President Donald Trump addressed ongoing violence via several avenues at the end of August. From tweeting sympathies for an executed Trump supporter to answering questions about the shootings in Kenosha, the president has thrust himself front and center in a media maelstrom.
Trump’s statements have contrasted with those of Joe Biden’s first recent foray from his Delaware home in which the Democrat candidate attempted to paint the civil unrest and violence as a symptom of “Trump’s America.” But whose narrative is taking hold, and more importantly, why is the truth being obfuscated?
While Biden is blaming Trump for the chaos, the president went on record with Fox’s Laura Ingraham on Aug. 31 to claim that both Biden and the street protesters were being controlled by “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows.” When questioned on this, Trump said the matter was being investigated, and that:
“[T]hey’re people you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms — black uniforms — with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.”
He hinted that activists were being funded and organized by some wealthy people. Stepping from the macro to the micro, the president also commented on controversial episodes in the midst of the violence. With many calling for Trump to condemn Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who shot three protesters during riots in Kenosha, it may have come as a surprise to see the president suggest that the young man was acting in self-defense. “He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like,” the president told reporters at the White House on Monday, referring to a video of the incident. Trump added:
“And it was something that we’re looking at right now, and it’s under investigation … But I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed, but it’s under investigation.”
Trump also tweeted the message “Rest in Peace Jay!” in support of a man who was shot to death on the streets, apparently due to his support for the president.
Trump has not been shy in identifying blame with Antifa and Black Lives Matter, but what of Biden’s own framing of the argument? Speaking to a select group of reporters – while declining to answer any questions – Biden lambasted the violence in American cities yet refused to name the perpetrators. So careful was he, in fact, to not name Antifa or BLM, that one could be forgiven for thinking this was an effort at deflection. The last three months have seen violence and unrest on an almost unheard-of scale in the U.S., and still the media and prominent Democrats refuse to name names.
In July, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) even went so far as to state that Antifa violence was “a myth.” We have Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), finally condemning the carnage; but it comes three months too late. And what of the dynamic duo’s prior support for the rioters?
On June 1, Harris tweeted a plea to her followers asking them to donate funds to assist in bailing out those arrested in Minnesota. Biden’s campaign team (at least 13 members) personally donated cash to the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) and advertised their donations on social media.
And yet the White House hopefuls still claim that Donald Trump is to blame for the destruction. Perhaps there would have been less ongoing crime if some of those arrested had not been bailed out through the efforts of Biden and Harris.
A shocking report from Fox9 provided a litany of crimes committed by those who have received the largesse of MFF:
“According to attempted murder charges, Jaleel Stallings shot at members of a SWAT Team during the riots in May. Police recovered a modified pistol that looks like an AK-47. MFF paid $75,000 in cash to get Stallings out of jail.
Darnika Floyd is charged with second degree murder, for stabbing a friend to death. MFF paid $100,000 cash for her release.
Christopher Boswell, a twice convicted rapist, is currently charged with kidnapping, assault, and sexual assault in two separate cases. MFF paid $350,00 [sic] in cash for his release.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), on Aug. 4, held a hearing on Antifa violence. Throughout the proceedings, Democrats refused to lay blame for violence and criminal damage at the feet of Antifa or BLM, each moment trying to deflect attention to federal action on the ground. Cruz summarized that “Not a single Democratic senator condemned Antifa. Not a one of them condemned Antifa’s violence and terrorism.”
When an organization that engages in criminal acts has not been condemned by one of the leading parties in the nation nor the majority of the mainstream media, it could only be a matter of time before events escalated.
In Portland on Saturday, a member of a group called Patriot Prayer, Jay Bishop (also known as Aaron J. Danielson), was shot and killed. Footage of his murder appears to show people yelling “We got a Trumper right here,” and then two shots are fired, leaving Bishop dead.
The man suspected of killing Bishop is Michael Forest Reinoehl; he is being investigated but has not yet been charged. However, he has been identified by his own sister as the shooter. Reinoehl, 48, is a supporter of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, even posting on his social media accounts that:
“I am 100% Antifa.”
Has America reached a point where street executions for having differing political opinions are now deemed “troublesome” for political narrative? A man who describes himself as Antifa shoots another man for his politics, and yet those who seek to lead the nation refuse to condemn the organization the shooter claims he represents.
And the media machine seems to be following suit.
One may expect that a public political execution would receive significant coverage in the press. But perhaps not. CNN has (at the time of publishing) three stories that mention the murder. Not one of them mentions Antifa, yet all three discuss the group Bishop was with. Patriot Prayer is being described as a “far-right organization.”
We are witnessing the birth of a carefully crafted narrative by Democrats and their friends in the media. They appear to be trying to absolve Black Lives Matter and Antifa from all blame; be it riots, arson, vandalism, and even violence. And ultimately, to lay the fault at the feet of Donald Trump and his supporters. When political executions are swept under the rug, and high-ranking politicians refuse to even name those responsible, innocent people will suffer.
Perhaps we are too used to seeing history rewritten in recent days. Yet this may be the first time revisionism takes place in real-time.
Read more from Mark Angelides.