Heilemann: Trump ‘Encourages’ the Violence of ‘Domestic Terrorist’ Kenosha Shooter


Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” network national affairs analyst John Heilemann accused President Donald Trump of encouraging racially, incendiary, violent tendencies to fester with his messaging.

That, according to Heilemann, caused “domestic terrorists” like 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to go to Kenosha during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Heilemann said, “We’re four days into this convention. Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times on Monday. Donald Trump has not said his name in four days. Donald Trump has only talked about Kenosha and the context yesterday of sending a tweet out that said, ‘We’re going to send federal forces in to get control of the city of Kenosha,’ in the context of the shootings that took place there. We now have a suspect in those shootings. We have a 17-year-old white kid. There’s video of that kid at a Donald Trump rally in the front row in Iowa on January 30th.”

He continued, “That kid with a long gun who lives in Illinois, traveled up to Kenosha to get in the middle of this. He’s got social media that says ‘Back the Blue, ‘Blue Lives Matter. He has social media that says he’s a huge fan of Donald Trump. That kid, that white 17-year-old kid who went up there, who is a domestic terrorist, is exactly what this former Trump administration official says is making our job harder. Yes, he’s giving permission to domestic terrorists who are white supremacists. I don’t know this 17-year-old kid, but you look at his social media and his profile, he sure looks like a white supremacist. If he’s not an out front, straight-up, white supremacist, then at the very least, he is a domestic terrorist. Anybody who leaves their home drives to another state and shoots two people on the street meets the legal and practical definition of a domestic terrorist.”

He added, “We’re seeing it now in Trump’s silence about Jacob Blake this week is another version of the permission structure that allows those kinds of feelings to take root and those behaviors to happen with impunity. Again, I withhold judgment. We have not heard the president speak tonight, but so far we’re four days into this and what the president said and what he hasn’t said is exactly the problem and gives exactly the kind of implicit, racially, incendiary message that gets sent that allows this violence to take place and encourages it. And is exactly what that woman and many other people who have watched him over the last four years have pointed to as the problem.”

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