Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele rebuked President Donald Trump for his silence on the arrest of a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling weapons and a hit list naming Democrats and prominent journalists.
However, he said it’s nothing new.
“Why would we be surprised that a self-proclaimed nationalist would not speak out against a self-proclaimed white nationalist?” he asked during an MSNBC appearance Friday. “Why are we acting like this is a space that Donald Trump is going to go in on behalf of the American ideal? No, he’s not.”
Last week, authorities arrested Christopher Hasson, a Maryland man who, according to a court filing obtained by The New York Times, “intends to murder civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” That included “Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities,” the filing read.
Trump has still not made a statement on Hasson, though White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed on Friday that “the president is typically one of the first people to condemn the violence, and the media is the first people to blame the president.”
Steele suggested he was quiet because Hasson may have identified with his base.
“These are his people,” he said. “And he’s not going to thank law enforcement because he’s probably not happy about what law enforcement did.”