A former Republican congressman says that President Donald Trump revels in the fact that America seems to be more divided than ever before and that the president intentionally tries to “create anxiety” among Americans.
David Jolly, a former GOP representative from Florida and a professor, appeared on MSNBC to speak with Joy Reid about his and his colleagues’ experience interacting with the president.
Reid opened the conversation by saying that many previous presidents have been racist, suggesting that voters need to vote like black citizens in the past have by tempering their expectations and being more strategic. She said that voters need to be able to recognize Trump’s strategy to win re-election.
“Trump often leads with two tactics: disinformation and division,” he replied.
He went on to allege that Trump has often spread information that has proved to be inaccurate.
Jolly told Reid that a Russian activist named Garry Kasparov once said that spreading disinformation isn’t about trying to alter the truth, but about exhausting people and their ability to think critically. That, he says, is what Americans are currently seeing in their own experience.
“I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, ‘Have you ever seen the nation so divided?’ My colleagues and others said, ‘No, we haven’t.’ Trump said, ‘I love it that way,'” Jolly explained.
“This is the currency that he’s peddling as political strategy, but it’s not one we have to accept,” he added.
He told the host that “Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety” that many citizens feel under his administration.
But, Americans don’t have to tolerate the alleged division and disease that he says Trump fosters.
“We don’t have to accept the anxiety that comes with Trump’s disinformation and division,” he said.
Fellow guest Blair Kelley agreed that the issue is complicated and many people are torn over how to vote.
Reid asked Jolly to discuss Michael Bloomberg’s run for president. He believes that there is a tough decision between all the nominees, but people need to rally and support whomever the nominee ends up being.
Trump has frequently been criticized in the past for attempting to sow division in the country. Recent polls show that his tactics may be wearing on voters, as more people show support for potential Democratic nominees over Trump, even in traditionally conservative-voting states like Texas.