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
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.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
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.”
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