White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made it obvious on this Sunday’s Meet the Press that his boss has no intention of doing anything which could possibly offend his white supremacist base, and is more than happy to see tensions exploding across the country if it helps him win reelection this November.
Host Chuck Todd repeatedly asked Meadows whether Trump should do something to de-escalate the tensions among his supporters only to have Meadows give a series of non-answers before Todd finally threw up his hands and moved onto the next topic.
On the first attempt, Meadows immediately deflected to the people protesting outside of the White House following Trump’s abuse of power and violation of the Hatch Act by holding the RNC there:
CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you this. If the president is cheering on people that are going to go into Portland, those protesters, the president called them great patriots. Do you think the president should be telling his supporters, “Deescalate, don’t show up with long guns, don’t play vigilante”? We haven’t heard the president try to — he only wants to deescalate the protests he doesn’t like. He has not talked about deescalating the protests that support him that are showing up with long guns and certainly, trying to at least give a visual incentive to create a conflict?
MARK MEADOWS: Listen, when we look at the Constitution, the Constitution is very clear. It gives the right to peacefully protest. It also gives the right to, for assembly. But when we look at that and we somehow suggest that in certain cities, that these particular areas are off limits. It’s not who we are as a nation. You know, when we look at what happened in Washington, D.C., the largely peaceful protests that happened on the mall were certainly not something that anyone condemned. And yet, what we saw were some of the splinters that came off of that that were running around in the streets of Washington, D.C., accosting Senator Rand Paul that you know about, but many, many others. That is not what the Constitution protects. And it’s not what we should be endorsing, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated or in between. We need to make sure that we —
CHUCK TODD: I understand that.
MARK MEADOWS: — properly, we properly address that, Chuck.
Todd tried again, only to have Meadows deflect — again — spouting platitudes about this lawless administration somehow being on the side of the “rule of law.”
CHUCK TODD: I’m trying to — right, but this young man that took matters into his own hands, the president has yet to condemn these actions. Why?
MARK MEADOWS: Well, you just had the report there, Chuck. What, you’re talking about the young man last night in Portland —
CHUCK TODD: Who shot —
MARK MEADOWS: — that was shot?
CHUCK TODD: No, I’m talking about the young man who shot two protesters in Kenosha.
MARK MEADOWS: Listen.
CHUCK TODD: I’m talking about Kenosha —
MARK MEADOWS: The president has been–
CHUCK TODD: — where the person, where the person —
MARK MEADOWS: — very clear.
CHUCK TODD: Yeah.
MARK MEADOWS: The president’s been very clear, whether it was with that individual or Mr. Blake or anywhere else, he has asked for proper investigations. In fact, I was in the Oval Office when he brought the attorney general in at 9:30 in the morning when Mr. Blake was shot just the previous evening. And when he looked at that, he says, “What I want to do is make sure that there’s a proper investigation.” That’s why we have laws and that’s why we have a justice system. And Lady Justice has a blindfold on that should look at all of these things —
CHUCK TODD: Right.
MARK MEADOWS: — in a way that makes sure that justice is brought forward. But for you to try it out on a Sunday morning show or for me to do that on a Sunday morning show is not what our justice system is set up to do. What we all always must do is make sure that the rule of law is there, not just because it’s a rule of law, but because it creates a safer community, whether it’s in Kenosha, Wisconsin or anywhere else.
Todd asked once again, and only to get more of the same in response:
CHUCK TODD: Right. I’m just trying to understand — the president denounced the violence on one side of protesters he didn’t like, but why not denounce what this young man did? Why not say, “Please don’t take matters into your own hands”? The president has not said that. One of his chief supporters in the media has actually defended this. Isn’t it incumbent on the president to help deescalate some of this violence on his side as well?
MARK MEADOWS: And the president is — you know, you say one side or the other. Let me tell you where the president is. The president’s on the side of law enforcement and the rule of law. And he’s been very consistent in that. He said, “Any governor, Republican or Democrat, any particular area can request help of the federal government. We’re willing to come in. We’re willing to provide additional assets, as we did in Kenosha, whether it’s FBI, whether it’s operational control vehicles, whether it is the National Guard. We’re willing to do that.” He has been very consistent. So the message to your viewers this morning is clear. The president believes what we need to do is make sure that we have exactly what resources are available for every single city. And if you’re having a problem, governors, we want to make sure that we can help you with that.
Chuck Todd knows full well why Trump is neither willing or capable of denouncing the actions of his supporters, but he danced around it for the entire interview with Meadows. Rather than ask when Trump is going to try to “de-escalate” things, maybe Todd could have asked him why Trump believes it’s okay to openly cozy up to white supremacists and egg them on? Or why he deserves another term in office when he’s openly stoking racial tensions and making things worse?