Always seeking a new low, Donald Trump compared the police shooting of Jacob Blake to a missed golf putt in his interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. Kenosha, Wisconsin, police shot Blake seven times in the back at close range as he tried to get into his car. To Trump, this shows that police “can do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do, and one bad apple―or a choker,” he said. “Y’know a choker. They choke.” And Donald Trump has one context for choking.
”Shooting the guy, shooting the guy in the back many times, I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? You know, I mean, in the meantime, he might’ve been going for a weapon and, you know, there’s a whole big thing there. But they choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt.”
Yes, shooting a man repeatedly and missing an easy putt are, in Trump’s mind, similar levels of error.
Ingraham tried to bail Trump out of the giant mistake she saw him making. “You’re not comparing it to golf. Of course, that’s what the media will say.” (The media will say it because that’s what was happening.)
Trump would not be deterred, though. “I’m saying people choke.”
“They panic,” Ingraham tried to redirect him.
“People choke. And people are bad people. You have both. You have bad people and you have—they choke! You could be a police officer for 15 years and all of a sudden you’re confronted. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make a decision and you’re wrong, you’re dead. People choke under those circumstances and they make a bad decision.”
What’s particularly sick here is that it’s kind of a surprise Trump would acknowledge this shooting as a problem at all. He’s downplaying it in a truly disgusting way, but he’s not vilifying Blake for the crime of being shot because he’s Black. He can acknowledge the possibility that maybe the police should have tried something other than shooting a man repeatedly in the back. In the same way he regrets when someone misses a putt they should have made. It’s one more in a string of interviews showing how totally out of it Trump is, and it’s terrifying how much power he wields.
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