Amid reports of a “major incident” in London Saturday night, President Trump seized the moment to renew his call for the courts to approve his executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries.
“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights,” Trump tweeted Saturday evening. “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
Neither the Trump administration nor had U.K. officials called the incident a terrorist attack when Trump retweeted a Drudge Report post calling it a “new terror attack.” The right-wing blog helped spread a bizarre rumor last year alleging that Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, took part in occult rituals in which people consume blood and other bodily fluids, reports Politico.
Prime Minister Theresa May has released a statement saying the incident was being investigated as a “potential act of terrorism.”
In April, ThinkProgress highlighted Trump’s pattern of selective outrage when it comes to incidents of violence where the perpetrators are Muslims, immigrants, refugees or people who are not white or Christian.
Since he took office, Trump used his personal Twitter account to condemn four international incidents of violence. Before the shooting in Paris, the other three were incidents in Egypt, London, and a previous incident in Paris.
These tweets are significant because they follow a similar pattern of selective outrage. Trump doesn’t shy away from calling acts of violence “terrorist attacks” when the perpetrators are Muslims, immigrants, refugees, or people who are not white or Christian. At the same time, he stays silent on high-profile crimes against these very same groups.
Since taking office, Trump hasn’t tweeted about any international acts of violence that weren’t perpetrated by Muslims. In February, is administration released a list of so-called “under-reported attacks” — none of them were committed by non-Muslims.
Yet there are incidents on the level of the ones Trump has weighed in on that he has chosen to remain silent about. The president remained silent when a white man shouted “get out of my country” at two Indian immigrants in Olathe, Kansas before opening fire and killing one of them. He also remained silent when a fan of his walked into a mosque in Quebec, Canada and shot and killed six people, injuring eight.
Last Friday, a White Supremacist, later identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian, launched an Islamophobic tirade at two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, and then slit the throats of the three men who came to their defense. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene while another died in hospital. The third victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
It took Trump’s White House until Monday, nearly three full days later, to acknowledge the horrific attack.
Through the official White House Twitter account, not his personal account which is more widely followed by his supporters, Trump issued the following statement:
The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.
It would seem that for the president, murderous violence committed by white supremacists is better addressed indirectly and on social media than through an official statement from the White House. The Portland killings are also apparently less important to Donald Trump than complaining about the news media, bragging about his trip to Europe and the Middle East and congratulating Republicans for their victory in a Montana special election — things he did over the course of several days online before making his comments on Monday.