WATCH: GOP strategist Rick Wilson tells Chris Hayes the real rationale behind Trump's anti-Semitism

These anti-Semitic incident aren't "a bug — they're a feature" of the Trump campaign

By Scott Eric Kaufman
Published July 6, 2016 11:37AM (EDT)
Chris Hayes (Credit: MSNBC)
Chris Hayes (Credit: MSNBC)

On "All In with Chris Hayes" Tuesday evening, Republican strategist Rick Wilson told host Chris Hayes that Donald Trump knows exactly what he's doing when he evokes anti-Semitic imagery and rhetoric -- appealing to his base.

Hayes noted that Wilson had penned an open letter to RNC chairman Reince Preibus urging him to "have Trump block the neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, overt racists and other scum who litter his timeline." Wilson lamented that Priebus wouldn't do that, "for fear of offending [Trump]," and that Trump won't, "for fear of offending his base."

"This is a guy who understands that the center of his play is this deeply resentful, edge-case group of people who really believe that the Jews control the world -- and that white nationalism is the future of American politics," Wilson told Hayes.

Members of this base "range in sophistication from the guys who are fairly clever race-baiters who try to stay out of the dirtier slums to the crazies in mom’s basement screaming for hot pockets and a new Holocaust."

"He engages with these folks," Wilson continued. "He re-tweets them -- every single time the guy tweets something, the top four or five responses come from these bots and these neo-Nazi kids who are his biggest fan base."

Moreover, Trump "won't disavow them," because his own "racism is baked in the cake." He "understands who these people are," Wilson added, and these anti-Semitic incidents aren't "a bug, they're a feature" of the Trump campaign.

Watch the entire segment below via MSNBC.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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All In With Chris Hayes Anti-semitism Chris Hayes Donald Trump Elections 2016 Msnbc Rick Wilson Video