Donald Trump’s Sunday morning Twitter rant directed at four congresswomen of color has everyone talking. In a series of tweets, Trump said that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back” to their home countries. Only Omar was born elsewhere but as a naturalized citizen of the U.S., she’s as American as they come.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” one of his tweets said. Many condemned Trump on social media for his extremely problematic and bigoted comments–including Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera.
Rivera, a longtime Trump supporter, called out his “friend,” but also offered a complicated closing to his tweet. While noting the tweets use “language that’s xenophobic even racist,” he mentions 45 is “better than that.”
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Sad to watch my friend @realDonaldTrump take low road regarding @AOC of the Bronx, @RashidaTlaib of Detroit @AyannaPressley of Boston & @Ilhan of Somalia & Minneapolis. Let’s stick to issues & steer clear of language that’s xenophobic even racist. @POTUS you’re better than that.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 14, 2019
Twitter was quick to jump in and remind Rivera of his pal’s track record online.
Trump has been sharing problematic comments on Twitter for over a decade, and since assuming the position of Commander-in-Chief has become even more vocal on the site. He’s criticized virtually anyone he deems a threat and has spread racist messaging.
His strategy seems to have little-to-no repercussions, particularly among the Republican Party.
But Trump is not “better than that,” Geraldo. This is who he’s always been. Did you sleep through Birtherism and what he said about Judge Curiel? https://t.co/BuTQBJkyT9
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) July 14, 2019
If Geraldo is urging you to take the high road you are doing something very wrong https://t.co/xb71oJyvYm
— Mark Follman (@markfollman) July 14, 2019
Rivera’s response also begs the question, if Trump rephrased his remarks–using coded language–would it have flown?
When Geraldo says Trump is "better than this" he doesn't mean Trump has a nonracist side he just means Trump isn't using the media approved coded racist language they all use for plausible deniability at dinner parties.
— Spoiled Bat (@MercurialMiss) July 14, 2019
In 140 characters or less, Trump has referred to several African nations as “sh*thole countries,” and even fueled inaccurate information that criminalizes those entering this country through the southern border. Back in 2012, he also claimed former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fake, igniting the birther claims that he wasn’t born in the U.S.
Ocasio-Cortez denounced the president’s remarks.”Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted. Adding in “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”
Omar did the same, writing, “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”
So, Rivera, if we go by Trump’s calculated actions, he’s not “better than that.”