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Don’t Fall For False Tone of Moderation in Trump’s Fact-Challenged Speech to Congress

| March 1, 2017

President Trump addressing Congress Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence behind him.

President Trump addressing Congress Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence behind him. (© FlaglerLive)

By Peter Certo

Donald Trump began Tuesday’s speech to Congress with a line seemingly designed to appease his critics. “As we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month,” he said, “we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains.”


He went on to condemn “recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City” — and, why not, “hate and evil in all its forms.”

Some pundits, who apparently set a very low bar, applauded Trump for this “presidential” moment. Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza, whom Trump himself once called “one of the dumber” pundits, praised Trump on Twitter for his “VERY nice grace note about our shared humanity.”

Was it, though?

For context, Trump was referring to a wave of over 100 recent bomb threats that have been called into Jewish schools and community centers all over the country, as well as the vandalism of hundreds of Jewish graves at cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, a drunken bar patron shouting “get out of my country!” recently shot two Indian immigrants, killing one. The shooter reportedly thought the men were Iranian, which would have put them on the list of banned migrants under Trump’s seven-country “Muslim ban.”

Investigations are ongoing, but many suspect that racist white nationalists are behind each of these incidents. Yet Trump never named those perpetrators. In the Kansas City case, in fact, he didn’t even name the victims.

Worse still, when talking about the anti-Semitic incidents before his speech to Congress, he even implied they might’ve been a false flag operation — carried out by his opponents “to make others look bad.”

You can be sure this was no accident. Because when Trump talked about other so-called threats, he was extremely explicit.

nt/uploads/other-words.gif” alt=”other-words” width=”119″ height=”112″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-47604″ />He gestured for emphasis on every word as he promised to defend the country from “Radical Islamic Terror,” which is capitalized in the speech’s official transcript. And he falsely blamed “the vast majority” of “terrorism-related offenses since 9/11” on immigrants. (See fact-checks of Trump’s speech here, here, here and here.)

(Some factual asides: According to the New America Foundation, virtually all perpetrators were citizens or legal residents, and half of them were born here. And no Americans have ever been killed by refugees from any of the seven Muslim countries Trump has sought to ban.)

Moving on, Trump twice called out “vicious” crimes by “illegal gang members” before announcing the creation of a special agency to document alleged crimes by undocumented people. Yet numerous studies have confirmed that both documented and undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Make no mistake, Trump’s lies are carefully told to generate hostility toward Muslims and immigrants. Worse still, they conceal a growing threat the man obsessed with calling out “Radical Islamic Terror” won’t even name.

Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted over 1,000 active far-right and white nationalist groups in the United States. Groups like these, Foreign Policy magazine recently reported, “plan and carry out domestic attacks at a greater frequency than foreign terrorist groups.”

Since 9/11, it adds, “anti-government groups have racked up a death toll on par with that of Islamist extremists.”

No wonder authorities polled in a 2015 survey of 400 state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies listed far-right groups — not Muslims — as “the most severe threat of political violence that they face.”

You don’t have to read far between the lines to figure out that this speech was no “softer side” of a more “presidential” Trump. It was a barely coded message to the president’s far-right followers that the administration’s going to continue covering for their hate.

And it was a not-so-subtle threat to everyone else.

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org.

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14 Responses for “Don’t Fall For False Tone of Moderation in Trump’s Fact-Challenged Speech to Congress”

  1. Fredrick says:

    OMG.. The Melt Down Continues…

    “The shooter reportedly thought the men were Iranian, which would have put them on the list of banned migrants under Trump’s seven-country “Muslim ban.””
    It was not a Muslim ban. Get over it and stop playing to your talking points.

    “Investigations are ongoing, but many suspect that racist white nationalists are behind each of these incidents. Yet Trump never named those perpetrators.”
    Unlike the last President maybe it more prudent to wait and be sure instead of fueling racial tension before all the facts are know. Of course liberals have a hard time accepting facts and like run with the false narratives (ie Hands up don’t shoot. Didn’t happen.. fact)

    “And he falsely blamed “the vast majority” of “terrorism-related offenses since 9/11” on immigrants.”

    Can’t see where he said it was immigrants from your links…. Maybe you get a “pants on fire” rating for not being truthful.

