President Donald Trump on Monday finally addressed the violent bias attack on a Portland train left two dead and one injured.
“The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”
The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.
— President Trump (@POTUS) May 29, 2017
Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were brutally murdered and Micah Fletcher was injured after confronting a fellow train passenger who was hurling racial epithets and anti-Muslim slurs at a pair of teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
The suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, has shared social media posts promoting Nazism, political violence and Trump, according to the Associated Press.
Though the FBI said it’s too early to determine whether the attack qualifies as a federal hate crime, Christian faces intimidation charges—Oregon’s equivalent.
The incident sparked outrage and heartbreak across the country, but it drew no comment from the president until three days after the fact.
Trump’s lack of response to the killings drew criticism, particularly since he sent out a stream of tweets on Sunday upon returning from his first official international trip.
Those messages focused instead on the “fake news media,” which he called “the enemy,” and on the Montana congressional race won last week by a Republican candidate who assaulted a reporter the night before the election. Trump called Greg Gianforte’s victory a “big win” for the GOP.
His Monday tweet condemning the attacks was sent from the official @POTUS account, not the @realdonaldtrump one he typically uses.
The president’s craven silence about the bloody murders by a white supremacist of American heroes on a train in Oregon is a stain on America
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) May 29, 2017
Trump's tweets today…
4 About Fake News
1 Congratulating a man who assaulted a reporter
1 About Europe trip
0 Denouncing Portland attack
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) May 28, 2017
Anti-Muslim Portland killer on Trump's 3rd day as POTUS: "If Trump is Hitler, I'm joining his SS. Jihadi Muslims are going to the Ovens" pic.twitter.com/AS4sDCNPPK
— Omar Ghabra (@omarghabra) May 27, 2017
"I wish we would hear you say these names.”
— Brianne O'Brien (@brianneobrien) May 29, 2017