Late Night’s Seth Meyers: Trump's Anti-Muslim Smears Are “Bigotry, Plain And Simple”

Meyers: “Trump’s Vague Innuendo Is No Accident. This Is A Strategy He Uses To Try To Appeal To The Outer-Fringes While Also Avoiding Accountability”

From the June 14 edition of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers:

SETH MEYERS: Yesterday in the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Donald Trump gave a speech on terrorism in which he continued his Cal Ripken-esque streak of making inflammatory statements without any evidence whatsoever. For more on this, it’s time for a closer look. Man, I’ve got to say, when it comes to bigotry, Trump keeps upping his game.


MEYERS: Even for Trump, Monday was a new low. For one thing, Trump banned a major newspaper from reporting on his campaign. And it’s not even the first time he’s done that.


MEYERS: Trump complained that The Washington Post has reported inaccurately on comments he made in which he seemed to suggest that President Obama sympathized with terrorists, comments Trump made in an interview Monday morning.


DONALD TRUMP: He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other … We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it.


MEYERS: Sure, Trump didn’t explicitly say it, he implied it with all the subtlety of an eighth-grader’s cologne.


MEYERS: In fact, later in a radio interview, Trump was given a chance to clear all this up by stating unequivocally that he was not trying to imply that President Obama somehow sympathizes with terrorists. But instead, Trump said, quote, “I’ll let people figure that out for themselves.”


MEYERS: But Trump’s vague innuendo is no accident. This is a strategy he uses to try to appeal to the outer-fringes while also avoiding accountability.


MEYERS: As for The Washington Post, we here at Late Night believe in freedom of the press and therefore have decided to stand in solidarity with them. So as long as The Washington Post is banned from Donald Trump’s campaign, Donald Trump will be banned from ever coming on this show.


MEYERS: Trump’s comments on Monday were especially jarring when you consider that just last week, the Republican officials supporting him had expressed hope that he would soften his incendiary rhetoric and stick to the GOP message. So how is Trump doing?


MEYERS: To be clear, this is bigotry, plain and simple, to claim that any group of people, immigrants or anyone else, has anything in common with a terrorist-murderer based simply on their ethnic background or their religion or where they’re from is dangerous and wrong. And that wasn’t the only heinous and patently false statement Trump made on Monday. He also claimed without a said shred of evidence that there are Muslims in this country who are knowingly protecting terrorists.


MEYERS: Trump’s claim is a bigoted lie. First, Muslim communities across the country have countless times worked with law enforcement to help identify terrorist suspects. One state found that Muslim community members provided critical information in two out of every five disrupted plots between 2001 and 2011. Second, this hateful, dangerous rhetoric has the potential to make Muslims Americans feel threatened and unwelcome. Trump also cynically attempted on Monday to cast himself as the champion LGBT rights, telling Fox News, quote, “I’m far better for the gay community than Hillary Clinton is.” That’s right, Trump is great for the gay community, as long as you ignore all the times Trump has repeatedly expressed his opposition to marriage equality and promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn it.


MEYERS: Trump is stoking fear and spreading hate. And this is important. We can’t become immune to it. We cannot allow it to become normalized, which is why we need a robust, independent press, like the newspapers Trump banned from his campaign, to challenge the fearmongering and provide us with sober, clear-eyed reporting


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