Losing a younger sibling is a difficult wakeup call for one’s own mortality.
Losing any close family member is difficult enough and often triggers a period of self-reflection and personal examination during an extended grieving period as one adjusts to the sudden loss of a loved one.
So how has Donald Trump responded to the death of his younger brother Robert on Saturday evening?
The only outward signs that we’ve been able to see come through the president’s Twitter feed, with the initial announcement of Robert’s death coming through a retweet of a statement from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) August 16, 2020
While we know from news reports that Trump visited his brother in a New York City hospital on Friday, wearing a face mask as he entered the medical facility and commenting afterward that his brother was having “a tough time,” we also know that he spent the morning of the day his brother died playing golf at his Bedminster, NJ golf resort.
Perhaps the president channels his grief through his golf clubs.
One might think that Trump would be avoiding social media as he mourns his brother, but his Twitter feed was just as filled with partisan attacks and lie-filled campaign propaganda as it normally is, augmented by the occasional retweeted condolence message, the first of which was posted only after nearly a dozen vitriolic partisan retweets were posted after McEnany’s tweet announced his brother’s death.
Here are some of the first few posts that Trump retweeted after the death notice and an announcement of the virtual church service that the president would be tuning into on Sunday morning.
Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot. The media and @TheDemocrats have activated this mental illness and it’s going to get more and more people hurt and killed. #WalkAway from the radical left. And do it quickly. https://t.co/BIAZliK1Tf
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) August 16, 2020
I just hope your registered as a Republican and are voting up and down the ticket republican. That goes for everybody voting. Don't just vote for @POTUS people…you gotta check all the boxes. @realDonaldTrump needs the house and senate.
— If It Wasn't 4TheLAW (@youbetcha2020) August 16, 2020
— Maga2020Landslide 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@DebiC37936) July 3, 2020
OH NO JOE… THIS AINT HAPPINESS IN YOUR HOME STATE OF DELAWARE IS IT!!!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🤣🤣🤣
THIS IS AMERICA!!!+ https://t.co/McOYK6qndU
— MAGA ROD (@VFL2013) August 16, 2020
PLEASE listen to this man and RT, share with your BLM woke suburban white girl friends….pic.twitter.com/ZboftySGak
— 𝕞𝕖𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕤𝕒 🙈🙉🙊 (@my3monkees) July 10, 2020
Obviously, the president is not so stricken with grief that he can’t devote what remains of his consciousness to partisan attacks, even as his opponents send tweets of condolence to him over his brother’s death.
After nearly a dozen of these types of tweets, Trump began to pepper in retweets of a few condolence messages — most of which also included support for the president’s re-election — in between large chunks of similarly belligerent campaign posts.
The only exceptions were his retweets of memorial posts from his daughter Ivanka and his son Eric.
Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 16, 2020
Robert Trump was an incredible man – strong, kind and loyal to the core. Anyone who encountered him felt his warmth immediately. He will be deeply missed by our entire family.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) August 16, 2020
Apparently the president wasn’t impressed enough with Don Jr.’s terse post about his uncle to bother reposting it, but here it is anyway for your reference.
Uncle Rob, we love you and we will miss you. R.I.P
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 16, 2020
Just dripping with sorrow and sincerity, that Don Jr.!
In between his attacks on Democrats and the few brotherly tributes, Trump found time to opine on a few of his favorite subjects through whatever amount of tears he was shedding.
There was his urgent post lamenting the downward fall of Fox News’ weekend lineup as his formerly reliable ally begins hedging its bets as its own polls showing the president headed for a historic defeat in November motivate a reevaluation of its coverage of the Trump administration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2020
While many would expand the time period that Fox News is unwatchable to the full 24 hours in a day, Trump’s disenchantment with any media outlet that dares question him in any way is as predictable as his inability to tell the truth about anything that crosses his path.
Trump also found time to continue his crusade against the mail-in voting that he sees as connected to his inevitable electoral downfall.
“If carefully done, according to the guidelines, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that (vote at polling place).” Doctor Anthony Fauci
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2020
“Carefully done, according to the guidelines” seems to be the rub here as nothing that the Trump administration has done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic thus far has met those qualifications.
That’s a quick rundown of the day in Trump’s social media activity so far.
If the president is overcome with grief due to the death of his younger brother, one would hardly know it from his Twitter feed.
Vote this heartless monster out of the White House and bring empathy and ordinary human emotions back to the Oval Office.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.