According to the twisted logic of Donald J. Trump (the “J” stands for “jerks off to pee porn”), anyone who chooses to kneel during a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is disrespecting the flag, hates soldiers, and was born to and raised by a bitch. While it is understandable that some are protective of the symbolism of America, it is curious that Trump is so adamant about showing respect to the flag when he has a long history of defaming and debasing everything around him.
Instead of extrapolating meaning and injecting opinion, we decided to use Trump’s own words without comment. Here is a countdown of 10 things the General Tso’s-chicken-colored commander in chief has condemned less harshly than the players who knelt in protest:
10. Mocking the Handicapped
On reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, or AMC:
Trump mocks handicapped reporter:
“You gotta see this guy,” Trump twists arms and mouth, simulating Kovaleski’s handicap, and flails his arms wildly and says in an agitated voice: “Ahh, I don’t know what I said! Ahh, I don’t remember!”
—Nov. 24, 2015
Trump would later excuse his comments by saying he didn’t remember ever meeting Kovaleski, and that “Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago.”
The list is too long to include everything, but when former Miss Universe Alicia Machado accused Trump in a Hillary Clinton campaign video of calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” Trump explained on Fox & Friends why it was OK.
On referring to Machado as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping”:
She was the worst we ever had, the worst; she was impossible. ... She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.
—Sept. 27, 2016
8. Violating the Privacy of Teenage Girls
Former Miss Teen USA contestants (some as young as 15) alleged that Trump often walked backstage when they were in various stages of undress and said, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
On watching beauty contestants undress:
Well, I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. You know, I’m inspecting, I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. “Is everyone OK?” You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. “Is everybody OK?” And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.
—April 11, 2005, The Howard Stern show
7. Police Brutality
Trump addressed a group of police officers in Long Island, N.Y., and explained to them why he’s cool with cops roughing up “thugs”:
On abusive cops:
When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, “Please don’t be too nice.” Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? 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?”
—Aug. 24, 2017
6. Violence Against Protesters
Trump has told crowds at his rallies to attack anyone who dared protest.
On attacking rally protesters:
So 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. They won’t be so much because the courts agree with us, too.
—Jan. 31, 2016
5. Restricting the First Amendment
Trump has restricted press access to the White House, tweeted images of physical attacks on the media and repeatedly attacked news outlets as fake news in his efforts to undermine freedom of the press.
4. Racial Profiling
Trump has called Mexicans “rapists,” instituted policies against Muslims and pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio after a federal court found that he violated the constitutional rights of Latinos.
On Mexican immigrants:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.
—June 16, 2015
On Joe Arpaio:
By the way, I’m just curious—do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe? So, was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job? The people of Arizona know the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration. He should have had a jury, but you know what? I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”
—Aug. 22, 2017
3. Sexual Assault
When audio emerged of Trump telling Billy Bush to grab women “by the pussy,” he didn’t deny it; he just explained it away like this:
On pussy grabbing:
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. ... This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course—not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.
—OCt. 8, 2016
2. White Supremacy
The list is too long to dissect, but his infamous quote after a white supremacist terrorist killed a woman at Charlottesville, Va.’s Unite the Right rally is all you need to know.
On Charlottesville protesters:
But they were there to protest—excuse me—you take a look the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. ... I do think there is blame—yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. ... Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group—excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
—Aug. 15, 2017
1. Murder, Torture, Election Stealing, Authoritarian Rule
Trump’s BFF Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for murdering journalists, torturing citizens, aiding terrorists and committing espionage. The CIA and other U.S. agencies have confirmed reports that he hacked election systems and the Democratic National Committee’s emails. When asked about him, Trump said:
On Putin killing journalists:
If he has killed reporters I think that’s terrible. But this isn’t like somebody that’s stood with a gun and he’s taken the blame or he’s admitted that he’s killed. He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody, so you know you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. He has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.
—Feb. 4, 2017
On Russia hacking the DNC and the U.S. election:
I think it was Russia. And I think it could have been other people and other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered. I’ve said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could very well have been other countries, and I won’t be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere.
—July 7, 2016
And just to remind you, here is what he said about the NFL protests:
On taking a knee in the NFL:
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”
—Sept. 22, 2017