    The rest of the article is more of the same…… Misinformation and untruths…. written by someone still butt hurt from having the disastrous direction that the Boy King had us headed down, and the lack of a vision or meaningful message from the democrat party in general, totally and substantially rejected.
    The DNC and Hillary hijacked the party and screwed over Bernie and got caught…Doing so you put up a worse candidate than the Republicans, and now we have Trump. Even using the media as your tool to make him look more foolish than he is you still lost. .. get over it, move on.

  2. Richard Smith says:

    “No wonder authorities polled in a 2015 survey of 400 state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies listed far-right groups — not Muslims — as “the most severe threat of political violence that they face.”

    If they took a new poll today, I guess they would have to add the far-left groups to that lis nowt. Or possibly the far-left groups have overtaken the far-right groups for first place.

    No matter what is said or who says it, the left always sits there like stooges still moping about the election. Congress has been forewarned, get the job done or you won’t have a job.

    You’re Fired!

  3. Ws says:

    It was agreat speech from a great President! Even the AFL-CIO Richard Trumpka liked it! GO TRUMP!! You are already making America great. He is for AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST. Finally we have a real President.

  4. YankeeExPat says:

    Just hit the News Wires tonight that (AG) Jeff Sessions spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador……are you ready for this, at a (GOP) Republican National Convention. And then lied about it during his own confirmation hearing.

    If Trumps administration continues to tell Americans that the Press is the Enemy of the American People, perhaps he needs to add Pravda and TASS to the FOX and Breitbart as approved news sources.

    Amerikanskiy prisoskami……. (American Suckers)

  5. Knightwatch says:

    Trump’s “speech” proved conclusively that he can, if fact, read a whole sentence off of a teleprompter. That was in doubt. Beyond that, his words were empty. It was clear he knew nothing of what he spoke and could not care less. He is a willing puppet of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party – you know them as “deplorables” – and is happy if the typed script gets him applause.

    This tiny little man-child is a threat to democracy. He needs to go.

  6. L JACKSON says:

    We loved it too as it was great!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Pope came to visit the United Stated and called upon President Trump while there. Looking for a relaxing, non-confrontational way to pass some time, Trump suggested a short fishing trip. The Pope was immediately excited about it as he used to fish with his father when he was a boy, but had not had the chance to do so for many years.

    While in the boat, exchanging pleasantries, a sudden gust of wind blew the pops hat off into the lake. The pope was visibly distressed at the loss of his best hat, but Trump immediately said “Don’t worry Your Eminence, I’ll get it right away.” and stepped out of the boat.

    To the utter amazement of all in attendance, Trump calmly walked across the surface of the water and retrieved the hat. Everyone there was totally dumbstruck. All of the media present at the time frantically contacted their companies to be the first to document this event. The headlines in the following morning newspapers all read “Trump Can’t Swim!”

    THIS is our free and unbiased fourth estate…

  8. Geezer says:

    Mr. Trump speaks in platitudes, much like Adolf Hitler. Just google “trump hitler.”

    Here’s an ageless and always timely quote written by an awful man:
    (very applicable today)

    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders…tell them they
    are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and
    exposing the country to danger.”

    -Hermann Goering

  9. BOB says:

    Clinton LOST.. I know its hard but you need to move on.

  10. Sw says:

    We already fell for it

  11. palmcoaster says:

    After the above account of that political charade I found the following editorial that really tell us why USA maybe still number One and The One’s that really Made and still Make America Great and deserve all our recognition and respect and we hardly hear about them!
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/03/03/wedeman-mosul-nyc-medics-pkg.cnn

  12. Brian says:

    Ho hum….more spew from the left-wing crybaby cornflakes who are still stunned and confused by Hillary’s loss. The Democrats are lost in the wilderness and all they have to cling to is their hatred of Trump. Stop embarrassing yourself, fools. It’s gonna be alt-right!

  13. Geezer says:

    “Clinton LOST.. I know its hard but you need to move on.”
    “Stop embarrassing yourself, fools.”

    We call words strung together, such as the preceding, common expressions of “Trump English.”
    This is why grammar books should never be used as devices to level tables.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The crying demo’s. Give it a rest children. You need to worry about your city, county and state affairs more. You want to really make a difference, run for office, any office and stop hiding behind a keyboard..

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