Former campaign strategist David Urban says we shouldn't take Donald Trump's controversial retweet seriously —contradicting statements by both Trump and the White House by offering yet another lie.
The backlash came swiftly Sunday morning after Donald Trump retweeted a video of himself, originally posted by an account called “Fuctupmind,” swinging a golf club that pretends to show him hitting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.
The fake video, which praises “Trump’s amazing golf swing,” drew rapid and strong condemnation for what was widely interpreted as a gesture of support for political violence and violence against women.
But Trump’s cronies have a decidedly different take on the issue.
Asked about this morning’s controversial retweet in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, former Trump campaign strategist David Urban dismissed the idea that Trump was expressing agreement with the post by retweeting it.
His transparent lie? Claiming that “retweets do not equal endorsements.”
BASH: Is this appropriate?
URBAN: Look, the president speaks directly to the folks. I’m not going to judge what’s appropriate or inappropriate for the president. Retweets do not equal endorsements. I think it says that on the bottom of his twitter deck.
Trump’s Twitter profile doesn’t actually say anything about whether retweets should be seen as endorsements.
However, both the White House and Trump himself have made public statements that contradict Urban’s attempt to downplay the president’s Sunday morning retweet.
In June, then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that Trump’s tweets should be interpreted as official statements from the president.
“The President is the President of the United States, so they are considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Spicer said at the time.
On the campaign trail, Trump was specifically asked whether he endorsed the messages he retweets, to which he responded:
“Well I do retweets, and I mean, to a certain extent, I do, yeah, I think that’s right. Do you want me to say no? You know, I retweet, I retweet for a reason.”
Despite these statements confirming that Trump’s tweets and retweets should indeed be seen as official communication from the president, those closest to Trump continue to try to dismiss his tweets as something we shouldn’t take seriously.
Even today, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Trump’s reckless tweets about last week’s terror attack in London, saying “he gets emotional” sometimes but didn’t mean any harm.
If this was just Trump getting “emotional,” it’s a pretty consistent problem.
Because retweeting something so vile is part of a regular pattern of behavior for Trump, who routinely incited violence at his campaign rallies, hinted at the idea of using violence against his opponents, and bragged about forcing himself on women — remarks that he repeatedly defended and brushed off as “locker room talk.”
More recently, Trump retweeted a cartoon of a train running down a person with a CNN logo covering their head just days after the fatal car attack during a white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
Whatever his intentions with Sunday’s example, one thing is clear: Trump means what he tweets, and no amount of desperate spin from his cronies is enough to erase Trump’s own words on the matter.