Let’s play a game of “Who Said It?”
“All I know is what’s on the internet.”
A. A moronic idiot with an IQ of 50
B: Donald Trump
When speaking on subjects he knows nothing about, Donald Trump can sometimes be inadvertently funny. Such was the case yesterday when following an incident at a rally in Vandalia, Ohio, where a man rushed the stage and Secret Service agents responded by surrounding the candidate, Trump told an audience in St. Louis that the man was connected to Islamic State.
“It was probably ISIS or ISIS-related. Do you believe it?” Trump asked the crowd. He said that an online search had revealed “the guy is playing all sorts of, let’s say music that you wouldn’t be liking, dragging an American flag along the sidewalk, making all sorts of gestures, having all sorts of things on the Internet. And he’s probably or possibly ISIS-related.”
Trump appeared to be referring to a video, which was posted on his official Twitter account, that shows student protesters stepping on American flags, declaring, “Black Live Matters” and talking to reporters while religious music plays. It appears to be an edited version of a video posted on YouTube in April 2015 captioned, “Students at Wright State University #NotMyFlag protest. The protest occurred to stand in solidarity with the symbolic actions of Eric Sheppard.” The original does not include the religious soundtrack.
Hassan Hassan, the co-author of the book “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror,” says the video is “definitely not an ISIS video” based on its content.
“This is utterly farcical; the video is incontrovertibly fake and Trump’s accusations about it being linked to ISIS serve only to underline the totality of his ignorance on this issue,” said Charles Lister, a fellow at the Middle East Institute.
Lister noted the video contains a long list of elements that a jihadi video would never include, among them countless uncovered women, men in shorts and tank tops, and a man holding arms with a woman.
As it turns out, an ISIS flag that appears in the video was added and a picture of DiMassimo holding a gun was photoshopped.
The video shows Dimassimo and several people dragging the American flag as part of a protest at Wright State. Added to the clips of the protest is a graphic of the ISIS flag and Dimassimo photoshopped holding a gun, giving the impression he’s a supporter of the Islamic State. The video appears to be a hoax.
ABC News explains the provenance of the video:
The footage in the video Trump tweeted appeared to be from a video Dimassimo had uploaded — without the ISIS flag and playing different music — to his YouTube page in April 2015. He wrote the video was taken from a protest at Wright State University supporting Eric Sheppard, a college student arrested last year for walking on the American flag.
“I thought it would ruffle some feathers, but I did not anticipate how tense the backlash would become,” Dimassimo told The Dayton Daily News last year. “If anything, all that has shown is that people in this area and people on the Internet care more about a symbolic piece of cloth, than they do a black person’s life … or, even beyond that, our Constitutional rights.”
When asked about the video Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump defended the posting, though he was unable to definitively say what tied Dimassimo besides the video.
“All I know is what’s on the internet,” said Trump.
Is it important that Trump is a loose cannon, repeating nonsense he hears from his staff without fact checking or any kind of review? It is when you consider that a president’s words must be precise and true. He must mean exactly what he says — no equivocations or evasions. Every word he says is dissected and analyzed in foreign capitals.
Trump is a factually challenged candidate with little or no knowledge of almost every major foreign and domestic policy issue that the next president must confront. Now he’s giving in to fantasies. Not a good combination in a president.