In Depth

Donald Trump’s most hostile quotes

US President has been accused of hypocrisy after lecturing the media on civility

Donald Trump has been accused of hypocrisy after lecturing the media on civility this week.

The US president had urged American to “come together in peace and harmony” after it emerged that pipe bombs were mailed to high-profile Democrats and organisations including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN.

Then, “without naming a party, he pivoted to condemning Democrats”, says NBC News

Americans should not “compare political opponents to historical villains” and “not mob people in public”, Trump told a campaign rally in Wisconsin, before going on to blame the media for the current political climate.

“The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” he said. “They've got to stop.”

His apportioning of blame to seemingly everyone except himself comes as no surprise to many.

The president has been criticised repeatedly over his own hostile language. During a rally in Montana last week ahead of the midterms, Trump praised Republican Greg Gianforte, who allegedly body slammed a reporter while running for his congressional seat in 2017.

Referring to the attack on The Guardian journalist, Trump said that “any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type!”

The US leader’s words were “the latest example where he appears to encourage or support violence”, says ABC News.

Throughout his political career, Trump has managed to offend and humiliate huge swathes of people, from grieving Muslims to people with disabilities. Here are some of his most hostile comments:

On protesters

Protesters have been a regular feature of Trump's political career, regularly disrupting his rallies - much to his anger. On the day of the Iowa caucuses, in February 2016, Trump told a crowd of his supporters in Cedar Rapids that he would pay their legal fees if they engaged in violence against protesters.

“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,” he said.

On Mexicans

Immigration has been at the centre of Trump's political discourse, with a lot of his ire directed at people arriving from south of the US.

“When Mexico sends their people [to the US], they are not sending their best. They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime, they're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said during his campaign launch.

On black and Jewish people

“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump told CNN in 2011. Two decades before that, one of his former colleagues accused him of saying: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

Responding to the allegations, the businessman said they were “probably true”, Rolling Stone reports. 

On journalists

In July 2017, Trump tweeted a doctored video from a 2007 wrestling event at which he “fought” and took down WWE owner Vince McMahon. In the version posted by Trump, McMahon's face is blocked by the logo of CNN, which has frequently criticised the president.

In response, CNN released a statement that said: "It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”

Trump’s hostility extends beyond angry tweets. Reporters who work for publications that have “gotten on Trump's bad side” find themselves ignored by him, says news site Mother Jones.

On criminals

During a speech to police officials in July 2017, Trump appeared to encourage law enforcers to be more violent in handling potential offenders.

“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just seen them thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” he told the audience.

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head you know, the way you put their hand over [their head],” Trump continued, mimicking the motion. “Like, ‘Don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head.’ I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”


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