What the president's latest shameless attack reveals about ‘the mind of Donald Trump’
President Donald Trump is being vehemently criticized this week for a June 9 tweet in which he defended the Buffalo, New York police officers who violently shoved 75-year-old activist Martin Gugino to the ground during a “justice for George Floyd” protest and made the baseless claim that Gugino, who was hospitalized, “could be an Antifa provocateur.” Trump’s own White House aides, according to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, were “at their wits’ end” over the tweet.
But Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes, in an article for The Bulwark, stresses that the tweet was hardly atypical of the president — and that it speaks volumes about “the mind of Donald Trump.”
“The fact that this insanity appears in a tweet seems to distract us from the rather more fundamental fact that it is insane,” Sykes writes. “But this is the way the president of the United States thinks, the way he processes information and makes judgments. He has access to the world’s most sophisticated intelligence network and yet, continues to get his information not just from television, but from the flakiest corners of the disinformation universe where lies and hoaxes are the currency of the realm.”
In his attack on Gugino, Trump referenced a report by One America News — a right-wing cable news outlet that prides itself on being more pro-Trump than Fox News. And the OAN report, Sykes notes, was inspired by someone who is hardly a credible source: Russian media troll Kristian Brunovich Rouzrt, who claimed that Gugino was acting on Antifa’s behalf.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after… https://t.co/aFgYc1MCfD— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1591706079
Sykes asserts, “There are two broad possibilities here: (1) he is so addled and gullible that he actually believes this — actually quite stupid — conspiracy theory, which raises questions about his ability to assess evidence of any sort. Or (2) he’s just flinging feces from the bunker to trigger the libs.”
Either way, Sykes adds, Trump’s Gugino tweet paints a damning picture of him.
“In other words,” Sykes writes, “he either believes it — in which case, he’s nuts. Or, like his accusations against Joe Scarborough, he doesn’t care if it is true — in which case, he is a cynical and vicious sociopath.”
The accusation against MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that Sykes is referring to is a nonsense conspiracy theory that the former GOP congressman turned “Morning Joe” host murdered a female employee, Lori Klausutis, back in 2001. Klausutis, sadly, suffered from a heart condition and was killed when she fell and hit her head — and an autopsy showed zero evidence of foul play.
Sykes asserts, “This is almost beyond parody…. But the story about the Buffalo protester was a whole new level of mendacity.”