The King of Israel
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump reached for the praise of a conservative conspiracy theorist on Wednesday to defend him amid criticism over his questioning the loyalty of Jewish Democratic voters, something that was quickly criticized as anti-Semitic.
Trump shared quotes of Wayne Allyn Root’s praise, tweeting Wednesday morning: “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world … and the Jewish people in Israel love him (…) like he’s the King of Israel.”
The tweets come a day after Trump got blowback from Jewish leaders for criticizing Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats, saying that “it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Some argue that President was dabbling in the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty,” which questions the loyalty of Jewish citizens. The comment was part of the President’s response to two Democratic congresswomen being barred for entering Israel over their support for a boycott against the country.
Trump has shared Root’s praise before, calling him “highly respected” in a November 2015 tweet and sharing several opinion pieces written by him over the years.
But Root, a Newsmax host and radio show host, has a history of promoting conspiracy theories and circulating false information. Root has said former President Barack Obama “was sent here to destroy this country.” He has claimed the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas was “clearly” a “coordinated Muslim terror attack” and that the deadly violence at protests in Charlottesville Virginia, was likely perpetrated by “paid actors & infiltrators hired by” Democratic megadonor George Soros.
Less than a year after falsely blaming Islamic terror for the Las Vegas shooting, Root delivered opening remarks at a Trump rally in Las Vegas. At the time, Root claimed he was “personally requested” to speak by the President.
Trump reaffirmed his comments after he was asked about the criticism on Wednesday afternoon. He said Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats are “being very disloyal to Jewish people and … being very disloyal to Israel and only weak people would say anything other than that.”
During the 2018 midterm elections, Jewish Americans voted for the Democratic Party by about a 3:1 margin. According to exit polls, only about 10% of Jewish voters identified as Republicans compared to 64% who identified as Democrats.
“No conservative I’ve ever met commits violence,” he added.
Delusions of Divinity - and speaking in tongues
Using his own wurds Gail Collins (NY Times via Roving Reporter Sherry) reports that Trump Goes Godly. The man in the White House thinks he’s a miracle.
Do you blame God for Donald Trump?
“I am the chosen one,” Trump announced on Wednesday. O.K., he was talking about fighting his trade war with China, not ascending into heaven. It was all a joke, sort of. But we’ve been so far down the megalomania road with this president that it would not be a total surprise to discover he had delusions of divinity.
Maybe at night, when he’s alone with nobody but Fox News to keep him company, Trump envisions a future in which all Americans will appreciate how much he’s suffered for their salvation. He does seem to think of himself as something super-special. And if you listen to him answering questions without the help of a teleprompter, there is a tendency to wonder if he’s speaking in tongues.
Take his interchange with reporters Wednesday. There were, naturally, questions about gun laws — particularly background checks. Trump had wanted to tackle that issue in a big way until he sorta didn’t. Now he’s decided the current system is already “very strong.”
And then he elaborated. Follow along:
“But we are going to be filling in some of the loopholes, as we call them, at the border and will be speaking about it at the border. It would be really nice if the Democrats would indeed fix the loopholes because it would be really nice. But despite that, I want to thank Mexico. They have 26,000 soldiers at our border and they’re really stopping people from coming in. So what happens is with background checks, we’re dealing with Democrats, we’re dealing with Republicans. …”
You will notice that he seems to be mixing up the Mexican border with gun regulation. This may be because he has a godlike ability to see things that no one else can see. In his getting-on-the-helicopter Q&A with the media, he referred twice to the way his great wall has been growing by leaps and bounds. (“The wall is being built — we’re building tremendous numbers of miles of wall right now.”) Mere mortals might wonder where the heck he gets the idea that this is actually happening, but that’s because they lack his miraculous vision.
With that kind of self-image, you could understand why the president feels any criticism reeks of blasphemy. This week he’s been obsessed with the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, who called his idea of buying Greenland “absurd.”
“The prime minister used a terrible word,” our wounded chief executive told reporters. And he vowed there’d be no quick forgiveness for any heads of state who dared send a negative adjective in his direction: “(They) can’t treat the United States of America the way they treated us under President Obama.”
Trump’s obsession with his predecessor is scary. Now he’s at war with auto companies that want to stick close to the 2012 rules on emissions rollbacks. How dare they respect an Obama-era regulation?
And the media thing: Trump sees his story in heroic — if not biblical — proportions, and journalists are always the villains, doing something that needs to be decried. Currently it’s the stories that hospitalized victims of the El Paso mass shooting passed up the opportunity to meet with him when he visited.
"I went to the hospitals — it was totally badly reported,” he complained. The victims and their families, Trump insisted, “love their president and nobody wrote that.” Well, two people who’d been treated and released did come to shake his hand. And some of the stories did focus on the way the president spent part of his mission of mercy bragging to the medical staff about the size of the crowd at his rally. Can’t imagine why.
The nation is still reeling from that tragic weekend of mass shooting. When the cry went up for better gun control, there were lots of stories about Trump’s promise to do something very big when it came to background checks. He is now waffling like a breakfast special. And adopting the National Rifle Association dodge that the only problem is mental health. (“The gun doesn’t pull the trigger, a person does. And we have great mental illness.”)
But about the God complex: Lately Trump has had an obsession with himself as savior of the Holy Land that’s turning downright creepy. “In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” he insisted.
Some people wondered if it was a tad offensive to demand that Jews vote Republican or be seen as a traitor to their people.
“It’s only anti-Semitic in your head,” Trump decreed, peering into the minds of his questioners.
Lots of hints here that the president, at least, thinks of himself as someone far beyond mortal men. And then there’s that long, long history of referring to himself in the third person:
"Nobody has been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.”
“Nobody has more respect for women than Donald Trump.”
“There’s never been a president like President Trump.”
“China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump’s very, very large brain.”
Take your pick, people. You can accept the idea that he was sent to us by forces from above, or you can pray that he’ll have to go away in 2020. But remember, he’s always watching.
Oh, yes. About the wealth of kings. Kings have coffers chock full of coinage of the realm. Trump has that. 538 IDs it in the morning significant digits email.
The U.S. federal deficit is forecasted to reach $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. That debt has been increasing following a $1.5 trillion tax cut and a budget deal that increases government spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. “The nation’s fiscal outlook is challenging,” the director of the CBO said. [CNN]
And now he’s talking about salvaging an economy teetering on the brink of recession. (Remember how he took credit for the growth? Now, past the bump, he’s disowning the slump.) How’s he going to do that? Another tax cut. What could go wrong?
Update: The Wall Street Journal (among other sources) reports that In Reversal, Trump Says He Is No Longer Considering Tax Cuts. President had said Tuesday he wanted to bolster the economy by reducing capital gains, payroll taxes. That was yesterday. Today the economy is “strong”.
President Trump backed away from pursuing new tax cuts to bolster the U.S. economy, a sharp reversal from a day earlier, when he had described several such measures the White House was contemplating.
“I just don’t see any reason to,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House when asked if he was pursuing any tax cuts. “We don’t need it. We have a strong economy.”
What a difference a day makes.