President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, today to meet with some of the victims of the recent mass shootings and their families, as well as first responders. Before he departed the White House, Trump took questions from reporters.
Asked what he would say to critics who claim his rhetoric is "emboldening white nationalists," Trump said:
"So, my critics are . . . trying to [score] points. . . If you look at Dayton, that was a person [who] supported . . . Antifa . . . It had nothing to do with President Trump."
When asked whether he was concerned about "the rise in white supremacy," the president said:
"I am concerned about the rise of any group of hate. I don't like it. Any group of hate, whether it's white supremacy . . . whether it's Antifa . . . I am very concerned about it. And I'll do something about it."
Reporters peppered the president with questions about what he and Congress might do legislatively to address mass shootings. The president indicated that background checks and "red flag laws" were important to ensure that "mentally unstable, seriously ill people aren't carrying guns."
As for banning so-called "assault weapons," the president said, "I can tell you that there is no political appetite for that at this moment."
The president was also asked if he "regretted" referring to massive numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border as an "invasion." He ignored the reporter's question, and I'm glad he did not dignify it with a direct response. But Trump did deliver a strong, unapologetic defense of his immigration position, saying:
"I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. . . I think open borders are a very bad thing for our country. And we're stopping [it]; we're building a wall right now. . . It's being built at a rapid pace. . . We need strong immigration laws. . . So, I believe we have to have legal immigration, not illegal immigration."
As the president prepared for today's visits, progressive politicians in Dayton and El Paso were telling the president that he is unwelcome and blamed him for the murders. Such over-the-top rhetoric is not helpful and only fuels the divisions in our country.
(By the way, the Women's March is protesting the president's visit to El Paso today. That's some real chutzpah given the group's record of racism and anti-Semitism.)
Local officials should welcome the president of the United States at a time when the country is hurting. They should be doing their part to tone down the rhetoric.
But the left isn't doing that. For example, Frank Figliuzzi, an NBC News contributor and former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, essentially accused the president of being an admirer of Adolf Hitler. Here's what he said Monday night on MSNBC:
"The president said that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8th. That's 8/8. . . The numbers 88 are very significant in the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement. Why? Because the letter H is the eighth letter of the alphabet and to them, the numbers 88 together stand for 'Heil Hitler.'"
So now the left has turned the very act of lowering the flag out of respect for the victims into an act of white supremacy. This is how unhinged the left has become. And bizarre conspiracy theories are now passing for "news" on MSNBC.
When "mainstream" media and political leaders say that conservative Americans are white supremacists for wanting to secure the border or protect the sanctity of life, they are setting the stage for the violence we just saw in Dayton, where a left-wing Antifa supporter acted on his rage.
Antifa already believes it is justified in physically attacking conservatives. They don't need encouragement from hyperbolic pundits and politicians. Yet their rhetoric is justifying violence against regular Americans, like Jahangir "John" Turan.
In related news, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Alliance Defending Freedom this week. Asked how he deals with the frequent attacks, Pence quipped, "As a Christian believer, we're charged to pray for our loved ones but also pray for our enemies. And you have lots of opportunities in politics to do that."
You can read more of Vice President Pence's remarks here.
If you thought the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh last October was the last of that sorry saga, think again.
Yesterday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), a Judiciary subcommittee chairman, sent a letter to the National Archives demanding records related to Kavanaugh's service in the Bush White House.
At a minimum, Nadler's letter implies that he is trying to force Kavanaugh to recuse himself from "certain high-profile cases related to reproductive rights, the separation of powers, and the limits of executive authority." At worst, Nadler is acting on his previous threat to impeach Justice Kavanaugh.
Everyone wants to help refugees fleeing war-torn regions of the world, especially women and children, who are often the greatest victims of such violence. But one particular group of "refugees," mostly women and children currently held in a Syrian camp, is causing heartburn for the entire world.
As one report put it, they are "the wives and children of the caliphate." To this day, they remain loyal to the Islamic State. They routinely stab the camp guards, throw rocks at aid workers and fly the black flag of ISIS.
Kurdish officials running the camp estimate that there are at least 12,000 foreigners held there. And they are especially concerned about the brainwashed children, warning that they are ticking "time bombs" eager to become future jihadis.
Needless to say, the Kurds want them out. They want them returned to their home countries, which aren't particularly eager to take them back. According to some estimates, as many as 5,000 Europeans and 300 Americans left their respective countries to join the Islamic State.
What happens next is anyone's guess. But for the moment, it seems President Trump was right to keep Guantanamo Bay open. We may need it to hold some of the wives and children of the caliphate.
And I think there is a very good argument to be made for separating these children from their Islamic supremacist mothers!
Imagine how you'd feel if a group of people in your hometown started saying that your entire life was a lie, that it was based on greed and exploitation, and that the world would be better off if you didn't exist.
That's exactly what's happening right now, and not to a person, but to our country. There is a powerful movement in America that's telling the country that's historically been referred to as a shining city on a hill and the greatest representative democracy the world has ever seen that it's no good.
Read more in my latest opinion piece at The Washington Examiner.