinese-American or Chinese, according to the owner, Andy Raymond.
More than a fifth of Rockville’s residents are of Asian ethnicity, and Mr. Raymond said buyers from Korean and Vietnamese backgrounds were not unusual.But Mr. Raymond said he was stunned by the flow of Chinese customers — in particular green-card holders from mainland China — that began earlier this month, a group that rarely patronized his shop before.
“It was just nonstop, something I’ve never seen,” he said.
Mr. Raymond said that few of the Asian customers wanted to talk about why they were there, but when one of his employees asked a woman about it, she teared up. “To protect my daughter,” she replied.
For recent immigrants like Mr. Du who are in close touch with friends and family in China, the virus has been a screaming danger for weeks that most Americans seemed oblivious to.
Mr. Du is trying to remain hopeful. He spends his weekends training to become a volunteer with Maryland’s emergency medical workers. He is part of a group of Chinese-American scientists who organized a GoFundMe account to raise money for protective gear for hospital workers in the area. In three days, they raised more than $55,000, nearly all in small donations.
But he said he was afraid of the chaos that could be unleashed if the U.S. death toll rises significantly.
Already a gun owner, Mr. Du, 48, said he was in the process of buying an AR-15 style rifle.
“Katrina is not far away,” he said, alluding to the unrest in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “And when all these bad things come, I am a minority. People can see my face is Chinese clearly. My son, when he goes out, they will know his parents are Chinese.”
For American-born Asians, there is a sudden sense of being watched that is as unsettling as it is unfamiliar.
“It’s a look of disdain,” said Chil Kong, a Korean-American theater director in Maryland. “It’s just: ‘How dare you exist in my world? You are a reminder of this disease, and you don’t belong in my world.’”
He added: “It’s especially hard when you grow up here and expect this world to be yours equally. But we do not live in that world anymore. That world does not exist.”
One debate among Asian-Americans has been over whether to wear a mask in public. Wearing one risks drawing unwanted attention; but not wearing one does, too. Ms. Zhu said her parents, who live in China, offered to ship her some.
“I’m like, ‘Oh please, don’t,’” she said. She said she was afraid of getting physically attacked if she wore one. “Lots of my friends, their social media posts are all about this: We don’t wear masks. It’s kind of more dangerous than the virus.”
A 30-year-old videographer in Syracuse said he was still shaken from a trip to the grocery store on Monday, when the man ahead of him in the checkout line shouted at him, “It’s you people who brought the disease,” and other customers just stared at him, without offering to help. That same day, he said, two different couples verbally abused him at Costco.
“I feel like I’m being invaded by this hatred,” said the man, Edward, who asked that his last name not be used because he feared attracting more attention. “It’s everywhere. It’s silent. It’s as deadly as this disease.”
He said he had tried to hide the details of what happened from his mother, who moved to the United States from China in the 1970s. But there was one thing he did tell her.
“I told her, whatever you do, you can’t go shopping,” he said. “She needed to know there’s a problem and we can’t act like it’s normal anymore.”
On Friday, as coronavirus infections rapidly multiplied aboard a cruise ship marooned off the coast of California, health department officials and Vice President Mike Pence came up with a plan to evacuate thousands of passengers, avoiding the fate of a similar cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, which became a petri dish of coronavirus infections. Quickly removing passengers was the safest outcome, health officials and Pence reasoned.
But President Donald Trump had a different idea: Leave the infected passengers on board — which would help keep the number of U.S. coronavirus cases as low as possible.
“Do I want to bring all those people off? People would like me to do it,” Trump admitted at a press conference at the CDC later on Friday. “I would rather have them stay on, personally.”
“I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault,” Trump added, saying that he ultimately empowered Pence to decide whether to evacuate the passengers.
For six weeks behind the scenes, and now increasingly in public, Trump has undermined his administration’s own efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak — resisting attempts to plan for worst-case scenarios, overturning a public-health plan upon request from political allies and repeating only the warnings that he chose to hear. Members of Congress have grilled top officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield over the government’s biggest mistake: failing to secure enough testing to head off a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. But many current and former Trump administration officials say the true management failure was Trump’s.
“It always ladders to the top,” said one person helping advise the administration’s response, who noted that Trump’s aides discouraged Azar from briefing the president about the coronavirus threat back in January. “Trump’s created an atmosphere where the judgment of his staff is that he shouldn’t need to know these things.”
Interviews with 13 current and former officials, as well as individuals close to the White House, painted a picture of a president who rewards those underlings who tell him what he wants to hear while shunning those who deliver bad news. For instance, aides heaped praise on Trump for his efforts to lock down travel from China — appealing to the president’s comfort zone of border security — but failed to convey the importance of doing simultaneous community testing, which could have uncovered a potential U.S. outbreak. Government officials and independent scientists now fear that the coronavirus has been silently spreading in the United States for weeks, as unexplained cases have popped up in more than 25 states.
“It’s a clearly difficult situation when the top wants to hear certain answers,” said one former official who’s briefed the White House. “That can make it difficult for folks to express their true assessment — even the most experienced and independent minds.”
While Trump last week allowed hospitals and labs to start developing their own coronavirus tests, wrongly blaming Obama administration regulations for a delay, the same move could have been made weeks ago had the president and his advisers felt it was necessary, said two officials.
The White House press office declined to comment on the record, referring questions to HHS.
The health department said that Trump had been responsive to the department’s concerns and understood the seriousness of the coronavirus threat from the first day he was briefed.
“The President took early and decisive actions like instituting travel restrictions and utilizing the quarantine authority” to protect Americans from the outbreak, an HHS spokesperson said.
HHS also stressed that Azar and Trump had a good working relationship.
“The Secretary always offers the President his honest assessment, and always insists when briefing the President on public health issues that the relevant experts participate,” the spokesperson said.
Trump-inspired disorganization plagues early response
As the outbreak has grown, Trump has become attached to the daily count of coronavirus cases and how the United States compares to other nations, reiterating that he wants the U.S. numbers kept as low as possible. Health officials have found explicit ways to oblige him by highlighting the most optimistic outcomes in briefings, and their agencies have tamped down on promised transparency. The CDC has stopped detailing how many people in the country have been tested for the virus, and its online dashboard is running well behind the number of U.S. cases tracked by Johns Hopkins and even lags the European Union’s own estimate of U.S. cases.
