President Trump broke his silence this morning over the swirling “shithole” controversy he created the previous day. After news broke that he used the vile word in a meeting with congressional leaders to describe Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants late Thursday afternoon, the backlash came hard and swift, with accusations of racism flooding the airways.
The White House pushed back immediately against the story and against the emerging narrative that seemed to confirm the president’s racist posture, but crucially didn’t deny that he made the comments. Early Friday Trump finally tacitly denied using the word “shithole,” but conceded he did use tough language during the intense negotiating session.
People in the room, however, say otherwise. But while the president’s supports did damage control Friday, another group of Americans are happy to believe not only that he made the racist comments, but that he is – or at least his policies are – motivated by racism.
The New York Times interviewed a prominent white supremacist in the aftermath of the “shithole” story, and he revealed his reading of the situation and stated his emphatic approval.
Richard Spencer, a noted Neo Nazi and the face of the modern American white nationalist movement, told The Times that Trump’s defenders at right wing media outlets like Fox News need to stop trying to sugar coat the controversial comments and embrace the race message. It’s obviously all about race, and to their credit, liberals point out the obvious,” he said.
The lesser known but equally vile Andrew Anglin, who runs the notorious Neo Nazi website The Daily Stormer, wrote, “This is encouraging and refreshing, as it indicates Trump is more or less on the same page as us with regards to race and immigration….The real issue is all of these shitty brown people who come to the country exclusively to parasite off of us.”
Robert Warren, another person associated with The Daily Stormer wrote, “Haiti has been a shithole for far longer than there has been a Democratic party, you moron. It’s full of gorilla niggers.”
Another prominent white supremacist from Alabama, Hunter Wallace, wrote on racist blog site Occidental Dissent, “We’re willing to flat out say that we DON’T want more illegal aliens from Third World shitholes like Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
This isn’t the first time such prominent white supremacists have celebrated comments the president has made. The president has a long history of dog whistling these messages to fire up this critical segment of his base. And so it’s no surprise that the xenophobic, white nationalist wing of the Republican Party continues to support this president.
What’s become impossible to explain or rationalize is why the rest of the GOP still does, too.