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Trump campaign crashes and burns defending Kenosha killer and Trump’s plane “loaded with thugs”

Trump campaign crashes and burns defending Kenosha killer and Trump’s plane “loaded with thugs”

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On one hand, working for a man like Donald Trump must be truly exhausting work. Constantly finding new ways to defend the remarks of a man who oscillates between flagrant racism and indecipherable incoherence can be no easy task. On the other hand, anyone who chooses willingly to serve a man as gleefully cruel and detrimental to democracy as this president means you deserve every ounce of inconvenience, disdain, and embarrassment the gets heaped on top of you.

Hogan Gidley, former White House Deputy Press Secretary and current Press Secretary for Trump’s reelection campaign, went on CNN today to do damage control for some of the president’s recent, deeply unhinged remarks and in doing so created more video evidence of his own active enabling of the worst president in American history. Future generations will judge him accordingly.

Gidley started off by defending Kyle Rittenhouse, the Trump-supporting 17-year-old who shot and killed two protestors in Kenosha, Washington. He claimed that Rittenhouse’s actions stemmed logically from some-imagined Democratic effort to prevent police from “doing their jobs” and maintaining order. The reality, of course, is that Democrats do want police to do their jobs, we just want them to stop killing innocent Black people while doing those jobs.

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Gidley’s handwaving of Rittenhouse’s actions dovetails with the broader conservative talking point that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, an argument that conveniently ignores the fact that the boy illegally traveled over state lines with an AR-15 to act out tough-guy vigilante fantasies. Republicans are rushing to Rittenhouse’s defense because they consider him one of their own.

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This administration should be saying that Rittenhouse should have never been at the protests and that children shouldn’t have access to such weapons but since the MAGA crowd and Blue Lives Matter supporters are rallying around Rittenhouse the White House is doing the same.

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Somehow, the Rittenhouse segment wasn’t even the worst stretch of the interview. Gidley was asked by Jim Sciutto about Trump’s embrace of baseless conspiracy theories, specifically the president’s QAnon followers. Gidley responded that he was “confused” and feigned ignorance as to what theories he was being asked about.

Sciutto pointed to Trump’s deeply bizarre and wildly irresponsible claim that there was some mysterious, unspecified, and obviously fictitious airplane “loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”

While the president refused to provide further details about this imagined plane to Laura Ingraham, who was interviewing him, it’s clear that Trump was simply trying to spread fear. He wants his paranoid supporters to think that there are planes full of ruthless Antifa thugs circling the skies, prepped to descend on their cities and destroy them. Sciutto asked Gidley if Trump really believes such a plane exists.

Gidley said that the information received inside the White House is “obviously much different” than that accessible to members of the public, implying that there could be truth to Trump’s plane fantasy.

“When I worked in the White House I was privy obviously to a lot more complete and total information. I haven’t seen the information he’s talking about but it does raise a pretty good question, in that how do all these people get into these communities. Who pays for their flights? Who pays for their travel? Who pays for their hotel rooms? It’s a very coordinated effort and I think the question should be raised,” said Gidley, echoing the recurrent Republican claim that Democrats are actively funding unrest backed by the money of men like George Soros (an anti-semitic dog whistle).

The simple reality is that a lot of protestors do live in these communities and their outrage against police brutality is genuine and justified. Ironically, it’s right-wing militias and provocateurs who live in other areas who are driving and even carpooling to these cities, communities to which they do not belong, to counterprotest. Kyle Rittenhouse is a perfect example of just that.

Unsatisfied with Gidley’s answer, Sciutto asked why Trump simply doesn’t simply deploy the vast powers of the Department of Justice to locate this sinister airplane, make arrests, and investigate the situation.

“Or is the president just sharing something he heard online?” asked Sciutto.

Gidley evaded, claimed not to know the details, but repeated his implication that it could be true.

Gidley went on to smear Joe Biden’s health by bringing up times he has misspoken. Sciutto pushed back by pointing out the Trump campaign’s hypocrisy and reminding the audience that Trump regularly mispronounces words.

Gidley hemmed and hawed, sticking to his talking points before claiming that nobody has “more strength” than Trump and insisted his work ethic is superior to Biden’s. Sciutto promptly pointed out how much time Trump spends on the golf course, bringing the interview to a humiliating close for Gidley.

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