Donald Trump this week: U.S. president stokes anti-Muslim sentiment, attacks NBC, touts tax reform
U.S. President Donald J. Trump had a wild week on Twitter as he promoted videos of a racist U.K. political organization, attempted to revive a conspiracy theory involving an NBC host and continued attacks against his favourite target: the news media.
Here’s what you missed in the world of Trump.
Nov. 30: Trump (again) calls Kim Jong Un ‘Little Rocket Man’
Trump returned to his favourite insult Thursday calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man,” the same day the hermit kingdom released images of a massive intercontinental ballistic missile.
Trump took to social media to dismiss China’s attempt to slow the North’s weapons progress.
“The Chinese Envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted. “Hard to believe his people, and the military, put up with living in such horrible conditions. Russia and China condemned the launch.”
WATCH: Trump calls Kim Jong-Un ‘Little Rocket Man’
The North conducted its first missile launch in 70 days on Tuesday. The rogue nation hadn’t launched a missile since lobbing one over Japan on Sept. 15.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said earlier this week. “It’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States.”
Nov. 29: Trump retweets anti-Muslim videos
The president of the United States retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right activist group Britain First to his nearly 44 million followers.
The videos were alleged to show Muslims committing violent acts such as a “Muslim migrant” beating a boy on crutches in the Netherlands, a boy being pushed off a roof and a man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
One of the videos was debunked as being false, as the attacker in the Netherlands incident was neither Muslim nor a migrant.
“Facts do matter,” the Dutch Embassy in Washington said in a tweet directed at Trump. “The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.”
The video “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” dates back to 2013, when a young man was pushed from the roof of a building in Egypt during fighting between supporters and opponents of the recently overthrown president, Mohamed Morsi.
The White House defended the president saying it didn’t matter whether the videos are real or not.
WATCH: White House defends Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos
Also Wednesday, Trump seized on Matt Lauer’s firing with attacks against NBC. Trump said the network should “look into Andy Lack’s past,” without explaining what he meant about the NBC News chairman, and revived a conspiracy theory involving Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough.
Trump has a long-running feud with Scarborough. The “unsolved mystery” the president is referring to involves congressional aide Lori Klausutis who was found dead in Scarborough’s Florida office in 2001 when he was a Republican congressman.
The medical examiner found at the time that she had died of a heart condition that caused her to fall and hit her head on Scarborough’s desk.
While Trump insinuates otherwise, no evidence of foul play has ever been found.
Nov. 28: Trump vs. ‘Chuck and Nancy’
With a government shutdown looming, top congressional Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi pulled out of a planned meeting with the president after Trump lashed out at them on twitter.
Trump tweeted early Tuesday that “I don’t see a deal!” with Schumer and Pelosi and accused them of being soft on crime, taxes and illegal immigration.
Congress faces a Dec. 8 deadline to pass legislation to keep the government open and Trump’s feud with Democrats could place that in jeopardy. While neither party benefits from a government shutdown it would be especially bad for Republicans as they control both houses of Congress and the White House.
Meanwhile, the fallout from Trump’s “Pocahontas” comment on Monday continued to spread as families of Navajo war veterans spoke out about the president’s “insensitive” comment.
WATCH: Trump fires back after Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer skip tax meeting
Nov. 27: Who gets the ‘fake news trophy’?
Trump kicked off the work week with a morning tweet attacking U.S. television networks (Fox News excluded) suggesting a “contest” to determine which television network deserves a “fake news trophy.”
“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favourite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
The news media is one of Trump’s favourite targets with the exception of Fox News, which often provides flattering coverage of his administration. A poll released later in the week by the conservative-leaning Rasmussen finds 40 per cent of respondents think Fox News should get the Fake News Trophy, with CNN coming in second.
After attacking the media, he moved on to promoting his tax reform plan that U.S. independent analysts have said will transfer tens of billions of dollars to the country’s wealthiest.
“The Tax Cut Bill is coming along very well, great support,” Trump wrote. “With just a few changes, some mathematical, the middle class and job producers can get even more in actual dollars and savings and the pass through provision becomes simpler and really works well!”
— With files from Adam Frisk and the Associated Press
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