GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump used a scheduled campaign stop speech on Monday to go off-script and deliver a volatile diatribe on the New York bomber, only to segue into a dramatic reading of the lyrics to a 1968 soul hit.
One moment Trump was calling for NY bomber Ahmad Rahami to be tried immediately only to turn around and say he should be held indefinitely and treated as an “enemy combatant.” At other times, Trump complained that Rahami was being taken to a hospital for his wounds where he would be given “room service” and an “outstanding lawyer.”
Amidst all of that, while blaming the immigration policies of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for naturalized citizen Rahami, Trump once again did an over-the-top reading (see video below) of the lyrics from Al Wilson’s “The Snake” to a clearly delighted — and rabid — crowd.
On Twitter, commenters were both appalled and amused.
Parallel to Hillary's Immigration Plan?
Donald Trump reads poem 'The Snake' to make point about refugees pic.twitter.com/z5Hsgu79BW
— Real DJ Trump Team* (@RealDJTrumpTeam) September 19, 2016
Trump has just spun a fantasy of arrested Chelsea bomber getting room service in hospital and acquittal. Calls for 'very harsh punishment'
— Tom McCarthy (@TeeMcSee) September 19, 2016
This is the part of the Trump speech when I usually start punching myself in the face to numb the pain in my ears.
— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) September 19, 2016
Trump turns soul singer Al Wilson's "The Snake" into a white supremacist anthem, pillaging black art to spread anti-Muslim hate.
— David Harris-Gershon (@David_EHG) September 19, 2016
While Trump reads the Snake, worth noting that approx. 80% of the Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. this year were women and children.
— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) September 19, 2016
TRUMP: "I'm gonna read some lyrics about a chick & a snake. Warning: they're kinda gay. Not gay like gay, gay like bad. The classic meaning"
— Owen Ellickson (@onlxn) September 19, 2016
Trump finishes the Snake. Crowd cheers as if the guitar part in Bohemian Rhapsody just hit and the lights came back on in the arena.
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 19, 2016
Trump again to read his favorite fear-the-stranger fable of the snake.
— Neil King (@NKingofDC) September 19, 2016
Pepe the Frog & Trump's parable of the snake: a great election for cold-blooeded animals.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 19, 2016
Sometimes I think “The Snake” is the only thing Trump can remember without a teleprompter.
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) September 19, 2016
the most surprising thing about Trump using the story of The Snake is that I'm far more used to hearing anti-semites use it to refer to Jews
— maura quint (@behindyourback) September 19, 2016
I love how Trump’s reaction to crowd adulation is to do a little miniature victory lap, turning in a circle like a beauty queen.
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) September 19, 2016
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This article first appeared in Salon.
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