‘Beyond Deranged’: Commentators Across Political Spectrum Condemn Trump’s Claim Elderly Man Attacked By Police is ‘ANTIFA’
Commentators reacted with shock and disgust to President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old man who was attacked and hospitalized by police last week “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.”
Two Buffalo police officers were charged with felony assault for shoving longtime activist Martin Gugino to the ground outside City Hall, resulting in Gugino hitting his head and bleeding from his ear. Gugino remains hospitalized, in “serious but stable” condition, according to his lawyer.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Video shows two police officers in Buffalo, New York, shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The sound of a crack is heard and blood trickles from the man’s head https://t.co/JOGKvPOjoD pic.twitter.com/TBqs4gelmi
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 5, 2020
“Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment,” President Trump tweeted. “@OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
Gugino’s lawyer responded to Trump’s tweet, asking “why the President of the United States would make such dark, dangerous, and untrue accusations against him.”
Commentators and journalists from both the left and right soon reacted as well with disbelief.
If he were trying to lose in November, what would he be doing differently? https://t.co/E6rQFFxDij
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) June 9, 2020
“There was blood leaking from his head. It is visible on the video. He is still in the hospital,” noted NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla, while CNN’s Chris Cillizza questioned, “A 75 year old dude? Who started bleeding from his ear?”
There was blood leaking from his head.
It is visible on the video.
He is still in the hospital. https://t.co/9bwzv0gqsU
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) June 9, 2020
A 75 year old dude? Who started bleeding from his ear? https://t.co/FdaqP5Kc0m
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 9, 2020
President Trump’s old friend Piers Morgan also weighed in on the comment, tweeting, “Shame on you, Mr Trump,” as Fox News contributor and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer declared, “The President’s penchant for trafficking in conspiracy theories is, politically speaking, going to ruin him. This is reckless. He doesn’t know when to stop.”
BREAKING: President of the United States spreads insane conspiracy theory nonsense to falsely smear 75-yr-old man brutalised by police & still in serious condition in hospital.
Shame on you, Mr Trump. https://t.co/ODB7qVE5E4
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 9, 2020
The President’s penchant for trafficking in conspiracy theories is, politically speaking, going to ruin him. This is reckless. He doesn’t know when to stop. https://t.co/5ZmWC78d5M
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 9, 2020
Please stop https://t.co/rLhqTaBt41
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 9, 2020
He can’t stop. This is who he is. It isn’t schtick, or a tactic, or a political approach, or a mistake. This is who he is. It’s what he thinks, and how he thinks. He has for decades. Twitter shows us it, it doesn’t create it. https://t.co/P2n4eQk80z
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 9, 2020
Drudge mocks Trump: “AARP-ANTIFA” pic.twitter.com/fpZgMy8Xet
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 9, 2020
Not taking the bait of Trump’s tweets is generally good policy, but this is so despicable and sinister it merits an exception. https://t.co/xI4aaHoMcj
— Jacob Siegel (@Jacob__Siegel) June 9, 2020
Broken record playing again — this man has serious mental health issues which we are ignoring as a country. This is well beyond playing partisan politics. He is living in a sick and twisted alternative universe. He’s probably hearing voices at this point. But lets all ignore it https://t.co/SJubVWvOUR
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) June 9, 2020
The president of the United States flat out defending police brutality–and not with the usual, “the police are under huge pressure, they’ve got to make split-second judgment calls” type of excuses, but with unabashed blaming-the-victim conspiracy theories. https://t.co/I8nGlFlzB2
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 9, 2020
If current trends persist, Republicans are going to nominate an actual tinfoil hat next time. https://t.co/AGRahPfNeq
— Joshua Holland 🔥 (@JoshuaHol) June 9, 2020
I’ll admit I was not expecting the “smash senior citizens” plank of the Republican platform https://t.co/BUKLsaiLxL
— Jon Christian 🥺 (@Jon_Christian) June 9, 2020
this is beyond deranged https://t.co/Ilaf3fZNF9
— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 9, 2020
So now a 75-year-old protestor and peace activist cracked his *own* skull? https://t.co/Vy71guk5gs
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) June 9, 2020
This is unbelievable in so many ways, including the fact that Trump for some reason thought it was smart to mention Gugino’s age, just so we were all clear he’s defending cops who shoved a 75-year-old to the sidewalk. https://t.co/lwANVI37e4
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) June 9, 2020
Advocating shoving elderly people to own the libs https://t.co/PwR4iX8ORC
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) June 9, 2020
This conspiracy theory the president is pushing about a 75-year-old Antifa mastermind skimming police scanners with his phone wouldn’t meet InfoWars’ standards.
It is some next level Batboy stuff, and clearly a sign of the Antifa Panic to come.https://t.co/xzXYVDK8Gq
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) June 9, 2020
The OAN conspiracy theory the president is livetweeting here was reported by an ex-Sputnik (Russian state media) reporter, who last month claimed coronavirus was a cover by George Soros, Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci, the Clintons and China for “population control.” https://t.co/k2qmNRZq26
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) June 9, 2020
Martin Gugino is a a longtime peace activist who has worked with the Plowshares and Catholic Workers, the movement started by Dorothy Day https://t.co/UJsmyBwGid
— Daniel Burke (@BurkeCNN) June 9, 2020
When this line of argument fails, Trump will retreat to his classic all-purpose excuse: “It was Obama who shoved the 75 year old man to the sidewalk and cracked his head.” https://t.co/WiOrCgRjJ5
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 9, 2020
Those drugs that you take which cause your intense sniffling and snorting when you are amped up are officially making you psychotic. https://t.co/JFoQXaU2In
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) June 9, 2020
Trump’s latest tweet is a reminder that he is not a political genius, marketing savant, or master media manipulator. He is a deeply stupid, narcissist that stumbled backwards into the Presidency despite getting millions fewer votes.
The worst part is: He could win again.
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 9, 2020
One of geriatric antifa’s most dastardly tactics is to crack their own skulls on the pavement to frame the police. This is well-known.
— CJ Ciaramella (@cjciaramella) June 9, 2020
POTUS aides and campaign constructed this week around getting him into the conversation around rebuilding / recovering, listening to ideas about police reform, etc. https://t.co/cE6PmRmsBG
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 9, 2020
No, the president is not trying to orchestrate a media distraction for political purposes or cleverly drawing attention away from bad headlines. He’s just getting mad at the things on his TV and tweeting through it.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 9, 2020
Senior administration official: “The tweets speak for themselves” https://t.co/hidxIgNROK
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) June 9, 2020
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that “Gugino is a member of two nonprofits: PUSH Buffalo, which focuses on affordable housing, and Western New York Peace Center, a human rights organization,” and “is also part of the Catholic Worker Movement.”
Trump picked up the theory that Gugino was an agitator from the pro-Trump news network OAN, which picked up the theory itself from an obscure right wing blog.
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