After senior CDC official Nancy Messonnier correctly warned on Feb. 25 that a U.S. coronavirus outbreak was inevitable, a statement that spooked the stock market and broke from the president’s own message that the situation was under control, Trump himself grew angry and administration officials discussed muzzling Messonnier for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, said two individuals close to the administration. However, Azar defended her role, and Messonnier ultimately was allowed to continue making public appearances, although her tone grew less dire in subsequent briefings.
Trump’s defenders can point to many coronavirus crises that, so far, have been failures of bureaucracy and disorganization. The president didn’t lock out a government scientist from CDC. He didn’t know that officials decided to fly back coronavirus-infected Americans aboard planes with hundreds of others who had tested negative, with Trump bursting in anger when he learned the news.
But Trump has added to that disorganization through his own decisions. Rather than empower a sole leader to fight the outbreak, as President Barack Obama did with Ebola in 2014, he set up a system where at least three different people — Azar, Vice President Mike Pence and coronavirus task force coordinator Debbie Birx — can claim responsibility. Three people who have dealt with the task force said it’s not clear what Birx’s role is, and that coronavirus-related questions sent to her have been rerouted to the vice president’s office.
In response, Pence’s office said it has positioned Birx as the vice president’s “right arm,” advising him on the response, while Azar continues to oversee the health department’s numerous coronavirus operations.
Trump on Friday night also shook up White House operations, replacing acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney with Rep. Mark Meadows, a longtime ally. The long-expected ouster of Mulvaney was welcomed in corners like the health department, given that Mulvaney had been one of Azar’s top critics. But the abrupt staff shuffle in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak injects further uncertainty into the government’s response, said a current official and two former officials. It’s not yet clear what Mulvaney’s departure will mean for his key lieutenants involved in fighting the outbreak, like Domestic Policy Council chief Joe Grogan, for instance.
“Every office has office politics — even the Oval Office,” said one individual. “You’d hope we could wait to work it out until after a public health emergency.”
Health officials compete for Trump’s approval
The pressure to earn Trump’s approval can be a distraction at best and an obsession at worst: Azar, having just survived a bruising clash with a deputy and sensing that his job was on the line, spent part of January making appearances on conservative TV outlets and taking other steps to shore up his anti-abortion bona fides and win approval from the president, even as the global coronavirus outbreak grew stronger.
“We have in President Trump the greatest protector of religious liberty who has ever sat in the Oval Office,” Azar said on Fox News on Jan. 16, hours after working to rally global health leaders to fight the United Nations’ stance on abortion rights. Trump also had lashed out at Azar over bad health-care polling that day.
Around the same time, Azar had concluded that the new coronavirus posed a public health risk and tried to share an urgent message with the president: The potential outbreak could leave tens of thousands of Americans sickened and many dead.
But Trump’s aides mocked and belittled Azar as alarmist, as he warned the president of a major threat to public health and his own economic agenda, said three people briefed on the conversations. Some officials argued that the virus would be no worse than the flu.
Azar, meanwhile, had his own worries: A clash with Medicare chief Seema Verma had weakened his standing in the White House, which in December had considered replacements for both Azar and Verma.
“Because he feels pretty insecure, about the feuds within his department and the desire to please the president, I don’t know if he was in the position to deliver the message that the president didn’t want to hear,” said one former official who’s worked with Azar.
The jockeying for Trump’s favor was part of the cause of Azar’s destructive feud with Verma, as the two tried to box each other out of events touting Trump initiatives. Now, officials including Azar, Verma and other senior leaders are forced to spend time shoring up their positions with the president and his deputies at a moment when they should be focused on a shared goal: stopping a potential pandemic.
“The boss has made it clear, he likes to see his people fight, and he wants the news to be good,” said one adviser to a senior health official involved in the coronavirus response. “This is the world he’s made.”
President swayed by flattery, personal appeals
Trump’s unpredictable demands and attention to public statements — and his own susceptibility to flattery — have created an administration where top officials feel constantly at siege, worried that the next presidential tweet will decide their professional future, and panicked that they need to regularly impress him.
The most obvious practitioner of this strategy is Azar, who became Trump’s second health secretary after the first, Tom Price, failed to bond with Trump and was ousted over a charter-jet scandal. Azar decided early in his tenure to have “zero daylight” with the president, said three individuals close to him, and the health secretary routinely fawns over the president in his TV appearances on Fox News. “No other president has had the guts, the courage to take on these special interests,” Azar told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in December after Trump pushed new price transparency on the health care industry.
Azar’s team also has insisted upon using background photos for his Twitter account that always show him with the president — sometimes silently standing behind Trump while he speaks. Azar is alone among Cabinet members in this practice; secretaries like HUD’s Ben Carson, Transportation’s Elaine Chao and Treasury’s Steven Mnuchin opted for bland Twitter backgrounds that show their headquarters.
“The Secretary respects the President and values their strong relationship,” said an HHS spokesperson, when asked about Azar’s approach to working with Trump and use of Twitter photos.
Other health officials have modeled similar behavior as Azar. Asked by Trump if he wanted to make a “little statement” on Friday, CDC Director Redfield responded by praising the president’s “decisive leadership” and visit to CDC headquarters amid the outbreak. “I think that’s the most important thing I want to say,” Redfield said.
At least one health official has offered a more subtle reminder of her loyalties. Verma wore an Ivanka Trump-brand pendant to some meetings and events with the president, before it was stolen in 2018.
Health officials also have to guard their words and predictions, worried that the president will fixate on the wrong data point or blurt out damaging information in public. Trump on Friday told reporters that he’d initially scrapped a trip to the CDC because of a possible coronavirus case at the agency. The announcement came as a surprise to CDC staff, including those preparing for Trump’s visit, because they hadn’t been briefed on the potential coronavirus case, POLITICO first reported.
