DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST response to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando was to congratulate himself “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
His second response was to accuse President Obama of complicity.
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump told Fox News early Monday. “There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on. … He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable.”
It’s an extraordinary insinuation. But it’s also the logical extension of the particularly virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump has employed throughout the campaign. Trump’s rhetoric is not simply anti-Muslim; it has its roots in far-right conspiracy theories that hold that Islam itself is an enemy of the United States — and has tentacles at every level of our government.
Trump has elevated those views to the forefront of his campaign to the White House, but he has been a megaphone for them for years.
As far back as 2011, Trump took to Twitter to complain directly to Obama that he had “abandoned Israel” and “engaged the Muslim Brotherhood,” the Islamist Egyptian political party.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2011
He then blamed Obama for promoting the Arab Spring and began to refer to the Muslim Brotherhood as the president’s “allies”:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2012