MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said President Donald Trump sent a clear message over the weekend to white nationalists with his response to a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The “Morning Joe” host said the president always signals to his most hateful supporters that he appreciates their backing, after one of them commits an act of violence.
“He has refused steadfastly to attack white nationalists,” Scarborough said. “He has refused to call back his attacks against all the people who, of course, had bombs sent to their homes, their residences and businesses. This is a national reckoning.”
He said the president had made the choice faced by voters even more clear.
“In a week, people get to make a decision,” Scarborough said. “Is this the America they want to live in? Because right now the only constitutional check against this sort of abhorrent behavior (on) a guy who was sending a message by time and time again tweeting about baseball or talking about his bad hair day there.”
He said those oddly inappropriate remarks were intended to rally the white nationalists who back him.
“That was done intentionally to send a message to white nationalists,” Scarborough said. “‘This doesn’t bug me that much, I’m going to watch a baseball game, I’m going to tweet about baseball. I’m not going to let it occupy my day.'”
Scarborough said the president’s written statements don’t mean as much as his unscripted remarks and tweets.
“His staff will give him pretty words to go out and read,” Scarborough said. “He will half-heartedly read them and immediately go back on that because you can see, time and time again, he always has to send the message to white nationalists, ‘I’m not going to criticize you. I may not be on your side, I won’t say that, but I want you to stay on my side.'”