Friday’s Morning Joe was still devoting a substantial portion of its news coverage to discussing President Trump’s Wednesday morning retweets of three anti-Muslim videos originally posted by one of the leaders of the far-right UK political party Britain First. Not happy with just criticizing Trump for drawing attention to a group like Britain First or pointing out that one of the videos that Trump retweeted does not appear to depict a Muslim migrant attacking a Dutch boy (as the accompanying tweet claimed), host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann instead accused Trump of deliberately trying to “incite hatred” so that his followers would kill or otherwise harm Muslims.
Heilemann was the main person to bring up this line of baseless speculation about Trump’s secret, homicidally racist motives:
It's like Charlottesville all over again where you’ve got the -- in this case you’ve got the British neo-fascists who are cheering Donald Trump. In Charlottesville you had the Daily Stormer and the neo-nazis who were cheering when Trump said that there were good people on both sides of the debate. I just wanna say one thing about this, right? You think about both -- in Britain, you think about American servicemen around the world. You think about American Muslims, Muslim-Americans in this country. When Jonathan Swan made this point the other day, I wanna give him credit, that when Trump retweeted these videos, it was not -- it was taking this out of the realm of a discussion about, you know, how tough you should be about Islamic terrorism or how tough about extreme vetting or any policy dispute. These -- all three of these videos were just designed to incite hatred towards a religious group, and in -- by doing that, Trump is inciting hatred and putting people at risk, lives at risk, in Britain, American servicemen as I said, and Muslim Americans in this country. His fundamental job is to keep Americans safe. That's the fundamental thing a president’s supposed to do. And so, by doing this, he made people less safe, more vulnerable, for no purpose whatsoever other than to score cheap political points with his base.
USA Today senior political reporter Heidi Przybyla then waded into the conversation by insinuating that Trump’s retweets will lead to a spike in hate crimes:
And the really scary part is we can't even measure what effect this has on our cooperation from Muslim nations when you have the President of the United States exporting this type of domestic problem that we have. By the way, according to FBI statistics, hate crimes on the rise in the United States. I don’t know what the situation is in Britain, but this now becomes a global phenomenon when you show that the President's tweets have this kind of international reverberation.
Frequent MSNBC guest Donny Deutsch concluded from the above points that Trump must be “a sociopath,” not bothering to consider that perhaps the President simply doesn’t like jihadis throwing their political opponents off of roofs or smashing up churches.
Scarborough closed out the segment by worrying about how Trump’s retweets would psychologically affect “our Muslim brothers and sisters”:
SCARBOROUGH: [W]hat’s the impact? We talk about the impact all across the world. What about our Muslim brothers and sisters here in America? Muslim-Americans whose children are going to school this morning? What looks are they getting from classmates? What, what, what, what, what, what pressure-
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: [interjecting] Is this really who we are?
SCARBOROUGH: -do these children feel? Because, you know what? They're not Muslim-Americans. You know what they are? They're Americans.
KATTY KAY: And that, you know, that is-.
SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] And they have a president who is actually encouraging hatred against other Americans.
According to the BBC, two of the tweets that Trump promoted were correct in their assertions that they were depicting Islamist violence. Doesn’t this suggest that Trump was trying to highlight a real issue, namely Islamic terrorism, and not calling for violence against Muslims because they are Muslim?
This is not the first instance of Morning Joe baselessly claiming that Trump approves of killing minorities. Just last week, with no evidence, co-host Mika Brzezinski suggested that Trump is okay with groups like the KKK bombing black churches and killing children.