Archived: White House Said Calling President a White Supremacist Is 'Fireable Offense'

ESPN host Jemele Hill did not mince words when she took to Twitter to call President Donald Trump a white supremacist.

The truth hurts. Hill’s tweets apparently caught the attention of the White House, which said Hill should be terminated for her comments.

“I think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, during a press briefing on Wednesday.

But many remarks passed by the president notably on Twitter have indicated Hill’s assertion is not that outrageous at all.

Trump’s offensive rhetoric began long before he took the Oval Office and in fact often targeted his predecessor and insisted that former President Barack Obama is not an American citizen. An archive of Trump’s tweets includes 85 where he references the “birther movement,” dating back to 2011. (In 2012 he chose to tweet about it on the anniversary of Sept. 11 twice.)

Trump also retweeted neo-Nazis several times on his Twitter account. At least twice he retweeted from an account called “@WhiteGenocideTM.” The first time was during the campaign, when Jeb Bush was running against him. He retweeted a photoshopped picture of Bush, appearing to be homeless, with a “Vote Trump” sign outside Trump Tower. The “@WhiteGenocideTM account has been suspended, so the photo is no longer viewable, but the tweet still exists on Trump’s account.

Trump also quoted the account in a now deleted tweet.

Just last month Trump retweeted from Jack Posobiec, a known conspiracy theorist.

The tweet can no longer be located on Trump’s account.

Regarding Posobiec, according to the Anti-Defamation League:

“He has enthusiastically promoted a range of lies, including the Pizzagate hoax, and attempted to discredit anti-Trump activists by planting an inflammatory ‘Rape Melania’ sign at a protest event. He frequently tweets anti-Muslim sentiments, and has harassed former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin with anti-Muslim slurs online and in person, tweeting, ‘I screamed ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ at Huma Abedin.’ He also posted to Facebook: ‘Citizen Journalist Jack Posobiec Asks Huma Abedin “Is the Muslim Brotherhood Paying Your Legal Fees'”

And in July, Trump tweeted a meme later discovered to have originated on a well-known racist Reddit forum.

The tweet itself is not racist but violent in nature, depicting Trump wrestling someone with a CNN logo for a head.

Vox reported in July of the forum where the meme originated:

“The_Donald is a huge and hugely controversial part of Reddit that exploded in popularity over the course of 2016, as Trump’s presidential campaign gained momentum. At one point, right-wing extremism within The_Donald was so intense that itcaused the forum to fracture, before growing even more popular and solidifying its position as Reddit’s main alt-right hub. ANew York Times profileof the subreddit published in November called it ‘one of the most influential communities within one of the most significant websites on the internet’; the Times characterized it as ‘home to copious Islamophobia, trolling of liberals and near constant bashing of Hillary Clinton.’

“The_Donald has also been a major conduit for alt-right fringe conspiracies likePizzagateand other rumors tofind their way into the mainstream. And despite the prevalence of racism and extremism present within the forum, Trump’s campaign staff have said that theymonitoredThe_Donald and other alt-right communities on Reddit and elsewhere throughout the election.'”

In July 2016 Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton looking proud, over a background of a pile of money, with a Star of David next to her with the words: “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!”

The not-so-subtle imagery feeds directly into the common anti-Semitic belief that Jews are corrupt money-grubbers who secretly control the government.

The original tweet was deleted two hours after being posted, but it was then tweeted again by Trump with a new image that replaced the star with a circle (though the points of the star could still be seen behind it). His then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called the fiasco “political correctness run amok,” saying it’s “the mainstream media trying to attack Donald Trump.”

In 2015 Trump retweeted a video called “You Can’t Stump the Trump”; the tweet included a meme depicting Trump as Pepe the Frog. The Pepe cartoon character is often called a mascot for the alt-right.

While Trump has several times publicly said he does disavow white supremacists and condemns hate groups, his responses are not timely and only come after public pressure.

For instance, following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one counter-protester dead, Trump said there was an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

He later delivered a speech in which he called racism “evil.”

“And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” he said.

But then, in a different statement during a press conference at Trump Tower, he doubled down on his initial remarks.

“I think there is blame on both sides,” he said. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

And of the people who were in Charlottesville to defend the removal of Confederate statues, Trump said, “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

Even when Trump does make statements seemingly separating himself from hate groups, his supporters seem to have learned to read between the lines.

In response to a tweet following Charlottesville in which Trump said everyone must “be united & condemn hate,” former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke reminded Trump who his supporters were.

Upon news in February that the Trump administration wanted to remove white nationalists and other hate groups from extremism databases, Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, rejoiced in a blog post on Thursday that “it just couldn’t ever get any better than this.”

“Yes, this is real life. Our memes are real life,” Anglin wrote. “Donald Trump is setting us free.”

The Daily Stormer is named after the notorious Nazi publication “Der Strmer” and billed as “America’s #1 Most-Trusted Republican News Source.”

“We helped get Trump get elected, and the fact of the matter is, without Alt-Right meme magick, it simply wouldn’t have happened,” Anglin continued. “We were there every step of the way, keeping the energy HIGH all through these tubes. The people paying attention know how much good we did, and they know how much good we can do in the future, making sure young people get on board with Trumpism.”

In November, then president-elect Trump condemned and disavowed the support of white supremacists and hate groups cheering his candidacy and celebrating his presidency. But to those whom he condemned, Trump’s words were just that.

“I obviously would have preferred he not condemn, but I’m not going to read too much into that. It is what it is just words,” Anglin wrote at the time. “As long as he does what he says he’s going to do, he can condemn whatever he wants and I’ll still support him 100%.”

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