On Sunday afternoon, as New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was being interviewed by phone to discuss the current spate of violent attacks on Jews in New York, MSNBC weekend host Kendis Gibson nudged him toward blaming President Donald Trump for the attacks.
At 2:34 p.m. Eastern, after Gibson asked "What's going on in this country?" that so many such attacks have happened recently, Gov. Cuomo spoke about "hate" being "fomented" without specifying whom he was accusing, although there was a hint about immigration.
CUOMO: We are fomenting hate -- we are fomenting division -- we are pointing fingers -- we are blaming rather than dealing with problems, we're scapegoating -- "the problem is this, the problem is that." And we are demonizing each other, Kendis. I call it an American cancer because it's one cell in the body politic attacking other cells. We're taking our differences, and we're making them weakness. And this is a nation of differences. Once we start pointing fingers, where do we stop? The only native people to America were Native Americans. If you're anything else, you came here from somewhere else.
Gibson followed up by more directly inviting his liberal guest to blame President Trump: "Who's pointing out those differences? Does it start at the top?" Governor Cuomo took the cue to attack President Trump more directly:
CUOMO: It starts at the top, and then it goes on to a point where it becomes viral across this nation. And it is now viral. And you see it coming to the surface in different manifestations from coast to coast. We're comforted treating it as isolated episodes, but there's a pattern to all of this, and it spells hate.
The MSNBC host then invited more Trump-bashing as he jumped in:
GIBSON: Let me talk to you really quickly about President Trump because he attacked New York, as you know, yesterday, and he attacked you personally in a series of tweets about the city's homeless population, and he said, in part, that you have lost control and your mind. What do you make of that?
As he responded, Governor Cuomo further blamed Trump for inspiring violent acts:
CUOMO: What can anyone make of President Trump's tweets, right? They say more about the sender than anything else. New York, he believes, is a Democratic state, and this is how he plays to his partisan base.by demonizing Democrats. "Democrats are evil, Democrats are bad, Democrats have lost their minds, they're anti-American." You foment that hate, and then you're shocked when you see these episodes of hate across the country
That has now become the dialogue and the currency of this nation. And it's politics, but it resonates outside of the politics into society. And now you see people who are acting out on those hateful acts, and people are impressionable, and some people are lawless, and some people are vessels, and some people are ill. And they hear it, and they respond.
Gibson closed with a note of mourning: "Quite a bit of words right there -- hate has become the dialogue and the currency, USA."