New York Times columnist Charles Blow tore into the “birther” conspiracy theory Donald Trump peddled for years until he falsely tried to take credit for debunking it.
“Donald Trump became the grand wizard of birtherism,” Blow told CNN host Don Lemon. “That is simply a fact.”
Peddling the false rumor that President Barack Obama was not born in the US, Blow argued, was a way for people to “get their heads around” the fact that an African-American had reached his level of success.
“Part of trying to knock him down was to ‘other’ him in every way possible, including ways that depended on traditional and old and ancient stereotypes,” he explained. “So that was everything from trying to say that he was not legitimate, he was not born here, that on his birth certificate, it may say — Donald Trump said this — may say that he’s a Muslim. That’s a lie. That he may not have gone to Columbia, as he suggested, and did well. Donald Trump also said that — that people there said they never saw him. That was a lie.”
“The Trump campaign has tried the to deny over and over that the birtherism had anything to do with racism,” Lemon interjected. “But when you think about it, what else could it be? Because, essentially, he’s asking for [Obama’s] ‘papers.'”
“That’s the thing about truth,” Blow replied. “It actually doesn’t require your affirmation, it doesn’t require your blessing, it doesn’t require you to agree with it. It actually is the truth. And I don’t need you to believe me when I tell you that you are saying something that is racist, because I understand that it is. and I understand enough about history, I understand enough about traditional stereotypes, I understand enough about human motivations to understand this has a racial underpinning.”
Watch the discussion, as aired on Friday, below.
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.