WILKES BARRE, PA - AUGUST 02: President Donald J. Trump speaks to a large crowd on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre,...
Rick Loomis

Trump’s ‘paid’ protesters conspiracy theory makes an unwelcome comeback

In his second week as president, confronted with massive protests, Donald Trump took a firm stand in support of First Amendment principles.

No, I’m just kidding. The Republican actually lashed out at “professional anarchists, thugs, and paid protesters” who dared to speak out against him. Apparently unsatisfied with his original conspiracy theory, Trump soon after added that he believed Barack Obama was responsible for organizing the progressive activists.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 10/4/18, 9:40 PM ET

Women rush to Washington to make objections to Kavanaugh heard

Women rush to Washington to make objections to Kavanaugh heard
The civic engagement has waxed and waned as Trump’s presidency unfolded, but it’s clearly on an upswing right now, with countless opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination raising their voices in the hopes of persuading senators to reject him. Survivors of sexual assault have been especially active, calling for Kavanaugh’s defeat.

This morning, the president did what he always does: he responded with a tweet about a conspiracy theory.

“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it!

“Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers”

It’s worth pausing to appreciate the fact that this appears to be the very first time Trump has ever mentioned George Soros on Twitter.

But putting aside trivia, the implication is that Kavanaugh’s activist opponents aren’t real: the president wants senators to see them as paid actors, involved in some kind of elaborate scheme.

As far as Trump is concerned, the women survivors of sexual assault who’ve traveled to D.C., demanding to be heard, are little more than “trouble makers” on the payroll of some Hungarian-American philanthropist.

It’s the Trumpiest possible response to this week’s protests.

Donald Trump and Protest

Trump's 'paid' protesters conspiracy theory makes an unwelcome comeback