Volume of Donald Trump’s nativist talk rises in face of criticism

US president laments assault on ‘culture’ and revives bogus old tale on killing of extremists

Protesters tear down a statue called the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina. Video: Reuters

 

Despite ongoing rebukes over his defence of white supremacists, US president Donald Trump defiantly returned to his campaign’s nativist themes on Thursday.

He lamented an assault on American “culture,” revived a bogus, century-old story about killing Muslim extremists, and attacked Republicans with a renewed vigor.

Hours after a terrorist attack in Spain, Mr Trump recalled a debunked event in which General John Pershing supposedly killed Muslim rebels in the Philippines by shooting them with bullets dipped in the blood of pigs, which Muslims are forbidden to eat.

This was around the same time the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Barcelona, where a van was driven into the busy Las Ramblas tourist boulevard, killing 13.

Tweet

Mr Trump also appeared in danger of losing support from key Republicans he will need to advance his agenda in Congress. Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, questioned the president’s “stability,” and Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, declared Mr Trump’s moral authority is “compromised.”

Condemnation

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump made clear that he had no intention of stepping back from his assertions about the Charlottesville rally that have drawn widespread condemnation.

In three tweets, the president defended Civil War-era statues, using language very similar to that of white supremacists to argue the statues should remain in place.

Mr Trump said it would be “foolish” to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and mused that monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be next.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” the president wrote.

The White House announced that Mr Trump had decided to cancel plans to assemble a President’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure.

The decision to abandon the business group came a day after a revolt among industry leaders on two other advisory panels forced the president to disband them.

New York Times

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.