Amid ongoing controversy about the separation of migrant children from their families, President Trump hurled transphobic insults at a protester during a Wednesday rally.
The POTUS addressed a crowd of supporters in Duluth, MN yesterday during a speech in which he vowed that his administration would be “just as tough” on border patrol as it was before Trump signed an executive order the same day which served to partially reverse his family separation policy.
“We’re sending them the hell back,” the president said of his plan to curb border migrations, which includes a long-gestating attempt to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. “That’s what we’re doing.”
But the president’s speech was briefly interrupted by a protester who held up a photograph of Trump and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, with the one-pager asking: “Who Is Jeffrey Epstein?” Epstein, a former Wall Street financier, was arrested in 2006 for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl. During the encounter, the accuser claimed she was paid $300 to strip in front of Epstein and give him a massage.
Along with the President, Epstein was named in a 2016 civil lawsuit claiming that he and Trump sexually assaulted an underage girl at New York sex parties in the 1990s. The accuser, Katie Johnson, alleged that the POTUS took her virginity when she was just 13 years old.
That suit was later dropped.
“Get him out of here!” Trump repeatedly commanded when the picture of the two men standing together was held aloft in front of the stage, adding: “Go home to your mom, darling. Go home.”
The sea of Trump supporters wearing “Make America Great Again” hats loudly booed the male demonstrator for approximately 30 seconds before he was booted from the rally by the president’s security detail. As he was being escorted away from the raucous crowd, the POTUS began to comment on the protester’s appearance—namely his long, androgynous locks.
“Was that a man or a woman?” said the Commander-in-Chief. “Because he needs a haircut more than I do.”
Trump as a protester is forcibly removed from Minnesota rally: "Was that a man or a woman? Because he needs a haircut more than I do" pic.twitter.com/5QOc3M9lXM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 21, 2018
The president’s transphobic remarks—which recall the infamous “Man or Woman?” segment on The Maury Povich Show—are a reminder that in addition to targeting undocumented workers, the Trump administration has uniquely singled out trans people over the President’s first year and a half in office.
Although Trump pledged to be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community on the campaign trail, his White House has rolled back federal protections for queer and trans workers and rescinded Obama-era guidelines advising teachers to treat transgender students in accordance with their gender identity in schools. He has also repeatedly pushed to bar trans people from serving in the U.S. military, defying court orders to do so.
Meanwhile, critics of the executive order signed by the President on Wednesday to stop his administration’s policy of breaking up migrant families stopped by border police claim it’s filled with loopholes which may allow the practice to continue.
Immigrant youth detained under the policy have reportedly been “beaten while handcuffed, strapped to chairs with bags over their heads and locked in solitary confinement while nude and shivering in concrete cells,” as Newsweek claimed. Other reports say migrant children were injected with drugs to keep them subdued.