As a general rule, I don’t repeat Trump tweets. I’m breaking that rule on this one because it feels historic … in a “look at how far he has wandered from reality” sense.
The horrific video of the assault on Gugino does show the long time peace activist walking toward the line of police with something in his hands. That something is very clearly a cell phone. It’s very, very clearly not a “scanner” that can “scan police communication in order to black out the equipment,” because there is no such thing.
For that matter, there’s no such thing as antifa, at least not in the sense of an organized group that sends people around to generate incidents at protests. Gugino is a Buffalo resident, and a fixture at protests against injustice and war for decades. Friends noted that he is “a gentle person” who is also “a bit frail.”
On top of all this, Trump accuses Gugino of faking his fall. The way in which the man is sent staggering backwards by a sharp shove from police officer is immediately disturbing, but the sound when Gugino’s head strikes the pavement is outright sickening. Does Donald Trump think that Gugino had some fake blood stored inside his ear? Does he believe that the doctors who are still keeping Gugino hospitalized for a skull injury are also part of antifa? Is it antifa all the way down?
Trump’s tweet is a second assault on a gentle man who was violently attacked while peacefully protesting. But it seems somehow perfect that the “reporter” behind the conspiracy theory Trump was repeating is Kristian Rouz, formerly of Russian propaganda network, Sputnik.
Disgusting is wholly inadequate to this moment.