It’s hard to believe that anyone discussing Donald Trump’s railing about the number of immigrants coming in from “shithole countries” could say anything other than “These comments are unacceptable and racist.” But believe it or not, some Republicans are saying that those who heard him shouldn’t have gone public about it.
On Friday, the gang from Fox News’ “Outnumbered” discussed the comments. One of the panel members was Republican activist Rachel Campos-Duffy. You may know her from her gig on MTV’s “The Real World: San Francisco” and as the wife of Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy.
Campos-Duffy pulled off an interesting dodge–as bad as the comments were, those on hand for the meeting in the Oval Office should have kept quiet about it. No, this isn’t snark. Watch here.
Campos-Duffy said that she was glad Congresswoman Mia Love condemned Trump’s comments in no uncertain terms.
Here is my statement on the President’s comments today: pic.twitter.com/EdtsFjc2zL
— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) January 11, 2018
Campos-Duffy said that she would have said more or less the same thing, since “the best immigrants come from those kind of countries.”
However, Campos-Duffy’s main issue with the matter was “people in a private meeting going out and saying what the president said.” She believed that when people disclose what a president says in such a setting, “it makes our country look bad.” She believed that the Democrats who were upbraiding Trump for those comments “should have used some discretion” about doing so, and “maybe for the sake of the country, not repeat it.”
As evidence, Campos-Duffy claimed that John Feeley, the American ambassador to Panama, recently resigned over the comments. In truth, according to Feeley’s resignation letter, he had decided to quit long before news of those comments broke.
But even without that to consider, has it occurred to Campos-Duffy that when the president of the United States says such horribly racist comments, it would do more harm to the country’s image to sit on them rather than go public about them? You would think that the people have a right to know about what guides the president’s thinking.
Later on the same show, co-host Harris Faulkner seemed to agree with Campos-Duffy’s sentiment, based on a conversation she had with Senator Bill Cassidy. Watch here.
Faulkner asked Cassidy if “there’s an etiquette, there’s an honor” about what is discussed at a private meeting, no matter how “incendiary” it may get The Louisiana Republican agreed, saying that while it was fine to disagree with what someone says in such a meeting, going to the press about it “is going to undermine trust–not just for this issue, but for further issues.” As Cassidy sees it, it’s “a rule of human contact.”
So let’s see if we’ve got this right, Bill. If you and the president are meeting privately, you’re obligated to keep a lid on what is said, no matter how outrageous it is? Even if he makes comments that are horribly racist and bigoted? Is that what you’re telling us? Apparently you, like Campos-Duffy, forget that there comes a point where the public’s right to know takes precedence.
Seen in that light, those who leaked those comments should get medals, not a lecture. After all, we now know not just beyond reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt, that the White House is currently being occupied by a stone-cold racist.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)