Posts tagged with "Muslims"

Kushner is flummoxed on interview questions about Trump’s racism

June 4, 2019

When you work for the family business, loyalty isn’t just a nicety; it’s a rigorous job requirement. So, we weren’t expecting any big reveals from presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner during his June 2 interview with National Political Reporter Jonathan Swan of Axios on HBO.

Indeed, when pressed by Swan about whether current POTUS, Donald Trump, could be characterized as a racist—judging by his no-holds-barred birther campaign against his predecessor Barack Obama—Kushner was briefly flummoxed, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Here’s a quick transcript, obtained from the news outlet:

SWAN: Have you ever seen him say or do anything that you would describe as racist or bigoted?

KUSHNER: So, the answer is un— uh, no. Absolutely not. You can’t not be a racist for 69 years, then run for president and be a racist. What I’ll say is that, when a lot of the Democrats call the president a racist, I think they’re doing a disservice to people who suffer because of real racism in this country.

SWAN: Was birtherism racist?

KUSHNER: Um, look I wasn’t really involved in that.

SWAN: I know you weren’t. Was it racist?

KUSHNER: Like I said, I wasn’t involved in that.

SWAN: I know you weren’t. Was it racist?

KUSHNER: I know who the president is, and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So, again, I was not involved in that.

SWAN: Did you wish he didn’t do that?

KUSHNER: Like I said, I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.

That’s 4-0, The Washington Post noted—Four instances in which Kushner emphasized that he hadn’t personally participated in Trump’s effort to question the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president, and zero instances in which he denied the entire effort was racist.

Kushner’s insistence that this “was a long time ago” is also pretty difficult to digest. For those who might have forgotten the 2016 campaign, Trump’s birtherism charge made a comeback and lingered for weeks before he eventually backed off — kind of, the news outlet said. But not before he had appealed repeatedly to his base.

Michelle Obama reserved some of the harshest words in her 2018 autobiography, Becoming, for this saga. “The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” she said. “But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”

According to the Post, “He showed the GOP base, much of which embraced the bogus theory, that he was willing to stick by a birther campaign that riled them up and drove the establishment crazy. It was the first big conspiracy theory of his conspiracy theory-laden political career.”

And that first big success has led to Trump’s more recent disparagement of Muslims, Gold Star parents, Hispanics, Haiti and Africa as “shXthole countries,” “people who were captured in the war,” and even Meghan Markle.

With that in mind, Jonathan Swan’s questions are effectively answered.

Research contact: @jonathanvswan

Trump calls House Democrats’ anti-bigotry resolution ‘a disgrace’

March 11, 2019

On March 8, the House passed a resolution (H.R. 183), by a vote of 407-23, condemning “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry,” The Hill reported. Nearly two dozen Republicans voted against the measure.

The measure was brought to the floor after remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) about the so-called “dual-loyalties” of Israel supporters unleashed a torrent of debate. “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said in late February.

In reaction to the passage of the resolution, President Donald Trump commented, that “… the House vote on an anti-hate resolution shows the Democrats have become an ‘anti-Israel’ and ‘anti-Jewish party,’ the political news site reported.

The president further asserted that, since the resolution did not specifically denounce Omar by name, it “ was “a disgrace.”

According to The Hill, the vote had been delayed earlier in the week as Democrats fought over what should be included in the measure, with additional tweaks— to condemn bigotry against Muslims as well as “Latinos, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the LGBT”—being made as late as the afternoon of March 7.

It also includes language condemning Japanese internment camps in World War II, the century-old Dreyfus affair in France, former President John F. Kennedy being questioned over Catholicism; and the white supremacist events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017

Some Democrats feared that the original resolution would have played into Republican efforts to use Omar to stoke divisions on the left, the political news outlet said.

Trump, himself, has repeatedly faced backlash for his own incendiary comments about white nationalists and Jews. Most notably, the president said in August 2017 there was blame on “both sides” of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, where a demonstrator killed a woman when he rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people [who] were very fine people on both sides,” Trump said.

White supremacist marchers carried Nazi banners and chanted “Jews will not replace us.”

Research contact: @thehill