Far-left actress and activist Bette Midler suggested that President Donald Trump is inciting murderous gunmen to do his “dirty work” in an all-caps tweet referencing the heinous El Paso shooter, who took 22 lives and injured dozens more.
“REMEMBER WHEN #DonaldTrump SAID HE COULD SHOOT SOMEONE ON FIFTH AVENUE AND GET AWAY WITH IT?” Midler asked her 1.7 million Twitter followers. “WELL, HE DIDN’T SHOOT SOMEONE HIMSELF, BUT HE INCITED OTHERS TO DO HIS DIRTY WORK FOR HIM, AS HE HAS DONE HIS WHOLE LIFE.”
REMEMBER WHEN #DonaldTrump SAID HE COULD SHOOT SOMEONE ON FIFTH AVENUE AND GET AWAY WITH IT? WELL, HE DIDN’T SHOOT SOMEONE HIMSELF, BUT HE INCITED OTHERS TO DO HIS DIRTY WORK FOR HIM, AS HE HAS DONE HIS WHOLE LIFE.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 8, 2019
President Trump made the referenced remark during a 2016 rally at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. While many said it was a poor choice of words, it was not a call to violence, as Trump’s critics — such as Midler — seem to suggest. Rather, Trump was making a quip about the loyalty of his base.
Left-wing celebrities and politicians have glommed onto a manifesto attributed to the El Paso shooter, which detailed the gunman’s anti-immigration views and mentioned the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” However, the author of the manifesto — thought to be the 21-year-old gunman — wrote that his twisted ideas predated Trump. Nonetheless, the shooter did not hold Trump’s views, as Trump has never called for violence or expressed racist hatred for foreigners. Still, the left has conflated the president’s desire for basic border security measures with “hate,” thus blaming Trump for the shooter’s actions.
“I know it’s crazy to take Trump’s words seriously, but some people do,” The Daily Show host Trevor Noah said Monday night. “In fact, as we’ve learned, the mass shooter in El Paso left behind a manifesto that included the same phrases Trump uses every day — ‘fake news,’ ‘immigrant invasions.’ In fact, the only reason you know it wasn’t written by Trump is because the grammar was correct.”
“Another mass shooting. Another White Nationalist,” left-wing filmmaker Rob Reiner tweeted over the weekend. “There are not ‘fine people on both sides.’ The President of the United States bears responsibility.”
Another mass shooting. Another White Nationalist. There are not “fine people on both sides”. The President of the United States bears responsibility.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 3, 2019
Reiner went as far as suggesting that Trump is inciting violence, merely by running for a second term.
“After the mass slaughter in El Paso in the name of White Supremacy, Donald Trump continues to incite violence with his refusal to end his racist campaign,” he wrote. “The President of the United States has no soul. We are staring into the face of evil.”
After the mass slaughter in El Paso in the name of White Supremacy, Donald Trump continues to incite violence with his refusal to end his racist campaign. The President of the United States has no soul. We are staring into the face of evil.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 7, 2019
Late-night TBS host Samantha Bee took it a step further and essentially compared Trump to the gunman.
“As far as we know, the El Paso shooter wasn’t mentally ill at all. Being a racist monster isn’t a mental illness. In fact, you can be one and be a ‘very stable genius,'” she said– a direct reference to Trump.
Despite the left’s accusatory remarks, Trump has not called for violence and has repeatedly condemned white supremacy and racism, telling the American people on Monday that white supremacy, bigotry, and racism are “sinister ideologies” that “must be defeated.”
Pres. Trump on El Paso shooting: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America." https://t.co/aeuGGxYbA8 pic.twitter.com/i1mRPOlYSq
— ABC News (@ABC) August 5, 2019
Notably, far-left celebrities like Midler and Reiner have not been as vocal about the Dayton shooter, who supported Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and held anti-police, anti-ICE, and anti-gun views.