Who Is Jack Posobiec? Trump Retweeted The Alt-Right Activist After Condemning Hate Groups
The president's streak of social media rants remained uninterrupted Tuesday morning. Hours after his second Charlottesville statement denouncing white supremacists, Donald Trump retweeted alt-right activist Jack Posobiec, causing some to question the sincerity of his condemnation. Trump's age-old distraction technique doesn't seem like it's working this time, but it fits with a concerning pattern of behavior by the president that many Americans have expressed worry over.
"Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?" conservative activist Posobiec said in a tweet Monday, along with a link to an article detailing the violence in the Illinois city. Trump retweeted the post Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after he spoke out against hate groups.
Thousands of people quickly responded to the tweet and criticized Trump. "Really...? After your faux condemnation of white supremacists, you pull a racist move like retweeting this?" asked one Twitter user. "We understand 'Chicago' is coded language to stereotype black people. It didn't take long for your true colors to show again."
"Ironically(?), he doesn't seem to care about this foiled
#Terrorist plot," commented another user, in reference to the foiled attempt by a 23-year-old white man to bomb a building in Oklahoma City over the weekend.
Posobiec, a young Pennsylvania native, has been an ardent and active Trump supporter, particularly on social media. He's produced content for Citizens for Trump, as well as an eponymous book benefitting the organization. Earlier this month, he was named one of the top 10 conservatives in the city by Philadelphia Magazine, which described Posobiec as "a one-man cyber-wrecking crew."
Posobiec is also credited with promoting alt-right conspiracy theories on Twitter, such as "Pizzagate," the belief that a popular Washington D.C. pizza joint was the hub of a child sex ring for Democratic politicians, and the alleged cover-up of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich's murder (both theories have been thoroughly debunked in the meantime).
Trump's promotion of any other news story than the events in Charlottesville over the weekend isn't surprising — he frequently tries to use social media to pivot national conversations. However, people don't seem interested in changing subjects quite yet. Related protests in Durham, North Carolina, the cancelled white nationalist rally at Texas A&M University, and Seth Meyer's no-nonsense admonition of the president were still some of the biggest trending topics on Twitter Tuesday morning.
Yet Trump's attempts to steer the conversation away from Charlottesville are still concerning, if not effective. He's indicating that what the American people want to talk about isn't important to him, which isn't a good sign for a successful presidency or a strong democracy.