Jake Tapper might be willing to give President Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt on the apparent reference to the Trail of Tears in his latest Twitter attack on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). But he cannot extend the same courtesy to his son.
Over the weekend, Donald Trump Jr. posted a screengrab of his father’s tweet, along with a response that read, “The Native American genocide continues with another murder by the president,” and added the caption, “Savage!!!”
“I mean, that is blatant racism,” said Tapper on CNN’s The Lead Monday afternoon. While it’s possible to “explain away that Trump didn’t mean ‘Trail of Tears’ when he said ‘TRAIL,’” the host said that the responses are “just racism against Native Americans, and yet in this day and age nobody even says anything about it.”
When the president’s tweet was briefly mentioned on Fox News over the weekend, the hosts completely dismissed the controversy. “No one is making fun of the fact that people suffered and died,” Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth insisted. “You can recognize a historical tragedy while at the same time also making fun of someone who misrepresented themselves.”
Later, as the CNN conversation turned to the scandal over Virginia’s Democratic governor and attorney general wearing blackface, Tapper said he worried that story will make people think that “all of us, white men, used to dress up in blackface—and it’s not true.”
“And when this Native American stuff happened,” he continued, “it makes me worried that people in the Native American community think that the rest of us think that Native American genocide is funny. None of us do. None of us would make those jokes.”
We can’t say the same for the president of the United States and his son.