Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
President Donald Trump defended himself from charges that he was blithely golfing as the U.S. neared the horrific six-figure coronavirus death milestone, after the campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden released an ad saying exactly that.
Trump, who frequently criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for golfing, has spent more than $130 million from the public coffers on golfing trips. On Sunday, he responded to the ad, comparing himself (favorably, of course) to Obama:
On Monday, Memorial Day, he responded again, this time blaming the “truly deranged” media for supposedly elevating the story. “[Obama] also played moments after the brutal killing by ISIS of a wonderful young man,” Trump said. “Totally inappropriate – and it was me who shattered 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. I was left a MESS!”
Aside from defending his hobbies, Trump’s weekend of tweeting included pushing states to reopen faster and retweeting several posts by a former congressional candidate with a history of making racist and sexist remarks about black women.
Over the weekend, Trump shared several posts from John K. Stahl, a self-described “conservative, naval aviator, and retired high tech executive” with over 107,000 followers on Twitter. The tweets Trump retweeted targeted, among others, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump also retweeted a post from Stahl that claimed, without evidence, that he “confirmed that voter rolls are 33% full of dead people/moved people.”
Stahl seems to have a problem with black women in particular. One tweet Trump didn’t share called California Sen. Kamala Harris as “Willie’s ho,” a reference to Harris’ onetime relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, and called Abrams “Shamu.”
Little is known about Stahl aside from his two failed congressional bids, in Florida in 1994 and California in 2012. A post written to former high school classmates which was first discovered by the New York Times said it was a “big mistake challenging an entrenched incumbent,” and said to “never stop dreaming.”
Aside from boosting Stahl on his Twitter page, Trump reiterated his calls for states to reopen faster, even as many states continue to see many new cases. On Sunday called for schools across the country to “be opened ASAP,” even as most states have canceled school through the end of the year.
And on Monday, Trump threatened to pull the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, citing North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s “shutdown mood” and noncommitment to saying whether or not a convention for tens of thousands of people in the state’s largest city will be able to take place in August.
On Saturday, the state reported 1,107 new cases of coronavirus, its highest since the pandemic started. Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s health and human services chief, called it a “notable and concerning increase.”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)