Last week, we talked about 75-year-old Martin Gugino, an elderly peace protester who was violently shoved by cops in Buffalo, New York. Gugino lost his balance after being shoved and he landed hard on the sidewalk. In the video – which went viral – he could be seen lying on the pavement on his back, with blood pooling under his head, all while Buffalo police walked over him. It was an incident Buffalo police tried to lie about – they said he just lost his balance in a scuffle or something, then the video went viral and they spent a day arguing about it before anyone came close to admitting what happened. A few days after the incident, two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault. As of this moment, Mr. Gugino is still in the hospital. But that didn’t stop Donald Trump from tweeting this yesterday:
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
It’s disgusting. It’s a disgusting conspiracy theory spread by a malignant narcissist who can’t even admit that the cops behaved abhorrently. To smear the victim of police brutality, a 75-year-old man who is still in the hospital… well, I expect it from Trump, but even then, this is shocking. New York papers have already looked into Gugino’s background too – he’s a long-time peace activist and his biggest causes are anti-nukes, affordable housing and human rights.
Various Republican officials are playing that game where they pretend like the president of the United States doesn’t mean what he says and everybody else has the problem. Unnamed aides are described as “exasperated” with Trump’s “beyond stupid” tweets and a reporter for the Hill printed out a copy of Trump’s tweet to show Republican senators and get them on the record:
The tweet sparked immediate backlash from GOP senators and caused broader headaches as lawmaker after lawmaker was approached by reporters with a copy of the tweet.
“It’s a serious accusation which should only be made with facts and evidence, and I haven’t seen any yet,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican. Asked if the president should stop making the accusation, he added: “Well, I think that’s a given.”
Asked about the tweet, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters that she thought “it would best if the president did not comment on issues that are before the courts.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told reporters that he thought it was “shocking.”
“I won’t dignify it with any further comment,” he added.
Asked about the tweet, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) responded: “Oh lord. It just makes no sense that we’re fanning the flames right at this time, this is not good,” she added.
Several GOP senators declined to comment on the tweet.
“I didn’t see it, you’re telling me about it, I don’t read Twitter, I only write on it,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told CNN. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) told reporters that he had “no real response. I don’t think it should be surprising in general because he tweets a lot so I don’t know how significant this one tweet is gonna be,” he added.
Marco Rubio is such a dipsh-t, my God. And Sen. Braun’s argument is basically “so what if Trump tweet-smears a 75-year-old man, he’ll probably tweet something worse tomorrow.” Anyway, just a reminder that Donald Trump is absolutely the worst.
Pres. Trump pushed a conspiracy theory Tuesday — without evidence — that an elderly protester shoved to the ground by two police officers may have faked the fall that left him bleeding from the head.
@POTUS' remarks are being met with outrage.@weijia has more pic.twitter.com/X2R3kJzxki
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 9, 2020
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.