Trump does his worst to unite a country reeling from right-wing political violence.
In the wake of deadly political shootings and bomb threats, Trump now wants to hold a rattled nation hostage, suggesting that the violence and threats will only stop if the press changes the way it covers him.
"There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news," Trump tweeted first thing Monday morning. "The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame... of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!"
Incapable of showing empathy and compassion during a time of national crisis, Trump is continuing to demonstrate that his hatred of the press far outweighs any anger he has at right-wing domestic terrorists who have unleashed their violence over the last week.
The message, even by Trump's non-existent standards, is stunning — "peace and harmony" in this country is only possible when the press changes how it covers Trump.
The dangerous message comes two days after an anti-Semitic radical, incensed by the caravan of refugees that Trump has been hyping relentlessly, killed 11 victims, and injured several others, inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh — reportedly shouting, "All Jews must die."
It was the deadliest anti-Jewish killing in U.S. history.
The gun massacre followed last week's pipe bomb plot, where a fanatical Trump follower send bombs through to the U.S. mail to 13 high-profile targets of Trump's hate, as well as a deadly shooting in Kentucky, where two black senior citizens were murdered in a grocery store by an apparent white supremacist.
On Saturday, Trump immediately blamed the Pittsburgh victims, telling reporters that if the synagogue had "protection," perhaps not so many people would have died.
Since then, Trump has moved onto to blaming the press, suggesting news organizations are responsible for creating political unrest.
Whether delusional Trump actually believes it, or is just spreading the hateful rhetoric for political purposes, his message for the last week has been clear: The press is to blame for the pipe bomb threats sent to people Trump has attacked, for the synagogue massacre, and for any other instances of political violence.
It's classic projection, considering Trump himself bears so much responsibility for the rising body count in this country, just a week before Americans go to the polls.
It's Trump who has drowned his supporters with dangerous rhetoric about America under siege from liberal forces. It's Trump who maniacally turns journalists into targets with his unhinged attacks, using the phrase "enemy of the people" to describe the free press.
And it's Trump's Republican Party that has been pushing anti-Semitic campaign messages this season.
Perhaps even more dangerous is Trump's threat that the violence will continue unless the news media alter their coverage of him. He made the same explicit threat amid last week's attempted bombings.
It's increasingly clear that Trump welcomes the threat of violence in American politics.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.