Quick Takes: Trump Doubles Down on Lunacy

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* As if arguing that all Nazis aren’t bad and that confederate monuments are beautiful wasn’t enough lunacy from the president in two days, Trump doubled down in response to the Barcelona terror attack by condoning war crimes and mass executions.

* Trump used this story during the campaign.

As the crowd cheered him on, Trump told them about Pershing — “rough guy, rough guy” — who was fighting terrorism in the early 1900s. Trump didn’t say where this happened, but variations of this story online usually state that it happened in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War — part of the island nation’s protracted battle for independence — early in Pershing’s career.

“They were having terrorism problems, just like we do,” Trump said. “And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.”

There is no truth to this story and since it’s not the first time Trump has used it, we have every reason to believe that he’s been fact-checked about it. He just doesn’t give a damn.

* Fairly early on in Trump’s presidency, it became clear that he gets his news from right wing media. So Philip Bump came up with an interesting idea.

Much of what Trump learns about the world is filtered through two lenses: what he watches on cable news (particularly Fox) and what he sees on Twitter…

Users of Twitter will understand, however, that it can be tricky to know what someone else sees when he or she fires up the application. Everyone follows a different group of people, and that colors the information they receive.

To that end, we’ve created @trumps_feed, an account that checks whom Trump follows every five minutes and then retweets any new tweets from them over that period.

* Remember when Trump talked about how the so-called “alt-left” was equally as violent in Charlottesville over the weekend as the Nazis and white supremacists? Well…last night there was another protest in Charlottesville. Only there was a big difference this time. The Nazis and white supremacists didn’t attend. You’ll never guess what happened.

* Another one bites the dust.

President Donald Trump will not move forward with a planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The infrastructure council, which was still being formed, would have advised Trump on his plan to spend as much as $1 trillion upgrading roads, bridges and other public works. Its cancellation follows Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was disbanding two other business advisory panels.

Corporate chief executive officers this week had started to quit both the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum in protest over Trump’s remarks that appeared to confer legitimacy on white supremacists following a violent rally Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

* I find myself agreeing with Josh Marshall a lot when he shares his observations about the current occupant of the White House.

Everything we are seeing stems almost inevitably from the decisions the country made, collectively, last November. We elected a President driven by white racial grievance. That is the fulcrum and driving force of his politics. It’s no surprise that a big outbreak of white supremacist violence would lead us to a moment like this. We also elected a President who is an abuser and a predator. I’ve analogized him before to an abusive man in an abused household – only his house is now the country, now with all the cumulative exhaustion, warped perceptions and damage that are the common lot of people living with and trapped with violent predators, addicts or people with certain profound mental illnesses.

As things get worse, as more people turn against him, Trump gets more wild and unbridled. He lashes out more aggressively. There’s no kill switch on this escalating aggression. It only builds…

Trump will clearly, happily destroy the GOP if he feels the party has proven disloyal to him…He would happily destroy the country too to sate his own anguished feelings of betrayal.

* Finally, study the images in these three tweets very carefully and I bet you’ll detect a pattern.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.