Sunday, May 26, 2024

Trump Blasts University Palestine Backers as ‘Paid Agitators’ in Blistering Rant

HomeU.S.Trump Blasts University Palestine Backers as 'Paid Agitators' in Blistering Rant

In an unhinged rant laced with baseless conspiracy theories, former President Donald Trump has launched an incendiary attack on pro-Palestine activists demonstrating at U.S. university campuses. The twice-impeached Republican firebrand went on a wild tirade Tuesday, dismissing the student protesters as mere “paid professional agitators” bankrolled by shadowy forces.

Trump’s unsubstantiated smears played out in an explosive interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity as footage aired of riot police violently disbanding pro-Palestine protest camps. Seizing his familiar role as agent of chaos, the former president spewed venom at the demonstrators while insisting without evidence their activism was an astroturfed sham.

“When you see signs and they’re all identical, that means they’re being paid by a source,” Trump raged, his voice dripping with disdain. “These are all signs that are identical, made by the same printers.”

The ex-commander-in-chief appeared primarily fixated on the escalating mayhem at Columbia University’s Manhattan campus, which has emerged as an epicenter of the pro-Palestine uprising. On Tuesday night, the NYPD deployed hundreds of tactical officers to violently clear protest encampments, arresting scores of defiant students in fierce confrontations.

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According to Trump’s wild-eyed telling, the pro-Palestine rabble being hauled off in handcuffs were merely clueless pawns — usefully idiot “agitators” unaware of their own cause. He contrasted their purported cookie-cutter signage with the imagery of authentic grassroots activism.

“These are hand-painted signs where people would go to their basement and paint something because they really believed it,” Trump proclaimed nostalgically. “These are all signs that are identical…made by the same printers.”

It was a dizzying flight of paranoid fantasy utterly unmoored from reality. Not a shred of proof substantiated the 45th president’s dark murmurs about malevolent puppet-masters orchestrating the nationwide campus chaos from the shadows. Yet he plowed ahead with reckless abandon.

“These are paid agitators, professional agitators,” Trump spat, sneering with contempt. “Somebody at the top” is cutting checks to this suspected Fifth Column of academic operatives, he determined, branding their actions “a great disservice to [the] country.”

The baseless broadsides didn’t stop with just maligning the pro-Palestine activists. Trump pivoted to berating President Joe Biden over his response, which the ex-president deemed utterly impotent and shameful.

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“Biden has to do something. Biden is supposed to be the voice of our country, and it’s certainly not much of a voice,” Trump sneered derisively.

Such unrestrained vitriol has become grimly familiar from the former president in times of crisis. As pro-Palestine protests have raged nationwide amid the latest explosion of Israeli-Palestinian violence, the White House has struggled to chart an acceptable course.

While the pro-Palestine movement demands Biden unequivocally condemn Israel’s militant actions in Gaza, staunch pro-Israel Republicans like Trump accuse the president of emboldening Palestinian militants. It’s a pre-existing political third rail made explosively more radioactive by the campus unrest.

Whether Trump’s wild allegations about paid pro-Palestine provocateurs gain traction seems doubtful. But the visceral imagery he evoked – marauding bands of professional rabble-rousers infiltrating campuses on the payroll of shady billionaires – cleaves to the baseless conspiracy theories he has frequently stoked.

There’s no disputing the pro-Palestine movement’s tactics have turned increasingly disruptive and confrontational in recent days, as evidenced by the chaos at Columbia and viral footage of police potentially firing rubber bullets at University of Utah protesters. Over 1,000 arrests have been reported nationwide amidst the upheaval.

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But whether the fervent mobilization is an astroturfed mirage funded by shadowy anarchists, as Trump claims, or an authentic grassroots outcry is hotly disputed. With his trademark unearned bravado, the former president has made his allegiances clear – facts be damned.

As the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities rage on with no resolution in sight, the rancorous debate seems destined to intensify on both college quads and the corridors of power. Parroting Trump’s inflammatory, unsubstantiated rhetoric about the protesters’ integrity seems unlikely to douse the escalating tensions.

But for a former president still sorely embittered over his election loss and flustered by the latest frothing of his MAGA base, pouring gasoline on the fire is a well-honed tactic. In Trump’s worldview, verifiable facts matter less than peddling maximum chaos and sowing divisive culture war.

Whether lambasting pro-Palestine students as traitorous mercenaries helps calm the waters remains doubtful. More likely, Trump’s rant only further inflamed the frayed political tensions over America’s latest spasm of campus unrest.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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