Send Her Back

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Donald Trump has always been a racist.  His father Fred, who was his role model, marched with the Ku Klux Klan in the 1930s, and when Donald joined him in the real estate business together they kept black tenants out of their apartments, until they were caught and had to settle and pay.  When Donald ran casinos in Atlantic City with daddy’s money and came visiting, black employees were rushed off the floor so that he wouldn’t have to see them.  He took out a full page advertisement to demand the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five black teenagers who were accused of raping a female jogger but later exonerated after DNA testing, and even after they were set free Trump still maintained that they were guilty.  Trump’s ‘birtherism’ claimed that Barack Obama had not been born in the USA, and that therefore Obama’s presidency was illegitimate, and as a presidential candidate he demanded that all Muslims be denied access to the US, something he tried to implement as president.  He called African countries ‘shitholes’, and this week he launched an attack on four female members of the House with a minority background.

Initially Trump said that the four radical members of the Democratic caucus, known as ‘the squad,’ who according to him ‘are trying to tear our country down,’ should go back to where they came from, but when he was informed that three of them were born in the USA he focused on Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia and immigrated when she was twelve years old.  At a campaign rally Wednesday night the president singled her out and got his crowd to chant ‘send her back,’ approvingly nodding his head for at least fifteen seconds.  On Thursday he falsely claimed that he had tried to stop the chanting and disapproved of it, but also suggested that Omar might at one point have been married to her brother.  It is still unclear what Trump is trying to achieve with his hate-spewing language.  He wants the squad to be the face of the Democratic Party, and achieved that the House condemned his racism while a motion to impeach him because of it was tabled, but if his strategy is to add every racist who has not yet voted for him to his base it is a monumentally stupid one, because he’ll lose more votes from moderates and independents than he gains.

Trump is a day-trader, so long term strategy is not exactly his thing and it’s likely that his prejudiced  instincts let him stumble into something that feels comfortable to him but that frightens both Republican strategists and House members.  The latter have so far given Trump coverage by collectively voting against the House motion that castigated his racism, but they also asked Vice President Pence in a closed meeting to make Trump distance himself from his recent rhetoric.  Meanwhile the president has united House Democrats who started the week with serious internal divisions.

In New York City child rapist Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail, but not before a video surfaced showing Trump and Epstein partying at Mar-a-Lago in 1992 with at least two dozen young female models.  Epstein is looking at 45 years in prison, and considering what he must know about his circle of friends – to which Trump once belonged – and business associates, chances are that he will start ‘singing’ to prosecutors as part of a plea deal, and many powerful men might be implicated.

Also in New York the Southern District declared the campaign finance law violation case that sent Michael Cohen to jail closed, but also revealed that contrary to Trump’s denials there had been intensive communications between Cohen and Trump, a non-indicted co-conspirator, all through the payoff of Stormy Daniels that followed the release of the Access Hollywood tape.

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