I just got off the phone with the President. He told me that his administration will not be sending any victims of the Coronavirus from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama. Thank you, @POTUS, for working with us to ensure the safety of all Alabamians.— Richard Shelby (@SenShelby) February 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Trump’s political allies have tried to circumvent the policy process, causing further headaches for the overwhelmed health department. Alabama Republicans prevailed upon Trump to scrap an HHS contingency plan to potentially quarantine some coronavirus-infected Americans at a facility in their state last month.
“I just got off the phone with the President,” Sen. Richard Shelby tweeted on Feb. 23. “He told me that his administration will not be sending any victims of the Coronavirus from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama.”
But Democrats in a California city facing a similar situation failed to get a similar guarantee, leading them to file a lawsuit that accused the administration of political favoritism.
“California must not have the pull to get taken off the list,” attorney Jennifer Keller, representing Costa Mesa, Calif., reportedly said during a court hearing last month. “Alabama does.” A federal judge later halted plans to transfer coronavirus-stricken patients to a facility in the city.
Meanwhile, the president has allowed feuds to fester and spill into public view. Azar, for instance, has battled with White House officials and Verma for months over policies, personnel and even seats aboard the presidential airplane. Those fights have been reignited amid the coronavirus crisis, when Azar clashed with longtime rivals like Grogan over funding the response and whether enough coronavirus tests were being performed.
They’ve also cast a long shadow over strategy, like Azar’s decision not to push for Verma to be added to the coronavirus task force that he oversaw for nearly a month. Verma instead was added to the task force on March 2, several days after Pence took over leading the effort. While Azar said he asked for Verma to join the task force, and an HHS spokesperson pointed to the secretary’s public statement, two people with knowledge of task force operations said that the White House officials had raised questions about her omission.
Officials call the original decision to exclude Verma from the task force short-sighted at best, given the virus’ potential threat to the elderly patients covered by the Medicare program and residents living in nursing homes that are regulated by Verma’s agency.
With Trump unwilling — or unable — to put a stop to the health department’s fights, they’ve occupied and gripped Washington during relative peacetime. When at war against a potential pandemic, there’s no room for these distractions, officials say.
“If this sort of dysfunction exists as part of the everyday operations — then, yes, during a true crisis the problems are magnified and exacerbated,” said a former Trump HHS official. “And with extremely detrimental consequences.”
For three long years the world has been treated to the sick joke of Donald Trump’s presidency. Some days were more sick than others. But now the joke is over.
So is the entire facade of the Trump White House: the gold-plated veneer of power and grift will be stripped bare by a global pandemic and recession.
Of all the obituaries we’ll read in the next several weeks, every one will be more meaningful than the political end of a former reality-TV star.
But make no mistake. The humanitarian crisis about to unfold will consume what’s left of this president and the Republican party that surrendered its self-respect and sense of duty to flatter his ego and avoid his angry tweets.
Trump was right about one thing, and only one thing, as the coronavirus started to spread across the world. The sight of thousands of dead Americans will hurt him politically. It will also hurt many thousands of Americans in reality.
Multiple reports have detailed how Trump did not just ignore the growing pandemic; he actively sought to block his own officials’ attempts to track and stop it. Why has there been such a disastrous lack of testing? Because the president didn’t want to know the answer, and because his staff were too busy fighting each other to do the right thing.
“The boss has made it clear he likes to see his people fight, and he wants the news to be good,” Politico reported one Trump health adviser saying. “This is the world he’s made.”
Never mind a world turned upside down by fear and death. Trump’s world is upended by his gobsmackingly childish comments about how the whole thing will blow over. “It’s going to disappear,” he told one reception inside the White House just two weeks ago. “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
The only miracle of this presidency is that it’s taken so long for this country to wake up to the catastrophe.
How could we have known that Trump would deny the resources to deal with a disaster, deny the truth about the death toll, and denounce anyone daring to tell the truth?
It wasn’t hard to know. After Hurricane Maria devastated the American island of Puerto Rico in September of his first year in office, Trump gave himself a 10 for his response to the devastation. He also said he couldn’t keep the military in Puerto Rico forever, which was news to the national guard.
At the very time he was bragging about his response and trashing his own citizens, more than 3,000 Americans were dying on the island because of Trump’s botched response to the hurricane. Those Americans were our most vulnerable citizens: the sick and elderly, who lost power, lacked medicine or needed a hospital bed when the hospitals were stricken.
Those are the same Americans who face the greatest peril in the coming weeks from the same toxic mix of callousness and incompetence from the same sociopathic president.
This is everyone’s catastrophe and one man’s calamity. For Trump, there is no escaping the stench of failure that seeps through every unmade decision, every fumbled response, and every unhinged tweet.
This is a president who can’t formulate a coherent coronavirus policy, and can’t even read the words written for him on a prompter.
One paragraph from Wednesday’s disastrous Oval Office address managed to only worsen the political pathogen that is his presidency.
“There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” he explained about his new travel ban from Europe, ignoring the reality that he limited all testing so there are no appropriate screenings.
“And these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval,” he added, wiping out many billions in transatlantic trade – and various other things – with one flap of his lips.
“Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing,” he explained in case anyone had any doubt about his economic stupidity.
“These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom.” Ah yes, the British immunity to coronavirus is a well-documented medical fact. British people who play golf on a Trump course are especially healthy individuals.
If Trump was trying to reassure the markets, he failed, like he always does. Even the Federal Reserve magicking $1.5tn out of thin air could not stop the stock market from suffering its worst single day since the 1987 crash.
“This was the most expensive speech in history,” one investment strategist told the Financial Times.
There is hope amid the horror: an election in just eight months when Americans can vote for a return to the once-normal life of a competent government. Joe Biden’s response on Thursday was a stark reminder of what presidents and vice-presidents used to sound like.
“We’ll lead with science,” the former vice-president said. “We’ll listen to the experts. We’ll heed their advice.” It all sounded so shockingly novel. “We’ll build American leadership and rebuild it to rally the world to meet global threats that we are likely to face again. And I’ll always tell you the truth.”
The truth: it’s getting harder to remember a time when we expected our leaders to say such things.
In the meantime, before January 2021, the world faces two deadly diseases: a pandemic and a pathetically incompetent president.
On Thursday, as schools shut down and troops took to the streets of a New York suburb, Trump of course bragged about himself in ways that made you wonder about his own medical condition.
