On Friday morning in the White House, President Donald Trump addressed the Black Leadership Summit and spoke about the arrest of a suspect in the wave of mail bombs that have targeted prominent Democrats, critics of his administration, and CNN. “Americans must unify,” the President said, adding that the nation needs to “show the world that we are united in peace and love and harmony.”
The Black Leadership Summit is organized by Turning Point USA (TPUSA), with Candace Owens, the communications director of the group, being the most prominent leader of the initiative. Trump praised Owens as “incredible.”
On Wednesday, Owens tweeted: “Caravans, fake bomb threats—these leftists are going ALL OUT for midterms.” This tweet was later deleted. Owens is one of numerous prominent Trump supporters to float a false-flag conspiracy theory about the mail bombs, implying the they were organized by leftists to make conservatives look bad. As Vox notes, “The term ‘false flag’ is an old political concept, referring to an operation or attack that is essentially fake, staged by a group that wants a reason to retaliate against the person or people they’ll accuse of the attack.” Trump’s political messaging often portrays Republicans as a victimized group. It’s hardly surprising this would coincide with false-flag narratives.
Right Wing Watch is reporting that Bryan Sharpe, an anti-Semitic political activist who had been previously courted by TPUSA was turned away from the Black Leadership Summit because of “optics.” A video shows TPUSA official Brandon Tatum telling Sharpe that if it weren’t for media attention, he’d be welcome at TPUSA. “The media was here,” Tatum says. “CNN, everybody was here for [Donald Trump Jr.] and so that was the problem...Personally, none of us have a problem with you. We want you here. It’s the optics, the media.” The idea that a figure like Sharpe would be welcome except for “the optics” is hard to reconcile with the message of “peace and love and harmony.”