On Sunday afternoon, Brian Stetler appeared on CNN to discuss the Twitter war Trump is having with the father of a UCLA basketball player who was detained in China on shoplifting suspicions. Stetler is a media critic and host of Reliable Sources. He said that Trump’s decision to argue with LaVar Ball, the father of a basketball player, on Twitter speaks about a decidedly unpresidential quality.
Think about this. He’s just recently letting the NFL kneeling controversy subside and start to fade away. Now, here he is calling out the players and the families again. I think it’s immature at best … but it is race-baiting at worst. That will be debated and argued about. I want to put it on the table. It sure looks like race baiting to a lot of people. And the reason that these tweets are important is that they are a serious look into his psyche, into what the president cares about. I know some viewers at home may think that, ‘Oh he’s trying to distract us from the Roy Moore scandal. He’s trying to distract from his own scandals, his own history’… but if that’s true, he’s also distracting from the closing arguments involving tax cuts. He’s taking away attention from the GOP effort at tax reform.
This puts into perspective the pettiness that Trump finds important. He ignores his crumbling nation because he feels as though some athletes didn’t praise his name enough.
It also shows how polarizing Trump’s public thoughts are. His comments regarding the NFL players who are protesting divided a lot of people as they struggled to define patriotism – and pitted his supporters against the Black Lives Matter movement. He’s now doing the same with college basketball players because he needs those same supporters to put his “adversaries” down to feel better about himself.
In the video, you can see Stetler discuss Trump’s warped thought processes AND a clip of the athletes thanking him – just not thanking him as much as Trump thought they should.