“I mean, think of it: the United States, because of what I did and what the administration did with China, we have 32 deaths at this point,” he said in the Oval Office. “Thirty-two is a lot. Thirty-two is too many. But when you look at the kind of numbers that you’re seeing coming out of other countries, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it.”
And you know what? Instead of thinking about preparing thousands of new hospital beds, or millions of virus tests, Trump has probably committed the largest part of his brain to thinking about that number. That very tiny number, so small compared to the rest of the world, that represents the full measure of his compassion.
Why yes, the Christo-Taliban Reich-Wing Fascists sure do hate this shit. They sure do hate the fact that people are just getting sick and tired of all the bullshit hate they spread and spew from their foaming at the mouth rabid dog mouths on a daily basis.
These fuckers are no different than the Muslim Taliban they decry on a daily basis. They seek to force their Reich-Wing ChristoFascist bullshit upon all of us and then? Piss and shit their Cocksuckers for Christ panties when people stand up to them, especially? The people these scumbag shitstains on the underwear of humanity love to persecute.
This was taken from Gab, a Reich-Wing ChristoTaliban Fascist Traitor Trumpanzee and Russian Repugnant supporting and defending white supremacists, white nationalists and ChristoFascist scumbags.
The Reich-Wing ChristoTaliban crying about people standing up to these scumbags.
Liberal activist groups are pressuring donor-advised funds (DAFs) to blacklist conservative and Christian organizations in the name of fighting white supremacy and “hate.” On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), themselves far from immune from scandal, released a report urging this philanthropic sector — which held more than $121 billion in donor contributions in 2018 — to join the political warfare effort of isolating conservative voices from polite society. The report favorably cites Fidelity Charitable’s and Schwab Charitable’s decisions to ban contributions to the NRA, citing San Francisco’s resolution condemning the NRA as a “terrorist organization.”
“Straddling the intersection of public and private, the philanthropic sector — like tech companies — functions as a powerful platform for hate,” the report warns. The SPLC and CAIR pepper their report with mentions of specific white nationalist groups and terrorist attacks inspired by white supremacy, associating these things with SPLC-accused “hate groups.”
Yet the document, entitled “Hate-Free Philanthropy,” calls on donor-advised funds to blacklist SPLC-accused “hate groups” in the name of preventing white supremacist terrorism. The report calls on donor-advised funds to combat “hate-funding,” to “abandon the ‘pretense of neutrality’ in their giving strategies to expand their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and to work for “sector-wide reform” by coordinating with “academia” and “advocacy organizations.” I wonder which “advocacy organizations” they have in mind…
The report cites many sources that all trace back to the SPLC’s “hate group” list. It cites CAIR’s report on the “Islamophobia network,” which relies on the SPLC list. It cites the union-owned Amalgamated Bank effort to blacklist “hate groups” called “Hate Is Not Charitable,” which relies on the SPLC list. It cites the “Change the Terms” coalition, which aims to bully Big Tech into booting “hate groups” from the program, relying on the SPLC. It favorably cites GuideStar’s decision to adopt the SPLC “hate group” labels on its charity database website.
The SPLC and CAIR, long known for their liberal biases, claim that “leading figures from the sector argue that philanthropy has to shed the idea that it should be ‘neutral’ at all costs. Instead, philanthropy should recognize that taking no action in this climate of hate is an action in itself, and for that reason, it should play an active role in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.” Funny how this “inclusion” looks a great deal like the exclusion of conservatives and the demonization of their views.
The report follows a one-day closed-door symposium involving more than three dozen “practitioners, advocates, and scholars in the philanthropic sector,” convened by the SPLC and CAIR in August 2019.
Donor-advised funds represent a huge slice of American philanthropy. As the report notes, there were 728,563 DAFs in 2018, and donors contributed $37.12 billion, using the funds to recommend $23.42 billion in grants to qualified charities. Charitable assets held by DAFs totaled $121.42 billion. When donors give money to DAFs, they get an immediate tax write-off. The DAF then directs the funds where the donor wishes. This provides anonymity, as the public report of the transaction shows the DAF contributing to the grantee, rather than the donor.
“Hate-Free Philanthropy” suggests this situation is unacceptable but acknowledges that legal reform efforts are unlikely. Instead, the report lays out three steps to help DAFs “to implement systems to screen out hate groups from DAF portfolios”: having a conversation about “hate groups” at the organization, expanding on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies, and then “explicitly” endorsing “anti-hate policies and programs.”
The report acknowledges that “even beginning a conversation around hate groups can be controversial within some organizations due to its political nature.” The SPLC and CAIR dismiss this controversy in the name of “public safety.” “However, it is best for stakeholders to recognize that while there may be a legitimate degree of difference on what constitutes anti-social and polarizing activity, at a core level community foundations should understand the problem of hate within a public safety context.”
As for the “anti-hate policies and programs,” the report presents two examples: Amalgamated Foundation’s terms, which state that the foundation “may consult resources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center”; and the East Bay Community Foundation, which has a “Grand Due Diligence Policy” that prohibits “[g]rants to any organization then listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Group map, as that list may be titled or revised from time to time.”
“Hate-Free Philanthropy” upholds Big Tech as a model for acting against “hate.” The report notes that internet companies once used First Amendment arguments to justify extending their platforms to a wide range of users. Yet tech companies are not the government, so the First Amendment does not restrict them. The report touts the “Change the Terms” coalition, which it claims “very carefully crafted its definition of hateful activity to cover types of speech that courts have said are not protected as free speech: incitement to violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, and defamation.”
The report also praised iTunes, PayPal, and AmazonSmile for taking “measures to screen out hate from their platforms. iTunes blacklisted what the SPLC calls “hate music,” while PayPal blacklists “hate groups” and AmazonSmile — Amazon’s charity contribution arm — refuses to work with any SPLC-accused “hate group.”
The SPLC and CAIR praised GuideStar, which caused a scandal in 2017 by placing “hate group” labels on the webpages of nonprofits attacked by the SPLC. GuideStar removed the labels but faced two defamation lawsuits and employees reportedly faced harassment. The SPLC and CAIR claim, without evidence, that the “hate groups” were responsible for the harassment.
