Update: This article has been updated to reflect Trump’s recent comments in an interview with the New York Times.
Since winning the presidential election, Donald Trump has returned to his typical tweeting habits: He’s feuded with the cast of Broadway musical Hamilton, called Saturday Night Live “one-sided,” censured the “failing” and “nasty” New York Times, lambasted the “crooked media” for reporting corruption claims against him, and lamented not having “the time to go through a long but winning trial” on the Trump University lawsuit.
But as Politico’s Dan Diamond pointed out, what president-elect Trump has not tweeted about is more telling of what’s to come. He has not tweeted about the spate of hate crimes being carried out in his name:
Trump tweets since election— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) November 22, 2016
- Blasting media: 12
- Blasting 'Hamilton': 4
- Blasting people committing hate crimes in his name: 0
At a conference over the weekend, alt-right think tank National Policy Institute President Richard Spencer’s opening remarks — “Hail Trump, hail our people” — were met with Nazi salutes. Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded 200 alleged hate crimes so far.
"Since the election, we've seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump's election," Richard Cohen, SPLC president, told USA Today. "The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats."
It’s clear Trump’s rhetoric has given new reign to the racist and xenophobic prejudices held among some Americans. In an interview with the New York Times Tuesday, asked directly about the Nazi salutes made in honor of his victory, Trump condemned the action. But Trump, who has had to denounce the support of Ku Klux Klansmen in the past, hasn’t used his preferred 140-character platform to comment on the recent outpouring of white nationalist crime.
And his reason for largely ignoring the hate might be buried in yet another tweet attacking the New York Times:
The failing @nytimes just announced that complaints about them are at a 15 year high. I can fully understand that - but why announce?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
In other words, Trump doesn’t seem to understand why you would “announce” negative or unpleasant truths about yourself. It’s a mantra he has followed throughout his campaign, spinning violence at his rallies into the “passion” of the American people, or ignoring it all together.