On Tuesday, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump thanked members of the LGBT community over Twitter and vowed, "I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs." The tweet came after a morning of intense criticism from Barack Obama regarding Trump's "dangerous" mindset towards Muslims and his statements following Sunday's massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Trump's Twitter missive doubled down on the comments he made in his speech in New Hampshire on Monday claiming that he is a "real friend" to the LGBT community — presenting himself as a true ally, especially when compared to Hillary Clinton:
Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country who suppress women, gays and anyone who doesn't share their views. She can't have it both ways. She can't claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress these same communities.
At least, Trump's speech parts way from the the typical "thoughts and prayers" line used by many politicians that frustratingly fails to acknowledge the communities affected most by mass shootings.
But that gives me little comfort. Relying on anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim rhetoric is no less dangerous because it involves ostensibly reaching out to the LGBT community. Moreover, this approach appears to have done little to coax LGBT voters familiar with Trump's history into his corner.
As POLITICO's Bianca Padró Ocasio wrote, notable LGBT groups like the Human Rights Campaign remain fervently in the #NeverTrump camp. Jay Brown, a spokesperson for Human Rights Campaign, told POLITICO that Trump is "no friend of the LGBTQ community," adding that Trump "has vowed to roll back marriage equality, pass Kim Davis-style discrimination and allow governors from coast to coast to pass laws like North Carolina's HB2."
Ultimately, I believe Trump's strategy — which seems to me like an attempt to pit two marginalized groups against each other — will certainly draw ire from across the political spectrum, particularly among those grieving during this difficult time.