For almost four years, Donald Trump and his acolytes have tried to deny that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Despite the unanimous assessment of the nation’s intelligence community amid overwhelming evidence of Kremlin meddling, Trump and his diehards continue to keep their heads in the sand. And they’ve been trying to make the American people adopt the same posture.
Any attempt to call out the Kremlin has been met with cries of “fake news,” “witch hunt,” and “coup attempt.” Well, if a top official with one of the largest pro-Trump student groups is to be believed, there’s a new talking point afoot. Apparently, pointing out that Russia indeed tried to hack the election is–wait for it–racist! Moreover, this ridiculous claim was endorsed by one of Trump’s sons.
Amid the hubbub over the coronavirus outbreak, as well as the growing evidence of gross incompetency on the part of this White House, we missed what may be a harbinger of talking points to come. It came from Benny Johnson, the chief creative officer of right-wing student organization Turning Point USA. Apparently, calling out Russia’s meddling is no different from calling someone the N-word.
Wait a minute, Benny. So you’re calling the intelligence community racist? After all, they made a unanimous assessment that Russia did indeed try to hack the election. And are you also saying that the intelligence community was being racist when it warned lawmakers that Russia is already meddling with the 2020 election?
And are you saying that it is racist to call out Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort for agreeing to a meeting with a Russian lawyer who admitted she was acting as an informant for the Russian counterpart of our attorney general? Or that Trump effectively threw his own intelligence community under the bus when he accepted Vladimir Putin’s claim that there was no meddling?
Moreover, if it’s racist to call out Russian meddling, Benny, then why were so many of your compatriots openly thanking Russia for hacking Democratic emails, and claiming that the Kremlin had every right to interfere in the election? Then again, Trumpkins have never been known for keeping their alternative facts straight.
Lest you dismiss this as just the rantings of a right-wing crank, this was retweeted by one of Trump’s principal surrogates–his son, Eric.
Eric has had few qualms about throwing red meat to his father’s base. For instance, he claimed that the Democrats had no business letting his father’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testify at a House hearing on the same day his father was having denuclearization talks with North Korea.
Now you’re probably wondering how anyone could even suggest pointing out Russia hacked the election amounts to racism. But then again, Johnson has shown time and again that his moral compass is severely warped. You may recall that he was pushed out at Buzzfeed for massive plagiarism, and faced at least one plagiarism accusation while at Independent Journal Review.
A look at his Twitter feed shows more evidence of Johnson’s moral bankruptcy. For instance, he loudly applauded Trump for calling Peter Alexander a “terrible reporter” when Alexander merely asked Trump to speak some words of comfort to the American people.
Um, Benny? How is it fearmongering to simply ask Trump to say something to those who are feeling unnerved as this virus spreads?
Johnson has also echoed Trump’s concerns about extended periods of social distancing.
Never mind that there are growing concerns about a shortage of supplies in hospitals–the very reason why there have been calls for social distancing. And never mind that thousands of teenagers crowded beaches in Florida over spring break.
All things considered, when your moral compass is that warped, it’s no wonder that Johnson considers it racist to merely point out that Russia did indeed hack the election.
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