Fire Marshals, A Gold Star Family, And Fox News: When Trump Takes Sides

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks to members of the media regarding the on going situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks to members of the media regarding the on going situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Ma... President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks to members of the media regarding the on going situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) MORE LESS

During his campaign and presidential term, President Donald Trump has not often refrained from taking sides. On Saturday he nevertheless declined to condemn white nationalism after violence broke out at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a car rammed into a group of protesters, killing one woman and injuring dozens of people.

In his remarks, Trump instead called the clashes an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert on Sunday defended Trump’s comments as a refusal to “dignify the names of these groups of people.”

Over the course of a tumultuous two years on the trail and in the West Wing, however, Trump has made his feelings clear on a number of matters. Here are just some of the issues (and people) the President has seen fit to condemn.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

In July 2015, Trump claimed McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, was “not a war hero.”

“He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

In the same month, Trump called Graham a “lightweight” and an “idiot” (Graham had called him a “jackass” for his comments about McCain) and read aloud what he said was Graham’s phone number at a rally.

Fox News

After Fox News canceled a scheduled appearance by Trump on “The O’Reilly Factor” in September 2015, Trump complained he had been treated “very unfairly” and would not appear on the network again “for the foreseeable future.” He appeared on the network a week later.

Trump also feuded with, and publicly condemned, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly for her questions during a Republican primary debate pressing him on his past remarks denigrating women. He called her a “bimbo,” “biased,” “crazy,” and a “lightweight reporter.”


In November 2015, Trump suggested his supporters boycott Starbucks after the coffee chain announced it would remove “symbols of the season” from its red winter Christmas-themed cups.

Muslim immigration

Trump’s call in December 2015 for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” became one of his hallmark policies during the campaign, and one of the few he continued to push after he won the presidency despite widespread backlash.


NBC News reporter Katy Tur in August 2016 said the Secret Service walked her to her car after Trump launched a personal attack at a rally the previous December: “What a lie. Katy Tur. What a lie it was,” Trump said, according to Tur. “Third. Rate. Reporter. Remember that.”

Trump’s fractious relationship with the press continued after he won office, and he regularly condemns “fake news” and singles out outlets by name on Twitter.

Pope Francis

Trump in February 2016 said it was “disgraceful” for Pope Francis to question his faith.

Francis had remarked, “A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Judge Gonzalo Curiel

In May and June 2016, Trump went on a tear against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who he accused of bias due to his “Mexican” heritage and called a “hater” who Trump accused of being “hostile” to him because of his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. Curiel presided over the fraud trial over Trump University (Trump settled).

Sexual harassment allegations

Trump took a strong stance not only against sexual misconduct allegations against himself, but also condemned those against Roger Ailes, who later resigned as CEO of Fox News amid an internal investigation into the accusations against him.

Three fire marshals

In July and August 2016, Trump picked fights with three different fire marshals across Colorado and Ohio, though one had rescued him and his entourage from a stuck elevator moments earlier.

A Gold Star family

Trump railed against the family of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American solider who was killed fighting in Iraq, for months after Khan’s father spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

Women’s looks

In September 2015, Trump mocked the appearance of Republican primary opponent Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face,” he reportedly said. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

In March 2016, he retweeted an image disparaging the physical appearance of Heidi Cruz, whose husband is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), then another Republican opponent.

Trump’s remarks disparaging women’s looks came to the forefront when Hillary Clinton cited his comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado during a presidential debate in September 2016.

“He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’ then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was Latina,” Clinton said.

Trump’s ensuing tear against Machado lasted into the small hours of the morning. A month later, he appeared to insult Clinton’s appearance as well, saying he “wasn’t impressed” when she walked in front of him at another debate.

Republican lawmakers

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