Reacting to President Trump finally (and briefly) addressing the self-proclaimed white nationalist Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson who was accused of plotting mass murder, MSNBC analyst Eugene Robinson asserted that we would have heard a lot more from the president if Hasson was Muslim or Hispanic.
Speaking to reporters from the White House Friday, the president said that he hadn’t yet been briefed on the accused mass-murder plotter, who reportedly kept a “hit list” of left-leaning journalists and Democratic politicians. When asked for his thoughts, the president called it a “shame” and “very sad,” adding that he does not bear any responsibility to monitor his own rhetoric because his “language is very nice.”
Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s Deadline White House, host Nicolle Wallace noted that some of the words Trump has used to attack Democrats and the media showed up in Hasson’s Google searches.
Robinson responded that this wasn’t the first time a “would-be domestic terrorist” has taken cues from the president.
“The guy who shot up and killed 11 people in the synagogue in Pittsburgh was reacting bizarrely to rhetoric about the southern border,” the Washington Post columnist said, referencing alleged synagogue shooter Robert Bowers. “Which the connection is difficult to explain, it would take a half-hour, but that's the connection he somehow made.”
Robinson followed this up by questioning how the president would have reacted to the Coast Guard white supremacist if he were of a different ethnicity.
“I keep wondering what we would have heard from the president if Christopher Hasson’s name were Enrique Morales or if it were Mohammed Baghdadi or something like that,” he pondered. “His thumbs would be sore from the tweeting. We would have heard, y’know, just ten minutes worth of rhetoric at that availability about the terrorist threat from the Middle East, the terrorist threat from across the border.”
Wallace interjected, saying it was a “great point” because the president has fear-mongered about “made-up terrorists” trying to come across the border via the migrant caravans. She later lamented that, even as a critic of Trump, it “doesn’t feel good” to see the president continually “fail these tests” and not speak out about right-wing domestic terrorism.
NBC News national political reporter Heidi Przybyla, meanwhile, chimed in to note that the Department of Justice seemingly didn’t even “want to publicize” this investigation despite the fact that they may have successfully thwarted a mass-murder event.
“It coincides with reports that show there's much more publicity when there are reports about Muslims, Islamic terrorism is much—apprehensions of Islamic terrorism is more promoted in press releases by the Department of Justice than these incidents of homegrown white nationalist domestic terrorists,” she concluded.