Trump on San Bernardino shooter: “I probably radicalized him”

David Corn at Mother Jones caught Donald Trump making a rather odd admission on Morning Joe this morning: that his flagrantly anti-Muslim rhetoric is directly hurting American security interests at home.

Here’s the clip:

As Trump said, “How many other checks were sent to people all over the country that had been radicalized? Nobody knew this guy was radicalized. I probably radicalized him.

I mean, maybe. As The Onion (maybe not-so) satirically put it in a headline from yesterday: “Trump Gives Muslim On Fence About Radicalizing Just The Push He Needed.”

No one’s followed up with Trump yet to ask him if he feels like his rabid, racist, fascist rhetoric concerning Muslims — particularly it’s resonance with large subsets of the Republican electorate — is, you know, proving the Islamic State’s point about the West being hostile to the Muslim faith. And helping their recruitment. And encouraging attacks on US soil. But that certainly seems to be the implication.

Donald Trump, screenshot via YouTube

Donald Trump, screenshot via YouTube

This also speaks to just how impressively arrogant Donald Trump is. As Sarah Posner wrote for Religion News Service today, while most conservative candidates build tales of redemption in order to appeal to Evangelical voters — think Ben Carson’s salvation from his violent past — Trump’s story is that of a messiah:

Donald Trump doesn’t have a salvation story. He is, in his mind, the savior, The Art of the Deal  his scripture, and “make America great again” his testimony. He’s erased Jesus (anyone’s Jesus, whether you’re a conservative Christian nationalist or a progressive, social justice Christian) from the campaign.

Just as Trump appeals to voters who say they are tired of politicians-as-usual, he appeals to voters weary of theo-politicking as usual. No more false piety. No more favorite Bible verses. Let’s go straight for a bellicose, xenophobic, nationalist id. Unlike his “weak” rivals, Trump isn’t afraid to deliver the “truth” about Muslims.

Donald Trump is racist enough to blame an entire faith for the actions committed by some of its adherents; he is opportunistic enough to revel in the bloody, chaotic aftermath of terrorist attacks; and he is arrogant enough to take credit for the whole process.

And this is the best the leader of the Republican Party can come up with:


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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11 Responses to “Trump on San Bernardino shooter: “I probably radicalized him””

  1. crazymonkeylady says:

    Trump is truly a malignant narcissist. It’s ALL About HIM!

  2. Don Chandler says:

    It’s clear that Trump is using the event to build up his popularity. But he actually is helping to make more terrorists. Over 1.5 billion people are Muslims and it’s not good to isolate 1.5 billion people with indiscriminate rhetoric, especially since less than 1% are potential terrorists. But Trump is Trump and racists are racists. No amount of reason will change them. The question is why would people that have real opportunity to be successful turn to Radicalism. I’d read a New Yorker article on school shooting motivations:

    The school shooter seems to want to be part of some movement. They seem to worship the Columbine shooters, rick Harris and Dylan Klebold. They want to belong to something. Then there are the Dylan Roofs that are part of a “radical anti-black group” that rallies behind a confederate flag. They belong to something too. And then the occasional “Pro-lifer” that goes radical. They belong to something. Of course, a radical muslim can seek to belong to Daesh…in fact, so can any radical ethnicity belong to Daesh. They just need to “belong” to something. The group I most fear actually hasn’t given in to violence. But they walk around belligerently with huge amounts of bullets and military weapons under a guise of keeping politicians honest. But they have an agenda. And they belong to something. No need to name them. But clearly they also belong to the NRA. We got a big problem. The radicalization of the US. The rare Terrorist event actually pales.

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  4. Gerald Parks says:

    I agree with you!

    The complete lack of coverage is not only disgusting but a complete denial of the “real” danger to Americans …home grown white male Christian terrorist!

  5. mark_in_toronto says:

    What about the Planned Parenthood shooting in Denver? Or is that now being quashed by the corporate-controlled media?

    THAT was truly a home – radicalized shooting but now, the attention is on San Bernardino as this same myopic media makes the shooters out to be victims of ISIS propaganda.

    Is it just me or does anyone else see this whole slanted coverage that is truly disgusting?

  6. Hue-Man says:

    “…he is a direct reflection of the deep moral sickness of his supporters…”

    Drumpf is only repeating in plain words what other TeaParty/GOP presidential candidates – and countless other GOP politicians – are saying. The “deep moral sickness” applies to the entire Republican party – racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia. State legislatures banning Muslim immigration is only the most recent example of the sickness of “ordinary” Republicans.

  7. Don Chandler says:

    I remember reading about Trump when I was 18 or so. He was always going bankrupt. I thought it was the end of Trump and then he was back. It seems to be a recurring theme.

  8. BeccaM says:

    Sorry to say I haven’t used the mobile version. Seems like many sites these days either get it right with desktop or mobile, but never both well.

    I stopped reading MSNBC after they went iPad-friendly and desktop-antagonistic, for example. Now I avoid them because they indulge in shit like pawing through crime scenes and inadvertently doxing unrelated people.

  9. emjayay says:

    Has anyone else here ever tried the AmericaBlog mobile version. I commented on this before.


    On a normal sized Android phone the type is microscopic. And it does NOT EXPAND. It just stays microscopic. As if that wasn’t enough, a lot of words are in light blue. That’s right, microscopic type in light blue on a white background.

  10. BeccaM says:

    I keep saying it: Trump is a malignant narcissist and raging egomaniac. There is NOTHING in the entire universe that isn’t centered on him and him alone.

    When he finally copped to a specific part of the Bible he liked, he said it was a psalm related to envy, couched as his personal experiences of being envied. When asked a simple question about being ‘forgiven his sins’ — which is a basic tenet of Christianity, Trump replied he couldn’t think of anything he’d ever done which merited needing to be forgiven.

    I think we can add “messiah complex” to Trumps growing list of textbook-obvious mental illnesses.

    Sadly, one of the reasons he’s so popular in the Republican party is he is a direct reflection of the deep moral sickness of his supporters, people who when told he’s flat out lying in his fascist propaganda speeches say they don’t care.

    At the risk of going Godwin (although I think we’re way beyond that point now): Hitler and Mussolini were both elected. Once. My greatest fear at this point isn’t that Trump would necessarily win the popular vote, it’s that he could be deemed popular enough to get the election within stealing distance again, as happened in 2000 and ’04.

  11. Jimmy says:

    Good Lord! What an utter idiot. Not exactly something to be crowing about.

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