“The use of harassment, intimidation, and threats directed at GuideStar’s staff and leadership shows that groups that promote hate do not hesitate to intimidate and threaten those who seek to inform the public about their less-than-charitable activities,” the report warns. The report encourages DAFs to prepare to face violence should they act against “hate groups,” by installing alarms and surveillance systems.
“Threats are not always physical,” the report warns. “As GuideStar sadly experienced, they could come in the form of lawsuits and coordinated public relations attacks that can easily be interpreted as intimidating. Preparation for these kinds of attacks is equally important. Having in place a crisis management and communication plan, in addition to a physical security plan, is a good first step.”
The report mentioned GuideStar twice more, in both cases emphasizing the threat from “hate groups.” Referring to GuideStar’s labels, the report says, “this modest effort resulted in a campaign of hate and intimidation as well as spurious attempts at litigation by hate groups.” Further on comes this sentence: “As the GuideStar experience has shown, this could also lead to fringe groups and their supporters launching harassment and intimidation campaigns.”
Ironically, the SPLC and CAIR report warns against the problems of “hate-funding, polarization, and anti-social special interest practices,” when the SPLC’s “hate group” accusations have inspired an act of violence and have exacerbated polarization in America.
Donor-advised funds would be wise to ignore this report and reject its politically-slanted suggestions. While DAFs should seek to avoid funding white supremacist groups and organizations that advocate for violence, any reliance on the SPLC will skew their good-faith efforts, turning them into unwitting pawns of partisan political warfare.
It is Trump, the Repugnants and Trumpanzees along with the Reich-Wing News organizations such as Faux Nitwit Newsless, Breibart and others that is causing this hate, these lies, these bullshit acts to be done. Here is the proof.
‘No Blame?’ ABC News finds 36 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.
But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.
In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior.
Seven cases involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump’s allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases — 29 of the 36 — reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.
ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.
The perpetrators and suspects identified in the 36 cases are mostly white men — as young as teenagers and as old as 75 — while the victims largely represent an array of minority groups — African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men.
Federal law enforcement authorities have privately told ABC News they worry that — even with Trump’s public denunciations of violence — Trump’s style could inspire violence-prone individuals to take action against minorities or others they perceive to be against the president’s agenda.
“Any public figure could have the effect of inspiring people,” FBI Director Chris Wray told a Senate panel in July. “But remember that the people who commit hate fueled violence are not logical, rational people.”
While asserting that “fake” media coverage is exacerbating divisions in the country, Trump has noted that “a fan” of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders opened fire on Republican lawmakers playing baseball in a Washington suburb two years ago. “Nobody puts … ‘Bernie Sanders’ in the headline with the maniac,” Trump said last year.
And, last week, Trump similarly insisted that the man who fatally shot nine people in Dayton, Ohio, three days earlier “supported” Sanders and other liberal causes.
But there’s no indication either of those shooters mentioned Sanders while launching their attacks, and no charges were ever filed because they were both fatally shot during their assaults.
In identifying the 36 Trump-related cases, ABC News excluded incidents of vandalism. ABC News also excluded several cases of violence — from attacks on anti-Trump protesters at Trump rallies to certain assaults on people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats — that did not establish explicit ties to Trump.
In conducting its review, ABC News did find several cases where pro-Trump defendants were charged with targeting minorities, or where speculation online suggested the defendants were motivated by Trump, but in those cases ABC News found no police records, court proceedings or other direct evidence presenting a definitive link to the president. So those cases were also excluded in the ABC News tally.
Nevertheless, last year Trump said he deserves “no blame” for what he called the “hatred” seemingly coursing through parts of the country. And he told reporters that he’s “committed to doing everything” in his power to not let political violence “take root in America.”
Crimes of Trumpanzees against others
Aug. 19, 2015: In Boston, after he and his brother beat a sleeping homeless man of Mexican descent with a metal pole, Steven Leader, 30, told police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” The victim, however, was not in the United States illegally. The brothers, who are white, ultimately pleaded guilty to several assault-related charges and were each sentenced to at least two years in prison.
Dec. 5, 2015: After Penn State University student Nicholas Tavella, 19, was charged with “ethnic intimidation” and other crimes for threatening to “put a bullet” in a young Indian man on campus, his attorney argued in court that Tavella was just motivated by “a love of country,” not “hate.” “Donald Trump is running for President of the United States saying that, ‘We’ve got to check people out more closely,'” Tavella’s attorney argued in his defense. Tavella, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to ethnic intimidation and was sentenced to up to two years in prison.
April 28, 2016: When FBI agents arrested 61-year-old John Martin Roos in White City, Oregon, for threatening federal officials, including then-President Barack Obama, they found several pipe bombs and guns in his home. In the three months before his arrest, Roos posted at least 34 messages to Twitter about Trump, repeatedly threatening African Americans, Muslims, Mexican immigrants and the “liberal media,” and in court documents, prosecutors noted that the avowed Trump supporter posted this threatening message to Facebook a month earlier: “The establishment is trying to steal the election from Trump. … Obama is already on a kill list … Your [name] can be there too.” Roos, who is white, has since pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered explosive device and posting internet threats against federal officials. He was sentenced to more than five years in prison.
June 3, 2016: After 54-year-old Henry Slapnik attacked his African-American neighbors with a knife in Cleveland, he told police “Donald Trump will fix them because they are scared of Donald Trump,” according to police reports. Slapnik, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to “ethnic intimidation” and other charges. It’s unclear what sentence he received.
Aug. 16, 2016: In Olympia, Washington, 32-year-old Daniel Rowe attacked a white woman and a black man with a knife after seeing them kiss on a popular street. When police arrived on the scene, Rowe professed to being “a white supremacist” and said “he planned on heading down to the next Donald Trump rally and stomping out more of the Black Lives Matter group,” according to court documents filed in the case. Rowe, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of assault and malicious harassment, and he was sentenced to more than four years in prison.
