A vast sea of red MAGA hats bobs and bounces in excitement. The president raises both arms with thumbs up and smiles broadly. He not only hugs the flag, but dips and kisses it. Then Donald J. Trump begins a speech that I’m afraid we will never hear:
There was no collusion. This was a complete and total witch hunt, folks. I said it then and I’m saying it now.
I am completely exonerated, vindicated ... and all that time and money turned up nothing. Nothing.
Nancy Pelosi’s got nothing.
Lyin’ Hillary’s got nothing.
Robert Mueller’s got nothing.
CNN’s has got nothing.
The Failing New York Times has got nothing.
And now I can get back to doing the fabulous, fabulous work I’ve accomplished as your president.
Believe me, things are gonna be even greater than before. Much greater, folks. Just wait till you see what I’m gonna do to health care.
But seriously ...
I have given some more thought to the killings in New Zealand and, before that, the horrible, horrible events in Charlottesville.
Everyone knows I’m a guy who tells it like it is. What you see is what you get. I’m also a tough guy. They don’t make ’em tougher than me. Threw away the mold.
So, folks, I’m getting tough today on domestic hate groups and white supremacy. There’s no place for them in America.
From that horrible tragedy in Charleston, S.C., to the stabbings on that train in Portland, to the awful synagogue attack in Pittsburgh, I stand with you in saying it has to end.
This is not about politics. This is about common decency and humanity.
Some people have said I haven’t been outspoken enough on this kind of issue — which is fake news, by the way — but I’m here to say today — so even CNN doesn’t get it wrong — that I am against racist extremism. Period.
We can disagree on policies, but killing someone in cold blood because of the color of his skin or the god he prays to is not tolerated here. We will not have it.
And all of us, Republicans and Democrats, will stand together against it.
I have been criticized for speaking out more about “Saturday Night Live” than alt-right hate groups. But my own law enforcement agencies — and you know I love our law enforcement people as much as they love me — studies these things and has shared some disturbing numbers about them.
And, folks, it truly bothers me that some people I don’t agree with keep mentioning my name or using my image: David Duke. The Florida man who mailed bombs to Democratic leaders and liberal media personalities. The Coast Guardsman arrested and alleged to have been planning a race war. “Much blood will have to be spilled to get whitey off the couch,” this guy wrote in an email. Then there’s the gunman who killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand and who cited me as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
Even white high school kids heckling an opposing team with players of color in 2017 chanted my name.
Those students in Canton, Conn., shouted “Trump, Trump, Trump” at a team from Hartford.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love it when people chant my name. But not like that. And these are our young people, folks.
This is not how we make America Great Again.
Now, some of you will bring up Barack Obama and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who said horrible, horrible things about our country. Now, I’m not one to give Obama credit for anything — not even being a U.S. citizen — but he did distance himself from Wright and made a speech about race relations.
I should have done the same with David Duke.
I’ve bragged — correctly — about how well-off blacks are under my presidency. You can look it up, folks. But doing better also means feeling safe and welcome in your own country.
I have lots of black supporters — Kanye, Ben Carson, but not Omarosa anymore, good riddance — and I want them to know that I appreciate them standing behind me. They shouldn’t have to worry that I won’t stand behind them. And as always, I’m telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
You know, it’s not a lot to ask for your president to take a few minutes to make it clear where he stands on an issue like this in person (not in a tweet). I should have done it a lot sooner.
And, by the way, folks, white supremacists are total losers.