When Donald Trump tapped John Kelly as White House chief of staff, it initially looked like Kelly was going to bring a measure of order to the West Wing. As part of that task, Kelly started clearing out fringe and alt-right elements. His first order of business was to give communications director Anthony Scaramucci his walking papers, and chief strategist Steve Bannon and counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka followed him out soon afterward.
But Kelly has had far less luck controlling Trump himself. Reportedly, Trump has chafed at being managed for one of the few times–if not the first time–in his adult life by someone who isn’t related to him. On more than a few occasions since Kelly took over in July, we’ve seen Trump do something stupid or outrageous on Twitter–either go on one of his patented 140-character rants, or share something unhinged from one of his followers. For instance, just hours before his now-infamous Trump Tower press conference where he blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, he briefly retweeted a cartoon showing himself as a train mowing down CNN.
If that didn’t prove beyond any doubt that Kelly has essentially thrown up his hands and given up trying to keep a leash on Trump, something Trump retweeted on Sunday morning should have done so. Just as the nation was waking up, Trump shared this.
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) September 14, 2017
The tweet was originally shared on September 13 by “@Fuctupmind,” a rabid Trump supporter who has at least two other Twitter accounts–presumably in case he goes too far on one of them and gets suspended. He also has an account on Gab, the Twitter alternative that has become a favorite of right-wing trolls in the months since Twitter started cracking down on harassment.
This tweet shows Trump teeing off at one of his golf courses before cutting to Hillary Clinton falling down while boarding a plane–after being hit in the back by a photoshopped golf ball. Just in case Trump deletes that retweet, here’s the evidence.
In what world is this acceptable behavior from any adult, let alone the president of the United States? Apparently in Trumpland. It says a lot about Trump that he is implicitly condoning violence against a woman. It also says a lot about Trump that he retweeted something fired off by a user with such an obscene handle.
Not surprisingly, the saner elements of Twitter are not pleased.
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) September 17, 2017
The president just retweeted someone with the twitter handle fuctupmind #presidential
— Brad York (@whitebrad47) September 17, 2017
And it's a gif that looks like Trump's hitting Hillary in the back with a golf ball off the tee. Despicable man. https://t.co/97g65M5XkQ
— Matt Davis (@KCRoyalFan) September 17, 2017
— John Ford For DACA (@Free_From_Trump) September 17, 2017
Some of Trump's base is happy to let him cut deals with Pelosi and Schumer so long as he tweets gifs of Hillary and CNN logos. WWE BS.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 17, 2017
The @POTUS just RTd a guy named "Fuctupmind"'s video of Trump pelting Hillary from behind with a golf swing. Emails though.
— Emails Though! (@RyanRulon) September 17, 2017
Trump retweets a GIF of him hitting Hillary in the back w/a golf ball. Anyone who stands by him is normalizing this behavior.
— Jhudora Feingold (@JhudoraF) September 17, 2017
Remember how a number of Trump diehards wrung their hands at a Trump-themed version of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”? They claimed that it amounted to “normalization of political violence.” And yet, some of those same people had no problem with Trump tweeting a GIF of himself body-slamming CNN. More than likely, they won’t have a problem with this latest unhinged moment from their hero.
This cannot stand. In any other democracy, a president or prime minister who pulled a stunt like this would be facing calls for his resignation–and it wouldn’t be out of line to have said “leader” committed. This is no different. It would be unacceptable for a Democrat to do this, and it’s unacceptable here. Any president who even thinks this is remotely okay has no business being in the White House. It is time–past time, actually–to get him out of here.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)