The media have found themselves inflicted with another case of Trump Derangement Syndrome after President Trump unleashed a series of tweets pertaining to immigration and DACA. During Monday's edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, host Erin Burnett asked President Trump's former deputy campaign manager if there was "any way to interpret our country as being stolen when you are referring to immigrants coming from the south as anything other than racist." While panelist Paul Begala predicted that the President's tweets will get more hysterical as the Special Counsel's investigation continues, the term "hysterical" much more accurately describes the media's reaction to his tweets.
The tweet that got Burnett bent out of shape read “Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People. Border Patrol Agents (and ICE) are GREAT, but the weak Dem laws don’t allow them to do their jobs. Act now Congress, our country is being stolen!”
CNN Political Commentator Paul Begala argued that his colleague Chris Cilizza’s characterization of the tweet as a “dog whistle” did not go far enough, preferring to compare the tweet to a “foghorn.” According to Begala, “It’s simply racist to say that people are stealing our country.”
Begala then tried to figure out why President Trump would issue such a tweet; arguing that “he’s weak” after Republicans lost a special House election in a district in Pennsylvania that the President carried by 20 points and lost a Senate Special Election in Alabama, “which he won by a think a million points.” Begala obviously meant to say a million votes but his Trump Derangement Syndrome apparently prevented him from speaking clearly.
Begala said that the President’s tweets come as a result of frustration with the Mueller investigation: “As Mueller circles, Trump gets more hysterical and so he’s got to do something to fire up his base. And so he trots out his racist anti-immigrant stuff.”
Burnett directed her next question at Bryan Lanza, Former Deputy Communications Director for the Trump Campaign: “Is there any way to interpret our country as being stolen when you are referring to immigrants coming from the south as anything other than racist?” Lanza attempted to answer her leading question by drawing a distinction between legal and illegal immigration.
Burnett then robotically repeated the racism talking point: “Yeah but our country is being stolen, talking about people whose skin is brown coming from the south.” Lanza then called her out: “He’s talking about illegal immigration in that tweet. And to try to decipher it as anything else is just trying to sort of nitpick.”
Burnett continued to try to paint President Trump as a racist by showing clips of the President asking why America does not admit more immigrants from Europe, talking about the crime that plagues inner cities with high minority populations, and “both sides” comments after Charlottesville.
According to the liberals on CNN, no action of President Trump more effectively demonstrates his racism than his alleged reference to impoverished countries that many of our immigrants originate from as “sh*hole countries.” While nearly every CNN on-air personality uttered the profanity on air shortly after the President first made those comments, Begala simply referred to them as “crummy countries” while Burnett used the term “s-holes.” Begala said he did not want to use that kind of language, adding “when you’re below my standards, you really suck. Okay? Because I have none. I’m a potty mouth.”
As the segment concluded, Begala predicted “the President’s tweets will be more unhinged and racist, sadly, the closer Mr. Mueller gets.” Anyone who analyzes the media can predict that the media’s reactions to President Trump’s tweets will become “more unhinged” as Election Day 2018 draws closer.
See transcript below. To read, click "expand."
Erin Burnett OutFront
ERIN BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump going on a Twitter tirade about immigration, tweeting in part “Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People. Border Patrol Agents (and ICE) are GREAT, but the weak Dem laws don’t allow them to do their jobs. Act now Congress, our country is being stolen!” Out front now, former Counselor to President Bill Clinton, Paul Begala and Former Communications Director for the President’s Transition Team and Former Deputy Communications Director for the Trump Campaign, Bryan Lanza. All right, thanks very much to both. Paul, Chris Cilizza, you know, here at CNN, summed it up this way, talking about that tweet. “Donald Trump’s latest dog whistle on immigration is more like a scream”, do you agree, is this a racist dog whistle?
