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Analysis: Trump relishes his role as a divider as he vows to be 'vicious'

September 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Donald Trump leaned into his role as a divider in a Nevada rally Saturday night, vowing to be "vicious" as he portrayed Joe Biden as a puppet of the radical left, while continuing to lie about his effort to downplay the deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic and create a climate of fear in the midst of a national crisis.

Yet here we are, more than six months into a pandemic that's killed more than 193,000 Americans, with a President who continues to lie about downplaying the deadly virus in February and March and who insists that his administration has done everything right as the US leads the world in coronavirus cases, while attempting to win reelection by pitting Americans of different races against each other and creating a climate of fear.

Trump's rhetoric at his Saturday rally was emblematic of his political strategy since he began running for the presidency in 2015.

While the protests against police brutality have been predominantly peaceful, some of the most frightening confrontations have unfolded when Black Lives Matter demonstrators were confronted by far-right agitators and armed vigilantes who seemed to heed Trump's calls to dominate the streets -- with some likely emboldened by the President's refusal to condemn the violence unless it was directed at his own supporters.

In Trump's continuing effort to make agencies that cherished their independence from politics beholden to his political goals, Americans learned this weekend that Trump-appointed communications officials at the US Department of Health and Human Services sought to change language within the weekly science reports released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so that it would align with the President's message.

The administration's efforts to control health and intelligence messaging follows the weeks-long controversy over the moves by Trump and his Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor, to undercut the operations of the post office at a time when an unprecedented number of Americans hope to vote by mail to avoid exposure to the coronavirus at the polls.

On Saturday, Trump once again seemed to urge his supporters to engage in the criminal act of voting twice in the critical swing state of North Carolina, where he and Biden are locked in a tight race.

And in Nevada, Trump continued to undermine confidence in America's election systems and mail-in-ballots, claiming that Democrats are "trying to rig this election" while simultaneously arguing that he should be able to "negotiate" for 12 years in the White House.

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