September 2016: After 40-year-old Mark Feigin of Los Angeles was arrested for posting anti-Muslim and allegedly threatening statements to a mosque’s Facebook page, his attorney argued in court that the comments were protected by the First Amendment because Feigin was “using similar language and expressing similar views” to “campaign statements from then-candidate Donald Trump.” Noting that his client “supported Donald Trump,” attorney Caleb Mason added that “Mr. Feigin’s comments were directed toward a pressing issue of public concern that was a central theme of the Trump campaign and the 2016 election generally: the Islamic roots of many international and U.S. terrorist acts.” Feigin, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sending harassing communications electronically. He was sentenced to probation.
Oct. 13, 2016: After the FBI arrested three white Kansas men for plotting to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, where many Somali immigrants lived, one of the men’s attorneys insisted to a federal judge that the plot was “self-defensive” because the three men believed “that if Donald Trump won the election, President Obama would not recognize the validity of those results, that he would declare martial law, and that at that point militias all over the country would have to step in.” Then, after a federal grand jury convicted 47-year-old Patrick Stein and the two other men of conspiracy-related charges, Stein’s attorney argued for a lighter sentence based on “the backdrop” of Stein’s actions: Trump had become “the voice of a lost and ignored white, working-class set of voters” like Stein, and the “climate” at the time could propel someone like Stein to “go to 11,” attorney Jim Pratt said in court. Stein and his two accomplices were each sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
Nov. 3, 2016: In Tampa, Florida, David Howard threatened to burn down the house next to his “simply because” it was being purchased by a Muslim family, according to the Justice Department. He later said under oath that while he harbored a years-long dislike for Muslims, the circumstances around the home sale were “the match that lit the wick.” He cited Trump’s warnings about immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. “[With] the fact that the president wants these six countries vetted, everybody vetted before they come over, there’s a concern about Muslims,” Howard said. Howard, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation, and the 59-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Nov. 10, 2016: A 23-year-old man from High Springs, Florida, allegedly assaulted an unsuspecting Hispanic man who was cleaning a parking lot outside of a local food store. “[H]e was suddenly struck in the back of the head,” a police report said of the victim. “[The victim] asked the suspect why he hit him, to which the suspect replied, ‘This is for Donald Trump.’ The suspect then grabbed [the victim] by the jacket and proceeded to strike him several more times,” according to the report. Surveillance video of the incident “completely corroborated [the victim’s] account of events,” police said. The suspect was arrested on battery charges, but the case was dropped after the victim decided not to pursue the matter, police said. Efforts by ABC News to reach the victim for further explanation were not successful.
Nov. 12, 2016: In Grand Rapids, Michigan, while attacking a cab driver from East Africa, 23-year-old Jacob Holtzlander shouted racial epithets and repeatedly yelled the word, “Trump,” according to law enforcement records. Holtzlander, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of ethnic intimidation, and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Jan. 25, 2017: At JFK International Airport in New York, a female Delta employee, wearing a hijab in accordance with her Muslim faith, was “physically and verbally” attacked by 57-year-old Robin Rhodes of Worcester, Mass., “for no apparent reason,” prosecutors said at the time. When the victim asked Brown what she did to him, he replied: “You did nothing, but … [Expletive] Islam. [Expletive] ISIS. Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” Rhodes ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “menacing,” and he was sentenced to probation.
Feb. 19, 2017: After 35-year-old Gerald Wallace called a mosque in Miami Gardens, Florida, and threatened to “shoot all y’all,” he told the FBI and police that he made the call because he “got angry” from a local TV news report about a terrorist act. At a rally in Florida the day before, Trump falsely claimed that Muslim refugees had just launched a terrorist attack in Sweden.
Wallace’s attorney, Katie Carmon, later tried to convince a federal judge that the threat to kill worshippers could be “protected speech” due to the “very distinctly political climate” at the time. “There are courts considering President Trump’s travel ban … and the president himself has made some very pointed statements about what he thinks about people of this descent,” Carmon argued in court.
Wallace, who is African American, ultimately pleaded guilty to obstructing the free exercise of his victims’ religious beliefs, and he was sentenced to one year in prison.
Feb. 23, 2017: Kevin Seymour and his partner Kevin price were riding their bicycles in Key West, Florida, when a man on a moped, 30-year-old Brandon Davis of North Carolina, hurled anti-gay slurs at them and “intentionally” ran into Seymour’s bike, shouting, “You live in Trump country now,” according to police reports and Davis’ attorney. Davis ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of battery evidencing prejudice, but in court, he expressed remorse and was sentenced to four years of probation.
May 3, 2017: In South Padre Island, Texas, 35-year-old Alexander Jennes Downing of Waterford, Connecticut, was captured on cellphone video taunting and aggressively approaching a Muslim family, repeatedly shouting, “Donald Trump will stop you!” and other Trump-related remarks. Police arrested downing, of Waterford, Connecticut, for public intoxication. It’s unclear what came of the charge.
Oct. 22, 2017: A 44-year-old California man threatened to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., for her frequent criticism of Trump and her promise to “take out” the president. Anthony Scott Lloyd left a voicemail at the congresswoman’s Washington office, declaring: “If you continue to make threats towards the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine. Cause we’ll kill you.” After pleading guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, Lloyd asked the judge for leniency, saying he suffered from addiction-inducing mental illness and became “far too immersed in listening to polarizing political commentators and engaging in heated political debates online.” His lawyer put it this way to the judge: “Mr. Lloyd was a voracious consumer of political news online, on television and on radio … [that are] commonly viewed as ‘right wing,’ unconditionally supportive of President Trump, and fiercely critical of anyone who opposed President Trump’s policies.” The judge sentenced Lloyd to six months of house arrest and three years of probation.
August 2018: After the Boston Globe called on news outlets around the country to resist what it called “Trump’s assault on journalism,” the Boston Globe received more than a dozen threatening phone calls. “You are the enemy of the people,” the alleged caller, 68-year-old Robert Chain of Encino, California, told a Boston Globe employee on Aug. 22. “As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States … I will continue to threat[en], harass, and annoy the Boston Globe.” A week later, authorities arrested Chain on threat-related charges. After a hearing in his case, he told reporters, “America was saved when Donald J. Trump was elected president.” Chain has pleaded guilty to seven threat-related charges, and he is awaiting sentencing.