PAUL BEGALA: It’s not a dog whistle, it’s a foghorn. In other words, a dog whistle is like a hint and a wink and a nod. It’s simply racist to say that people are stealing our country, really? Immigrants like my grandparents or, or Donald Trump’s mom who herself was an immigrant or his grandfather came from Germany. Of course it’s racist. I think the more interesting question is why. I think it’s because he knows he’s in a weak position. He’s had millions and millions of people march, biggest marches we’ve ever seen in American history just in his first year. Women’s march and the gun people that marched the other day for our lives. He’s lost special elections in districts, district in Pennsylvania he won by 20 points. He lost a special election for a Senate in Alabama, which he won by I think a million points. So he’s weak. And the biggest thing, the weakness, which he knows, is Mueller. As Mueller circles, Trump gets more hysterical and so he’s got to do something to fire up the base. And so he trots out his racist anti-immigrant stuff.
BURNETT: Bryan, is there any way to interpret our country as being stolen when you are referring to immigrants coming from the south as anything other than racist?
BRYAN LANZA: Well, I mean, I think we both have to agree there’s the distinction between legal immigrant and illegal immigrant. Now, legal immigration is something that we foster...
BURNETT: Yeah but our country is being stolen, talking about people whose skin is brown coming from the south?
LANZA: No, he’s talking about illegal immigration in that tweet. And to try to decipher it anything other than that is just trying to sort of nitpick.
BURNETT: Talking about border patrol agents.
LANZA: He is talking, his whole debate, his whole Presidential campaign was about illegal immigration so to try to change it into something that it isn’t now and saying he has a problem with legal immigration is just inherently dishonest. We all know where he stands...
BURNETT: Right but what immigrants are you trying to say he’s talking about?
LANZA: He’s talking about illegal immigrants.
BURNETT: He’s talking about border patrol agents. But he is talking about the Mexican border?
LANZA: Yes, and illegals are crossing the Mexican border to get to the U.S.
BEGALA: Bryan, they’re crossing to go home. You know this. In the last ten years, we’ve lost over a million Mexicans. They’re going home. Mr. Trump’s wall will only slow down their departure. Why is he pushing this? Because he’s trying to distract from Mueller and from his own political problems. That’s what’s going on here.
LANZA: What I tell everybody on this, what I say about this is this is something that the President talked about from the very beginning of the campaign. When I see these tweets this morning, I don’t see a President trying to distract. I see the President trying to bring more attention to this issue because he’s frustrated that not, not a lot of progress has been made. Schumer came forward with a part of the negotiation. Trump came forward, we should continue the negotiation and it’s the Democrats who walked away from the table to finding a real solution for DACA and it was the Democrats who created this DACA political football by the, by their failure of President Obama during the first two years of the Administration.
BURNETT: I want to talk about the DACA issue but first, when you say that this is not racist, I just want to play for you what the President said about Europeans, African-Americans, Hispanics, and White Supremacists. Here he is.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Now, I say to myself, why aren’t we letting people in from Europe? I have many friends, many, many friends and nobody wants to talk this. Nobody wants to say it. But I have many friends from Europe, they want to come in.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have a situation where we have our inner-cities, African-Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. You also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
BURNETT: When you add to that the birther issue, Bryan, how do you, how do you square this as, as not racial?
LANZA: You know, I square it by my own experience with the President. If he had a racial issue, he would have had an issue with me. He would have had an issue with me being the Deputy Campaign, the Deputy Campaign Communications Director to his campaign and if he had a racial issue with me, he would have had an issue with me being Communications Director to his campaign. And he’d have an issue with me going into the administration and visiting as his guest to several events throughout the year. So what you guys try to, what the media tries to portray and what the partisan, the partisans try to do...
BURNETT: Well, I’m just playing his own words here, Bryan.
LANZA: Yeah sure. But I’m telling you my experience and my experience is...
BURNETT: That’s fair.
LANZA: ...completely contrary to what’s happening and there’s many other, there are many other ethnic Republicans or ethnic people who’ve worked for the President who tell you different experiences from Lynne Patton, from Omarosa but it’s something that everybody wants to ignore because it doesn’t fit the narrative that we’re going to try to play.
BURNETT: Yeah, Omarosa’s obviously not the most complimentary of the President at this point but Paul, what’s your response...
LANZA: Ebbs and flows of a relationship.
BURNETT: ...to Bryan saying his personal experience was that the President wasn’t racist but obviously many things the President has said could be interpreted otherwise?
