Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, said he did enjoy some of the speeches from the evening.
Donald Trump's top trade adviser on Tuesday appeared to suggest that the first night of the Republican National Convention presented a depressing, dark message to the American people.
In an MSNBC interview, Peter Navarro was asked why the first night of the GOP convention had made no acknowledgement of the nearly 180,000 million Americans who have died from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, responded by complaining about the already dystopian tone of the proceedings.
"Let's talk broad brush about what I saw last night," he said. "I think too many folks went down the dark, dim path of painting what happened last night."
Navarro said he "did enjoy" a few of speeches, before pivoting to blame the entire coronavirus crisis on the "unelected president of China."
"I thought there was a fine balance last night," he concluded.
The convention indeed omitted any mention of or memorial to the many Americans who have died so far from the coronavirus, and instead chose to highlight Trump's botched response to the pandemic, painting his missteps as major successes. It stood in stark contrast to last week's Democratic National Convention, where Joe Biden devoted a significant amount of his acceptance speech to comforting those who had lost loved ones to the virus, and during which those affected by the virus were allowed air time to talk about Trump's impact on their families.
Others have since noted that Monday's convention programming presented an overall bleak and disturbing view of America — breaking the Trump campaign's promise of a "very optimistic and upbeat convention."
"The president promised 'uplifting and positive', but what viewers got was a dystopian vision under Biden — with racist overtones," wrote The Guardian's David Smith.
"I was getting texts during Kimberly Guilfoyle's speech and also Don [Trump] Jr.'s speech from Republicans — from Trump supporting Republicans — saying 'What happened to uplifting? Why is this so dark? Why is this so angry?'" Dana Bash observed on CNN.
"I was struck by the exact same thing," CNN's Abby Phillip responded. "It was pretty dark. Some of the language they used: war zones, brutalized, radical agenda, vengeful mobs."
The evening began with open nods to white nationalism, was punctuated by a former Fox News host yelling into a microphone about how Democrats want to "destroy this country, and everything that we have fought for and hold dear," and featured Trump himself explaining to a pastor who'd been held hostage by the Turkish regime that dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "very good."
In between, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) predicted that if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win in November, "They'll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door. And the police aren't coming when you call."
The second night of the convention on Tuesday is expected to feature a woman whose son died after being hit by an undocumented immigrant who was driving drunk and two of Trump's children.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.