Donald Trump's decision to promote a series of anti-Muslim videos is endangering America, according to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Donald Trump’s promotion of a hate group’s anti-Muslim videos endangers people’s lives and is “bizarre and disturbing,” according to the former head of all U.S. intelligence agencies.
In an interview with CNN’s Alysin Camerota, James Clapper, who served as director of National Intelligence from 2010 to 2017, raised the alarm about Trump’s behavior. Clapper told the network he had “no idea what would motivate” Trump to share the videos, and agreed that his actions would help to motivate violent extremists across the world.
Clapper said Trump’s bigotry-fueled actions would play a role in “inciting or encouraging anti-Muslim violence” and causes “our friends and allies around the world to wonder about the judgement of the president of the United States.”
Clapper also highlighted that the actions raise concerns about Trump’s ability to handle the delicate diplomacy required to confront North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, which are a direct threat to America and its allies.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 29, 2017
CAMEROTA: What is happening here? And what do you think the consequences are?
CLAPPER: Well, I have no idea what would motivate him to do that. To me, it’s bizarre and disturbing. Particularly when I think of him doing that in the context of North Korea, where moderation and temperance and thought, I think, is critical.
And when you see him do something like this, it’s – I find it very disturbing and I have no way of explaining what on earth motivated it.
CAMEROTA: I mean, look, I don’t want to sound too alarmist but, with your experience, do you find that things like this end up having a ripple effect around the world? Does this get the attention of people who want to perhaps perpetrate violence?
CLAPPER: Well, there’s that, and as well, I think it causes our friends and allies to question “where is he coming from?” with this. So, it has all kinds of ripple effects, both in terms of perhaps inciting or encouraging anti-Muslim violence, and as well causes I think our friends and allies around the world to wonder about the judgment of the president of the United States.
Figures from both the United States and Britain immediately condemned Trump’s tacit endorsement of virulent anti-Muslim propaganda.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Trump’s actions “should be condemned by all American political and religious leaders, regardless of their party or faith.”
Brendan Cox, the husband of Jo Cox, a member of the British parliament who was murdered by a right-wing extremist who screamed “Britain First” before he killed her, slammed Trump: “Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.”
The Muslim Council for Britain called on the British government to formally distance itself from Trump’s actions.
“This is the clearest endorsement yet from the US president of the far-right and their vile anti-Muslim propaganda,” a spokesman said.
The promotion of the videos was too much for even Infowars, the staunchly pro-Trump site run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson wrote, “Someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump’s Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics.”
“Thank God for Trump! That’s why we love him!” the former KKK leader wrote.
Promoting the videos is a continuation of the anti-Muslim prejudice Trump has wholeheartedly embraced since her first decided to run for president.
Trump called for a ban on Muslim travel to the United States during the campaign, then tried to enact one almost immediately after he was sworn in. The policy faced a grassroots uprising from thousands of citizens, and has repeatedly been successfully challenged in court by civil liberties groups like the ACLU.
Trump is using his office and the spotlight it brings to promote blatant hate. The actions endanger the lives of thousands of innocent people in the United States and around the world, while giving aid and comfort to terrorists.