CNN’s Brian Stelter explained on Tuesday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had been sending a “coded message” by repeating the demonstrably false claim that President Barack Obama “founded” ISIS.
At a rally in Florida on Wednesday, Trump had declared that Obama was “the founder of ISIS.” On Thursday, he doubled down during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, and then he tripled down at an event with Florida home builders.
Stelter pointed out that the claim worked on two levels, both as a criticism of Obama’s foreign policy and as a “coded message” to those who question the president’s heritage and commitment to the United States.
“On one level, that’s a reference to foreign policy decisions by the Obama administration,” Stelter said. “On another level, that is a coded message suggesting the president of the United States is a traitor.”
“That’s what that is. It is a coded message. When we repeat that message and then we come on the air and fact check it, some people just take away the idea that it is true. They just hear it, and believe it,” he continued. “In fact, it reinforces people’s beliefs in some cases.”
Slate’s Josh Voorhees agreed that the remarks were not an accident.
“Trump has built his campaign on (white) America’s fears of the other, and what better way for him to harness those than by othering the sitting president of the United States, be it by questioning his citizenship, his faith, or his loyalty,” Voorhees wrote on Thursday. “It doesn’t matter to Trump whether his wild-eyed accusations are true; it doesn’t matter to him whether they’re offensive. All that matters to him is casting an illusion his supporters want to believe in.”
Watch the video below from CNN as clipped by Media Matters.
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.