November 27, 2017

Here's what it looks like to sell your soul and remain a Republican these days.

Donald Trump has been picking fights with every minority and person of color he can find that doesn't kiss his ring since his days on the campaign trail, before we were unfortunate enough to find ourselves with the race-baiter-in-chief in the White House.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott was asked about Trump's ongoing fight with the NFL over players taking a knee and his recent dust up with LaVar Ball, the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players that were recently detained in China.

Rather than admit that Trump loves to rial up his racist base with these sort of fights, Scott told ABC This Week host Martha Raddatz that Trump is just a "counterpuncher" and attacks those who attack him first.

RADDATZ: OK. I want to move on to the NFL. President Trump once again tweeted angrily while at Mar-a-Lago this Thanksgiving week. He began by continuing his criticism of Lavar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA players who was arrested for shoplifting in China and later freed. He said, "Lavar, you could have spent the next five to ten years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember, Lavar, shoplifting is not a little thing, it's really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool."

That tweet was followed by this, "the NFL is now thinking about a new idea, keeping teams in the locker room during the National Anthem next season. That's almost as bad as kneeling. When will the highly paid commissioner finally get tough and smart? The issue is killing your league."

And Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent said the president's tweets are part of a larger trend, writing, "Trump's rage tweets about Lavar Ball are part of a pattern. Trump regularly attacks high-profile African-Americans to feed his supporters' belief that the system is rigged for minorities."

Do you to think the president has a habit of unnecessarily singling out minorities?

SCOTT: It certainly is -- the president is a good counterpuncher. He doesn't seem to discriminate from my perspective. I think he attacks anyone he believes or perceives is attacking him or the country whether it's right or wrong.

I will say as it relates to the Lavar Ball incident as it relates to China, I think there's a segment on ESPN called Come On, Man.

Here's my thought, if you're going the steal, and you're going to steal in China, and someone gets you out of that, you ought to saw thank you. They should say welcome.

The reality of it is, for a high-profile athlete to go the China and steal, and then the president of the United States, who obviously has a very precarious and provocative relationship with sports completely, to bail you out, I think, deserves a thank you without having to be asked for it.

So, the truth of the matter is...

RADDATZ: Not singling out minorities? You don't thing he's singling out minorities? From the UCLA players to the NFL players?

SCOTT: I will tell you that from my perspective, the answer is no. There is no doubt that if he were singling out minorities in the basketball situation, he singled them out in a positive way. The reality is, having the president of the United States step in to help you out when you're in China, that is a powerful move that likely brought those fellows home without having to miss Thanksgiving with their family. Because truth is, there could have been some really negative consequences to those young folks.

Raddatz, of course, didn't bother to challenge Scott about the number of fights Trump has picked with people who did not come at him first, or for the blatant racism we saw from Trump with his birther nonsense.

As Vann R. Newkirk discussed in his recent article for The Atlantic, Donald Trump’s Eternal Feud With Blackness, "In a presidency defined by its unpredictability, one of the few constants is the president’s eagerness to attack black people for failing to show deference."

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.