Oct. 4, 2018: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida arrested 53-year-old James Patrick of Winter Haven, Florida, for allegedly threatening “to kill Democratic office holders, members of their families and members of both local and federal law enforcement agencies,” according to a police report. In messages posted online, Patrick detailed a “plan” for his attacks, which he said he would launch if then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh was not confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, the police report said. Seeking Patrick’s release from jail after his arrest, Patrick’s attorney, Terri Stewart, told a judge that her client’s “rantings” were akin to comments from “a certain high-ranking official” — Trump. The president had “threatened the North Korean people — to blow them all up. It was on Twitter,” Stewart said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Patrick has been charged with making a written threat to kill or injure, and he has pleaded not guilty. His trial is pending.
Late October 2018: Over the course of a week, Florida man Cesar Sayoc allegedly mailed at least 15 potential bombs to prominent critics of Trump and members of the media. Sayoc had been living in a van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, and he had posted several pro-Trump messages on social media. Federal prosecutors have accused him of “domestic terrorism,” and Sayoc has since pleaded guilty to 65 counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “We believe the president’s rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc’s behavior,” Sayoc’s attorney told the judge at sentencing.
Dec. 4, 2018: Michael Brogan, 51, of Brooklyn, New York, left a voicemail at an unidentified U.S. Senator’s office in Washington insisting, “I’m going to put a bullet in ya. … You and your constant lambasting of President Trump. Oh, reproductive rights, reproductive rights.” He later told an FBI agent that before leaving the voicemail he became “very angry” by “an internet video of the Senator, including the Senator’s criticism of the President of the United States as well as the Senator’s views on reproductive rights.” “The threats were made to discourage the Senator from criticizing the President,” the Justice Department said in a later press release. Brogan has since pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, and he is awaiting sentencing.
Jan. 17, 2019: Stephen Taubert of Syracuse, New York, was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police for threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and for threatening to “hang” former President Barack Obama. Taubert used “overtly bigoted, hateful language” in his threats, according to federal prosecutors. On July 20, 2018, Taubert called the congresswoman’s Los Angeles office to say he would find her at public events and kill her and her entire staff. In a letter to the judge just days before Taubert’s trial began, his defense attorney, Courtenay McKeon, noted: “During that time period, Congresswoman Waters was embroiled in a public feud with the Trump administration. … On June 25, 2018, in response to Congresswoman Waters’ public statements, President Trump tweeted: ‘Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has … just called for harm to supporters … of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!'” As McKeon insisted to the judge: “This context is relevant to the case.” A federal jury ultimately convicted Taubert on three federal charges, including retaliating against a federal official and making a threat over state lines. He was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
Jan. 22, 2019: David Boileau of Holiday, Florida, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly burglarizing an Iraqi family’s home and “going through” their mailbox, according to a police report. After officers arrived at the home, Boileau “made several statements of his dislike for people of Middle Eastern descent,” the report said. “He also stated if he doesn’t get rid of them, Trump will handle it.” The police report noted that a day before, Boileau threw screws at a vehicle outside the family’s house. On that day, Boileau allegedly told police, “We’ll get rid of them one way or another.” Boileau, 58, has since pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Feb. 15, 2019: The FBI in Maryland arrested a Marine veteran and U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, who they said was stockpiling weapons and “espoused” racist and anti-immigrant views for years as he sought to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” In court documents, prosecutors said the 49-year-old “domestic terrorist” compiled a “hit list” of prominent Democrats. Two months later, while seeking Hasson’s release from jail before trial, his public defender, Elizabeth Oyer, told a federal judge: “This looks like the sort of list that our commander-in-chief might have compiled while watching Fox News in the morning. … Is it legitimately frustrating that offensive language and ideology has now become part of our national vocabulary? Yes, it is very frustrating. But … it is hard to differentiate it from the random musings of someone like Donald Trump who uses similar epithets in his everyday language and tweets.” Hasson faces weapons-related charges and was being detained as he awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
March 16, 2019: Anthony Comello, 24, of Staten Island, New York, was taken into custody for allegedly killing Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the reputed head of the infamous Gambino crime family. It marked the first mob boss murder in New York in 30 years, law enforcement officials told ABC News the murder may have stemmed from Comello’s romantic relationship with a Cali family member. Court documents since filed in state court by Comello’s defense attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said Comello suffers from mental defect and was a believer in the “conspiratorial fringe right-wing political group” QAnon. In addition, Gottlieb wrote: “Beginning with the election of President Trump in November 2016, Anthony Comello’s family began to notice changes to his personality. … Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support. Mr. Comello grew to believe that several well-known politicians and celebrities were actually members of the Deep State, and were actively trying to bring about the destruction of America.” Comello has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. His trial is pending, and he has pleaded not guilty.
April 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a 55-year-old man from upstate New York for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. She is an outspoken critic of Trump, and Trump has frequently launched public attacks against her and three other female lawmakers of color. Two weeks before his arrest, Patrick Carlineo Jr. allegedly called Omar’s office in Washington labeling the congresswoman a “terrorist” and declaring: “I’ll put a bullet in her f—-ing skull.” When an FBI agent then traced the call to Carlineo and interviewed him, Carlineo “stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to the FBI agent’s summary of the interview. Federal prosecutors charged Carlineo with threatening to assault and murder a United States official. Carlineo is awaiting trial, although his defense attorney and federal prosecutors are working on what his attorney called another “possible resolution” of the case.
April 18, 2019: The FBI arrested John Joseph Kless of Tamarac, Florida, for calling the Washington offices of three prominent Democrats and threatening to kill each of them. At his home, authorities found a loaded handgun in a backpack, an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In later pleading guilty to one charge of transmitting threats over state lines, Kless admitted that in a threatening voicemail targeting Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., he stated: “You won’t f—ing tell Americans what to say, and you definitely don’t tell our president, Donald Trump, what to say.” Tlaib, a vocal critic of Trump, was scheduled to speak in Florida four days later. Kless was awaiting sentencing. In a letter to the federal judge, he said he “made a very big mistake,” never meant to hurt anyone, and “was way out of line with my language and attitude.”
