The same #NeverTrump activists who condemn the president for his rhetoric have proven themselves downright vile when it comes to attacking Trump. Rick Wilson, once a stalwart conservative and supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2016, tweeted what appears to be a wish that Melania Trump, the first lady, become infected with the coronavirus.
As CNN reported that Melania would appear in public health announcements on the coronavirus, Wilson tweeted the hashtag “Be Infected.”
Naturally, the tweet inspired justified outrage.
“Dude. You are scum,” Townhall’s Katie Pavlich tweeted.
Dude. You are scum. https://t.co/3n1hBjfI02
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 19, 2020
“Amazing how people who hate Trump because he’s vulgar and uncivil are always the ones coming up with comments like this,” National Review‘s Alexandra DeSanctis tweeted.
Amazing how people who hate Trump because he’s vulgar and uncivil are always the ones coming up with comments like this
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) March 19, 2020
“This is not very principled,” Human Events Managing Editor Ian Miles Cheong chimed in.
This is not very principled.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 19, 2020
“You’re a really a disgusting person Rick. I know a lot of people have said it but it’s true. You should really start going by the name Dick, it suits you more than the name Rick does… You’ll never let go of your bitterness that Trump won. It’s truly pitiful,” Robby Starbuck added.
You’re a really a disgusting person Rick. I know a lot of people have said it but it’s true. You should really start going by the name Dick, it suits you more than the name Rick does… You’ll never let go of your bitterness that Trump won. It’s truly pitiful.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) March 19, 2020
Rick Wilson tried to backtrack, but he did not apologize or delete the tweet.
“ANYONE who thought I was wishing COVID on Meliana is f**kwit,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “You know full well it was a riff on ‘BeBest’ and it’s [sic] utter failure in the face of her husband’s continued role as Global Troll in Chief and National Bully. That said, fap to your fake-a** outrage all you like.”
Wilson then went on to retweet podcaster Evan Shapiro who accused Trump of “using twitter to incite violence against Chinese Americans, weeks after he called the pandemic a hoax.” The “inciting violence” is an oblique reference to Trump’s decision to call the coronavirus a “Chinese virus” in order to counter Chinese Communist Party propaganda insisting the coronavirus came from the U.S. The claim that Trump called the coronavirus a hoax has been rated false by conservative and liberal media outlets alike.
Rick Wilson went on to mock Trump supporters with a profane tweet contrasting the conservative rhetoric against trigger warnings with the supposedly “triggered” people who condemned his attack on Melania.
This is far from the first time Wilson has mocked Melania on Twitter. Twitchy compiled a comprehensive round-up of his nasty attacks on the first lady. Most recently, Wilson mocked Melania by suggesting she was jealous of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, who reportedly gave actor Idris Elba the coronavirus.
Melania: “Vy am I not givings Idris the COVIDs?” https://t.co/DLzSG0bmI0
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 18, 2020
Rick Wilson’s tweet was ugly and he should apologize. Yet instead of recanting, he decided to double down on the ugliness. That won’t exactly help him or his cause.
Let’s give Melania the last word.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 19, 2020
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.