Trump mocks media, #MeToo movement at rally

Following a campaign-style rally in Montana filled with jabs at targets like Elizabeth Warren and the media, President Trump teased the prime-time announcement of his Supreme Court justice nominee. CNN's Boris Sanchez reports.

Posted: Jul 8, 2018 2:08 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2018 2:08 PM

On Thursday night, President Donald Trump flew to Montana to headline a rally for Matt Rosendale, the Republican nominee against Sen. Jon Tester (D) this November. Trump's speech was, like most of his addresses, a remarkable mix of stream-of-consciousness thinking, fact-challenged claims and demagoguery.

Normally, I go through the transcript of Trump's speeches to pick out 30 or 40 (or 50) of the most eye-popping lines, the sentences that stood out most to me for whatever reason. I tend to take a light-hearted approach to this exercise because Trump's word-salad tendencies when speaking extemporaneously are exacerbated when reading a transcript of his speeches.

Today, I am going to take a different approach.

Trump's speech on Thursday night contained a number of genuinely dangerous lines, lines no president before Trump would even considering uttering among a small group of friends -- much less in front of thousands of people. Below, then, are the 11 most dangerous lines Trump said last night -- and why each one poses a real risk to the body populace.

1. "She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. ... Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department."

Trump is talking here, of course, about Hillary Clinton. He's interrupted in his attack by chants of "lock her up" from the crowd. Trump's undermining of the Justice Department -- which he has done on an almost-daily basis since winning the White House -- is deeply dangerous to how people perceive those who are tasked with enforcing our laws. When the President of the United States insists the Justice Department is biased and can't be trusted, it erodes one of the long-standing pillars of civil society.

2. "It's a rigged deal, folks. It's a rigged deal. I used to say it. It's a rigged deal. It's a disgrace."

It's not entirely clear to me what Trump is referring to here -- whether he's reiterating that the FBI is biased or, more likely, casting aspersions on the whole system of government. Either way, he's fomenting (for political gain) the resentment that lots of people feel toward their government and toward societal establishment more generally.

Trump is provoking people to believe that there is some "they" out there working to keep you down. And enjoying doing it.

3. "But we signed a wonderful paper saying they're going to denuclearize their whole thing. It's going to all happen."

Trump's assertion that North Korea has agreed to denuclearize and that "it's going to all happen" is a massive overstatement of the facts. What Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed in Singapore last month was a sort of outline of an agreement. There was nothing binding in it. And this week we got word that satellites have picked up what looks to be more construction at a ballistic missile site in North Korea. So yeah, this version of the North Korea story via Trump misses some major points.

4. "They are so dishonest. Fake news. They're fake news media."

Eight days ago, a man walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland and murdered five staffers. His motives were his own -- he held a grudge against the paper for its coverage of a criminal harassment claim against him -- and had nothing to do with Trump's repeated rhetorical attack on the media as "fake." Full stop. That said, one might think that in the wake of such violence committed against reporters, the President of the United States might be more mindful of savaging the media to a crowd of his supporters. That would be the responsible thing to do. That isn't what Trump did.

5. "You know what? Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine. We're people."

This is a dangerously naive view of the Russian president. First of all, the US intelligence community has unanimously said that Russia actively meddled in the 2016 election. Under Putin, Russia invaded the Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Then there's the fact that people critical of Putin -- including journalists -- keep winding up murdered under very suspicious circumstances. These are not the actions of a "fine" person.

6. "They're fake. They're fake. They quote sources -- 'A source within the Trump organization said' -- a source. They don't have a source."

Trump's impugning of the media's use of unnamed sources is part of a broader attempt on his part to undermine a free and independent media. For those who cheer that effort -- and insist the media deserves what they get -- I would ask you a simple question: Have you ever seen what life is like for the citizenry in a country in which the media is state-run?

7. "A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities."

Campaign rhetoric can be a bit over the top. But this feels beyond the pale to me. Trump is purposely weaponizing fear here. Democrats do not, in fact, want to let the violent MS-13 gang "run wild in our communities." But Trump knows that the image of tattooed thugs marauding your neighborhood strikes terror in the hearts of many people. And that terror is useful to him in a political context.

8. "Democrats want anarchy, they really do, and they don't know who they're playing with, folks."

Two things here. First, Trump is saying Democrats want "anarchy" -- total chaos to be loosed on the United States. Again, weaponizing fear. Second, the threat inherent in "they don't know who they're playing with" is purposeful and dangerous. If the 2018 or 2020 election is regarded by people as a war between the rule of law and anarchy or between war and peace, then there will be people out there who feel as though using any means necessary to win is totally justified. And that is a scary proposition.

9. "I said it the other day, yes, she is a low-IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High -- I mean, honestly, she's somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that."

What Trump is saying: A prominent African-American female politician is very dumb. And, no, none of this is by accident.

10. "Winning the Electoral College is very tough for a Republican, much tougher than the so-called 'popular vote,' where people vote four times, you know. Much tougher. Much, much tougher."

Study after study has shown that claims of widespread voter fraud and abuse are simply not borne out by the facts. Which doesn't stop Trump from pushing the idea to his base by insisting that people "vote four times" in the popular vote. And if you don't think trying to disqualify the results of an election without evidence is dangerous, then you aren't thinking straight -- or at all.

11. "We will take that little kit and say, but we have to do it gently. Because we're in the '#MeToo' generation so I have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm even though it only weighs probably two ounces. And we will say, I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test so that it shows you're an Indian."

Truly remarkable. In his usual riff about the questions surrounding Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native-American heritage, Trump shows his true colors on the #MeToo movement. He seems to suggest that the movement, which grew out of a series of news stories of powerful men sexually harassing women, is about political correctness run rampant. Trump seems to think -- or at least say -- that he has to be careful not to offend the #MeToo movement by throwing a DNA heritage kit at Warren. Which both deeply misunderstands what the #MeToo movement is about and denigrates the entire idea of women feeling safe to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 787421

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1114521765
Mobile708161234
Madison49744633
Baldwin36201495
Shelby36186315
Tuscaloosa33818548
Montgomery33135678
Lee22590220
Calhoun21140410
Morgan19795335
Etowah19188462
Marshall17659274
Houston16788386
St. Clair15408305
Cullman14568258
Limestone14553188
Elmore14444264
Lauderdale13486281
Talladega12932236
DeKalb12174237
Walker10561330
Blount9693157
Autauga9652137
Jackson9363158
Coffee8847175
Dale8584173
Colbert8508184
Tallapoosa6661181
Escambia6585121
Covington6432167
Chilton6372144
Russell605355
Franklin5779101
Chambers5398134
Marion4789120
Dallas4694189
Clarke462279
Pike461597
Geneva4396117
Winston425295
Lawrence4112108
Bibb408581
Barbour346570
Marengo326285
Butler318190
Monroe318153
Randolph305256
Pickens304474
Henry301358
Hale292285
Cherokee289455
Fayette279073
Washington245248
Crenshaw237970
Cleburne235251
Clay228365
Macon219258
Lamar196243
Conecuh181846
Lowndes170758
Coosa169935
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136437
Sumter124436
Greene121243
Choctaw73427
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