Whenever Trump Gets Cozy With Bigots, His Campaign Cites Technical “Errors”

Is racism a bug in the Trump campaign, or a feature?

<a href=:"http://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/alengo?facets=%7B%22pageNumber%22:1,%22perPage%22:100,%22abstractType%22:%5B%22photos%22,%22illustrations%22,%22video%22,%22audio%22%5D,%22order%22:%22bestMatch%22,%22filterContent%22:%22false%22,%22portfolioID%22:%5B2087453%5D,%22additionalAudio%22:%22true%22,%22f%22:true%7D">Alengo</a>/iStockphoto

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Every political campaign has its share of computer glitches and technical malfunctions, but for the Trump campaign, these sorts of bugs have a strange tendency to happen whenever white supremacists come up for discussion. Just how often has this been the case? More than you might think.

The “database error”
After Mother Jones reported on Tuesday that the Trump campaign had selected white nationalist leader William Johnson for its slate of California delegates, the Trump campaign at first claimed the story was “totally false.” But soon, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks gave a different explanation: “A database error led to the inclusion of a potential delegate that had been rejected and removed from the candidate’s list in February 2016,” she said in a statement emailed to Mother Jones and other news organizations. Johnson then told Mother Jones that he would resign as a delegate.

The “bad ear piece”
In a Sunday morning interview in late February, Trump declined to disavow an endorsement for former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke after being asked about it repeatedly by CNN’s Jake Tapper. He later claimed he couldn’t hear what Tapper was asking. “I was sitting in a house in Florida, with a bad ear piece,” Trump told NBC’s Today show. “I could hardly hear what he was saying. I hear various groups. I don’t mind disavowing anyone. I disavowed Duke the day before at a major conference.”

A source familiar with Trump’s three television interviews that Sunday morning told Mother Jones that NBC and Fox were in charge of the camera and satellite truck—a common pool sharing arrangement—and that the same equipment was used for all three interviews. “So the notion that some particular earpiece was to blame is not accurate,” the source said.

The Photoshop glitch
Last July, Trump tweeted a photo of himself looking stoic against a backdrop of an American flag and marching soldiers.

The tweet seemed unremarkable, until close observers noted that the soldiers used in the image were in fact dressed as Worl War II-era Waffen-SS infantry. The Trump campaign deleted the tweet and told The Hill that an intern was at fault.

Various other social-media glitches apparently have involved the processor between Trump’s ears: He has retweeted white supremacist Twitter accounts such as @WhiteGenocideTM and @EustaceFash, which campaign spokesperson Hicks has explained by noting that Trump pays no attention to who’s doing the tweeting, but only to the content.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate