Analysis: Criminal acts and sloppy facts: Trump is no excuse for them

The following is a news analysis.

The mysterious case of the reported racial attack on actor Jusse Smollett has gone through a dizzying array of revisions in the past 24 hours. It remains the subject of heated speculation and debate.

Whatever the outcome, it seems that in the past few years we’ve heard a lot more about political or racist attacks attributed to specific politicians. Two of the more notorious incidents happened in 2017.

In one instance, some faulted Trump’s rhetoric in the murder of a protester by a white nationalist in Charlottesville, Va.; in the other, the man who shot four people, including a Republican member of Congress, was a Trump-hating supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

There are countless reports of less serious, but still troubling, incidents of politically motivated violence. Journalists were shoved at a recent Trump rally in El Paso. Numerous Trump supporters have been assaulted for wearing “Make America Great Again” or “MAGA” hats.

As a polarizing figure, Trump magnifies the passions of those who would use him as an excuse to act out. It’s easy or satisfying to blame him. And, to them, it’s reasonable to excuse or ignore the anti-Trump crowd doing bad things because “Trump is so bad.”

But there are also those who would use the politically charged atmosphere to advance false accusations for their own purposes…. (Continued)

Read the rest of my article in The Hill by clicking the link below. It includes six times crimes were blamed on Trump supporters but had actually been set up by the supposed “victims.”

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