In a sickening abortion of leadership, impeached US President Donald Trump today issued a reprehensible attack on a US citizen who was assaulted by police during a peaceful protest.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
Here’s the full text of the impeached president‘s tweet:
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment.
@OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
Let’s start with the immutable facts. Multiple videos taken of the incident clearly show Gugino standing peacefully in front of police. He engages two officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, who clearly push him while he’s trying to back away. Gugino impacts on the ground and blood can be seen pooling under his head. Neither the offending nor observing officers render immediate aid to the injured protester.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 5, 2020
One America News Network (OANN), a white supremacist propaganda outlet masquerading as a news source, put together a misinformation video based on reporting from Kristian Rouz, a Russian national who also works for the Kremlin-sponsored propaganda outlet Sputnik.
The OANN propaganda video claims that Gugino, a long-time activist, was planted at the protests to instigate a “false flag” mission against the police. According to OANN, the septuagenarian instigated contact with the police so that so-called “ANTIFA” activists would become outraged. OANN cites absolutely no sources for its “reporting,” instead apparently taking its cues from white supremacist message boards.
Here’s the rest of it, which says that media are “fan[ning] the flames of national unrest” by promoting this “far-left provocation” to hurt Trump and help China. pic.twitter.com/enMRQEf8Ko
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 9, 2020
Furthermore, both the OANN propaganda video and the impeached president insist that Gugino was somehow using a “scanner” device to “black out” police communications.
Simply put: this is asinine, incredulous, and among the stupidest things Donald Trump has ever said. There’s no smartphone app that can jam police communications, full stop. This, as Gizmodo editor and reporter Matt Novak so elegantly pointed out today, is “complete nonsense.”
The impeached president is apparently confused as to what scanner apps do – they let you tune into publicly available police dispatch feeds so you can listen in. There have been reports of protesters pumping music and other noises over police radio channels in order to disrupt law enforcement activity, but those are not the result of anyone using a smartphone app. In those instances, actual police radios were stolen. Again: only a person who is very ignorant would think you can disrupt encrypted police communications by standing around peacefully holding out a cell phone.
Instead of leading the nation through crisis and hardship, the impeached president is pushing a racist, white supremacist agenda and urging police to assault peaceful US citizens. His attacks on Gugino are unique in modern history and the antithesis of leadership. They are an affront to the US Constitution and the office of the President.
Gugino reportedly remains in stable but serious condition after the attack.