This week the president’s personal lawyer forwarded an email promoting racist, Civil War secessionist views and charging that terrorists control the Black Lives Matter movement, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Attorney John Dowd forwarded to conservative media outlets the email he received from Jerome Almon, whose government-conspiracy websites promote the belief that the FBI has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists, the newspaper said.
The email depicts Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms, equating him to George Washington, The Times reported, and it also likens the Confederacy to the American Revolution against England. Such views are the boilerplate of numerous neo-Confederate and racist groups.
Almon apparently hoped his email would end up in front of President Trump after his explosive and divisive statements this week in the aftermath of last weekend’s historic and deadly racist confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump’s comments drew praise from former KKK leader David Duke and other racists, but there was quick criticism from several top business executives who abandoned the president, abruptly quitting their spots on two presidential manufacturing and jobs advisory boards, over his views they labeled as racist and divisive.
Meantime, the national discussion continues, with an increasing number of cities — from Baltimore to Helena, Montana — taking unprecedented steps to remove Confederate War monuments.
The email sent to the White House from Almon, who’s African American, said, “You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington. There literally is no difference between the two men.”
It’s unclear if Almon’s email made it to the Oval Office, but its theme was echoed this week in the explosive comments Trump made about the events in Charlottesville, triggered by an Alt-Right gathering of extremists opposed to the city’s planned removal of a Gen. Lee statute.
Dowd received Almon’s email late Tuesday, after the president’s comments, The Times reported. The president’s personal lawyer then forwarded the email “to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and journalists at Fox News and The Washington Times.”
“This week it's Robert E. Lee,” Trump said, suggesting there was equal blame to be shared between hate group extremists and Alt-Right leaders and counterprotesters representing various ideologies at Charlottesville.
“I notice that Stonewall Jackson's coming down,” Trump said. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself: Where does it stop?”
That view from the nation’s chief executive largely matches the philosophy of the neo-Confederate League of the South and various Klan groups that have protested — often with violence — the planned removal of Confederacy statues throughout the South.
Almon’s email, circulated by Dowd, went on to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for deadly violence against police and baldly contended, without a factual basis, that the group “is being directed by terrorists,” The Times report said.
Photo credit:REUTERS/Lucas Jackson