April 24, 2019: The FBI arrested 30-year-old Matthew Haviland of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, for allegedly sending a series of violent and threatening emails to a college professor in Massachusetts who publicly expressed support for abortion rights and strongly criticized Trump. In one of 28 emails sent to the professor on March 10, 2019, Haviland allegedly called the professor “pure evil” and said “all Democrats must be eradicated,” insisting the country now has “a president who’s taking our country in a place of more freedom rather than less.” In another email the same day, Haviland allegedly wrote the professor: “I will rip every limb from your body and … I will kill every member of your family.” According to court documents, Haviland’s longtime friend later told the FBI that “within the last year, Haviland’s views regarding abortion and politics have become more extreme … at least in part because of the way the news media portrays President Trump.” Haviland has been charged with cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. His trial is pending.
June 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a Utah man for allegedly calling the U.S. Capitol more than 2,000 times over several months and threatening to kill Democratic lawmakers, whom he said were “trying to destroy Trump’s presidency.” “I am going to take up my second amendment right, and shoot you liberals in the head,” 54-year-old Scott Brian Haven allegedly stated in one of the calls on Oct. 18, 2018, according to charging documents. When an FBI agent later interviewed Haven, he “explained the phone calls were made during periods of frustration with the way Democrats were treating President Trump,” the charging documents said. The FBI visit, however, didn’t stop Haven from making more threats, including: On March 21, 2019, he called an unidentified U.S. senator’s office to say that if Democrats refer to Trump as Hitler again he will shoot them, and two days later he called an unidentified congressman’s office to say he “was going to take [the congressman] out … because he is trying to remove a duly elected President.” A federal grand jury has since charged Haven with one count of transmitting a threat over state lines. Haven pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.
Aug. 3, 2019: A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others. The FBI labeled the massacre an act of “domestic terrorism,” and police determined that the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, posted a lengthy anti-immigrant diatribe online before the attack. “We attribute that manifesto directly to him,” according to El Paso police chief Greg Allen. Describing the coming assault as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the screed’s writer said “the media” would “blame Trump’s rhetoric” for the attack but insisted his anti-immigrant views “predate Trump” — an apparent acknowledgement that at least some of his views align with some of Trump’s public statements. The writer began his online essay by stating that he generally “support[s]” the previous writings of the man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand earlier this year. In that case, the shooter in New Zealand said he absolutely did not support Trump as “a policy maker and leader” — but “[a]s a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.” Crusius has been charged with capital murder by the state of Texas.
Crimes Against Trumpanzees
Jan. 3, 2017: In Chicago, four young African-Americans — sisters Brittany and Tanishia Covington, Jordan Hill and Tesfaye Cooper — tied up a white, mentally disabled man and assaulted him, forcing him to recite the phrases “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–k white people” while they broadcast the attack online. Each of them ultimately pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime and other charges, and three of them were sentenced to several years in prison.
May 11, 2017: Authorities arrested Steven Martan of Tucson, Arizona, after he left three threatening messages at the office Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. In one message, he told McSally he was going to “blow your brains out,” and in another he told her that her “days are numbered.” He later told FBI agents “that he was venting frustrations with Congresswoman McSally’s congressional votes in support of the President of the United States,” according to charging documents. Martan’s attorney, Walter Goncalves Jr., later told a judge that Martan had “an alcohol problem” and left the messages “after becoming intoxicated” and “greatly upset” by news that McSally “agreed with decisions by President Donald Trump.” Martan, 58, has since pleaded guilty to three counts of retaliating against a federal official and was sentenced to more than one year in prison.
April 6, 2018: The FBI arrested 38-year-old Christopher Michael McGowan of Roanoke, Virginia, for allegedly posting a series of Twitter threats against Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., over several months. In one posting in December 2017, McGowan wrote to Goodlatte: “I threatened to kill you if you help Trump violate the constitution,” according to charging documents. In another alleged post, the self-described Army veteran wrote: “If Trump tries to fire [special counsel Robert] Mueller I WILL make an attempt to execute a citizens arrest against [Goodlatte] and I will kill him if he resist.” In subsequent statements to police, he said he drinks too much, was “hoping to get someone’s attention over his concerns about the current status of our country,” and did not actually intend to harm Goodlatte, court documents recount. A federal grand jury has indicted McGowan on one count of transmitting a threat over state lines, and it’s unclear if he has entered a plea as he awaits trial.
July 6, 2018: Martin Astrof, 75, approached a volunteer at the campaign office of Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., in Suffolk County, New York, and “state[d] he was going to kill supporters of U.S. congressman Lee Zeldin and President Donald Trump,” according to charging documents. Astrof was arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to one year of probation.
Feb. 15, 2019: Police in Falmouth, Massachusetts, arrested 41-year-old Rosiane Santos after she “verbally assault[ed]” a man for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in a Mexican restaurant and then “violently push[ed] his head down,” according to police reports. Apparently intoxicated, “she stated that [the victim] was a ‘motherf—-r’ for supporting Trump,” one of the responding officers wrote. “She also stated that he shouldn’t be allowed in a Mexican restaurant with that.” Santos was in the United States unlawfully, federal authorities said. Police arrested her on charges of “simple assault” and disorderly conduct. She has since admitted in local court that there are “sufficient facts” to warrant charges, and she has been placed on a form of probation.
Feb. 25, 2019: An 18-year-old student at Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma, was captured on cellphone video “confronting a younger classmate who [was] wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and carrying a ‘Trump’ flag,” according to a press release from the local school system. “The [older] student then proceeds to grab the flag and knock the hat off of his classmate’s head.” The 18-year-old student was charged in local court with assault and battery, according to Edmond City Attorney Steve Murdock. The student has since pleaded guilty and was placed on probation, Murdock added.
April 13, 2019: 27-year-old Jovan Crawford, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and 25-year-old Scott Roberson Washington, D.C., assaulted and robbed a black man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat while walking through his suburban Maryland neighborhood. Before punching and kicking him, “The two suspects harassed [the victim] about the hat and asked why he was wearing it. [The victim] told them he has his own beliefs and views,” according to charging documents filed after their arrest by Montgomery County, Maryland, police. Crawford later received a text message noting that, “They jumped some trump supporter,” the charging documents said. Crawford and Roberson have since pleaded guilty to assault charges and are awaiting sentencing.