Trump's CNN Tweet is Sign of His Authoritarian Desires

Trump's CNN Tweet is Sign of His Authoritarian Desires

July 03, 2017

Press Contact: 

Elliot Levy

Press Contact


[email protected]

Release Date: Monday, July 3, 2017


New York – Following President Trump’s posting of a tweet depicting violence against the press, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, released the following statement:

“President Trump’s profoundly irresponsible and dangerous tweet about CNN is a perfect encapsulation of all the destructive qualities of his presidency and his authoritarian brand of politics, one that is painfully familiar to the Jewish people. The delegitimization of a free and independent press is one of the strongest and clearest signs of a leader's desire to assume authoritarian rule. By threatening and belittling the media, one of the only remaining bulwarks against an American dictatorship, Trump is seeking to silence anyone who would dare tell the truth about his reckless, hateful agenda.

This tweet is also yet another example of Trump’s long history of encouraging violence against those who challenge his views. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, violence against protesters was a hallmark of Trump rallies. The then-candidate himself only escalated this climate of violence by openly encouraging it, offering to pay the legal fees of assailants and pining for the “good old days” when protesters could be beaten with impunity. Today, Trump is sickeningly using the presidency as a platform to incite and encourage further political violence.  

Finally, and perhaps most frighteningly, this video is evidence of the President’s determination to normalize and elevate a white nationalist subculture that seeks to inject a toxic brand of xenophobic hatred, violence and fear into our political discourse. The video originated in the online fever swamps of the alt-right and was created by a Reddit user with a penchant for blatantly antisemiticracist and violent imagery. The President’s use of this tweet is a further signal that he supports this white nationalist and antisemitic ideology.

As we said during the President’s incitement of violence, attacks on the press and use of white nationalist and antisemitic images and tropes throughout the campaign, we’ve seen this before. None of this behavior should be surprising. Nevertheless, it remains important for us to name it, every day, as shameful and beyond unacceptable from the man occupying our nation’s highest office.”


Campaign: We've Seen This Before