BEGALA: Well, Bryan can speak to his personal experience far better than I can. And I would never try to gain say something like that that Bryan can personally testify to. So I can’t peer into his soul, I wouldn’t want to. But I can look at his actions, his comments. And by the way, not just what I think. Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, said that it was “the very textbook definition of a racist statement” when President Trump said that a judge who was born and raised in Indiana, of Mexican lineage, could not rule in his case. The very definition of, textbook definition of racist statement, says Paul Ryan. Tim Scott, the Senator from South Carolina, says he doesn’t think the President is racist but that he is racially insensitive. Now, that’s a very diplomatic way of putting it. But these are members of his own party who look at what the President says, I can’t peer into his heart. I’m sure Bryan is right. But if you look at what he says, if you look at what he does, when he says we need more immigrants from Norway and fewer from...crummy countries...
BEGALA: I just don’t want to use that kind of...When you’re below my standards, you really suck. Okay? Because I have none. I’m a potty mouth. But we don’t want people coming from African countries and Latin American countries, we want people coming from Norway. Is Norwegian a skill? No.
BURNETT: And you know, Bryan, before we go, I want to ask you about the tweets because he did tweet out today, “Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large ‘Caravans’ of people enter the country. They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border laws...”And then when he went on about the caravans, he tweeted “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They went, want in on the act!” And I’m curious, Bryan, what you think he’s trying to accomplish here because obviously the caravans are people who are seeking asylum. There is, there is no way that you could be on a caravan and get DACA, right? You had to have come in DACA before 2007, you had to be under 31 by 2012. I mean, that’s just, it’s factually false. Does he care?
LANZA: Well, actually, you’re factually inaccurate. Like a, listen, this was done by executive memorandum. So they can, the dates can change...
BURNETT: ...The fact is Bryan, right now, if you’re on one of those caravans...
BURNETT: No. The facts are right now, according to the law, Bryan, you cannot claim DACA coming in on one of these caravans. That is a fact.
LANZA: Hold on. It’s not according to the law. This was done by executive memorandum. DACA was created by an executive memorandum, which means that any President whether it’s this President, or eight years from now, a different President can change, can change the dates of anything related to DACA. So it’s not part of the law as we’re talking about and what he’s saying is that the more people who come here, kids at young age, become an additional sort of population of DACA kids in the future that have the potential to become DACA until we actually resolve this issue before...
BURNETT: Now you’re talking about the potential to become DACA.
BURNETT: The reality is they cannot become DACA right now. That is a fact but he tweets something contrary to that fact, Bryan. Why?
LANZA: No, I think you’re misunderstanding it. He’s saying, he sees in the larger scope where he says unless we fix this legally rather than executive memoranda, anything can happen with these kids, which is why we need to do something now. And he’s actually accurate, anything can happen to these kids. A decade from now, any kid who comes today, you could have a different President from a different party say, you know what...we’re going to classify them DACA.
BURNETT: You know what, taxes could be 90 percent in ten years. I mean, all kinds of things can happen with the change in the laws, Bryan.
LANZA: You’re asking me to interpret what he’s telling you and I’m telling you what he’s interpreting.
BURNETT: But the reality of it is at a moment in time, you tweet as the President, you either tweet a fact or you don’t tweet a fact. It’s pretty simple to me.
LANZA: I don’t disagree with you but I think you’re sort of micro-picking this thing and you’re looking for your solution. I see that tweet completely differently. And he is accurate, since it’s not codified into law...
BURNETT: It’s not accurate.
LANZA: ...at any time, any President, whether five years, eight years, or ten years can just say we’re creating a new class, a new population of DACA kids by the stroke of a pencil. It doesn’t even have to be a pen. So he’s not, you see it differently and I think other people see it differently as well.
BURNETT: No I see the facts. Go ahead, Paul.
LANZA: I see the facts too. I mean this is an apple to me.
BEGALA: The President’s tweets will be more unhinged and more racist, sadly, the closer Mr. Mueller gets. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Keep your eye on Russia and you will be able to understand why Mr. Trump is freaking out on Twitter.