This Article is From Oct 31, 2018

Amid Political Tensions, Donald Trump Continues To Throw Rhetorical Bombs

The US President urged Americans to "unify" last week after authorities intercepted pipe bombs mailed to mainly Democratic targets of Trump's rage.

Amid Political Tensions, Donald Trump Continues To Throw Rhetorical Bombs

Ahead of midterm elections, Trump's aggressive rhetoric overheats political atmosphere


As calls mount to defuse US political tensions following a week of violence including the killing of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Donald Trump continues to throw his rhetorical bombs.

The president did urge Americans to "unify" last week after authorities intercepted pipe bombs mailed to mainly Democratic targets of Trump's rage.

But an aggrieved Trump swiftly reverted to form, accusing the "fake news" media of stoking fear and anger. Then on Tuesday, Trump dropped a surprise announcement linked to his anti-immigration platform: he intends to scrap a constitutional guarantee to citizenship for anyone born on US soil.

Here is a look back at some of Trump's most inflammatory past statements:

'Birther' controversy

Trump earned national political prominence by promoting the falsehood that Barack Obama, America's first black president, was not born in the United States.

As a leader of the so-called "birther" movement, Trump repeatedly cast doubt on whether Obama was a natural-born US citizen -- and therefore qualified to be head of state.

"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud," Trump tweeted in 2012.

He grudgingly acknowledged late in his 2016 presidential campaign that Obama was born in the United States.

Mexican 'rapists'

When the provocative billionaire descended the Trump Tower escalator to announce his White House bid in June 2015, his detractors argue he brought the level of national political discourse down with him.

Mexico is "sending people that have lots of problems... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists," Trump said.

A year later he argued that the Mexican heritage of a US-born federal judge should disqualify him from presiding over a fraud lawsuit involving Trump University.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, called it "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

'Lock her up'

The Republican National Convention of 2016 will be remembered in part for the event's central rallying cry against Trump's nemesis Hillary Clinton: "Lock her up!"

Those three words became a chant of reflexive hostility, not just against the Democratic nominee, but the perception by aggrieved Trump supporters that liberal forces were aiming to derail his presidency.

The chants persist. Even on the day last week that pipe bombs arrived in the mail for Clinton and other prominent Democrats, the crowd at Trump's campaign rally in Wisconsin launched into "Lock her up."

Trump, who proclaims himself proud to be politically incorrect, continues to malign opponents with noxious nicknames.

He repeatedly tags Senator Elizabeth Warren, a potential 2020 presidential contender, with the ethnic slur "Pocahontas" due to her claim of distant Native American ancestry, and brands congresswoman Maxine Waters, an African-American Democrat, "Low IQ."

Travel ban

Trump has repeatedly raised questions about the loyalty of Muslim immigrants, claiming falsely that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated publicly after the 9/11 attacks.

Responding to a December 2015 terror attack in California, he proposed a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" until security measures were updated.

One of his first moves as president was a bid to restrict immigration from several Muslim-majority nations, an effort partially upheld by the Supreme Court.

Very fine people

Trump came under fire in August 2017 for failing to unequivocally condemn a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of a counter-protester.

The president infamously took 48 hours to respond only to blame "both sides" for the violence, and to declare that there were "very fine people on both sides."

Trump's comments triggered broad outrage and accusations of race-baiting and fomenting division.

Many considered it the nadir of his presidency.

NFL protests

Trump has called for owners of American football teams to fire players who kneel during the pre-game playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.' Out. He's fired!" Trump told a 2017 rally.

Most players taking part in the protests have been African Americans.

Immigrant 'invasion'

Trump seized on reports this month that a Central American migrant caravan was bound for the US border. With days to go until the November 6 midterm elections, he began warning, without evidence, that criminals and "unknown Middle Easterners" were mixed in among the migrants.

On Monday, new dark rhetoric: "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"

The words echoed those used by Robert Bowers, the alleged synagogue shooter, shortly before Saturday's attack.

"I have noticed a change in people saying 'illegals' that now say 'invaders,'" Bowers reportedly wrote on the social media platform Gab. "I like this."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)