“All I know is what’s on the Internet”
By Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.13.2016
A protester, 22-year-old Thomas Dimassimo, rushed Trump’s stage in one of his airplane hangar rallies – this one in Ohio. Secret Service took the protester down and arrested him, as is their job.
Dimassimo told police he intended to grab the microphone and yell that Trump is a racist. He said he intended no physical harm. No doubt he also wanted to try Trump’s “no one will take my microphone” claim.
Later Donald Trump tweeted, “He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail.”
What made Trump say such a thing? Well, he found himself one of them there Internet videos of course! Hey, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true!
The problem is that it’s not true. The video used the protester’s image and was edited to connect him to ISIS in a metaphorical way. Trump did not himself check or have his campaign aides verify the video’s veracity. He simply saw the video and convicted the guy on the spot.
Trump was confronted on “Meet the Press” about his false claim, and he said, “All I know is what’s on the Internet.” Apparently his campaign staff isn’t very adept.
Now “The Donald” has a problem. He and other politicians are what the law calls “public figures”. It is exceedingly difficult for them to sue based on writings or comedic sketches about them.
Dimassimo, however, is not a public figure. He is what civil law would consider a private person, and his ability to sue for libel and slander is on a different plane. It’s time for Trump to taste his own medicine. You can rest assured he certainly would sue if anyone suggested he was sympathetic so ISIS.
The lawsuit is a hands-down win in this case. Trump blatantly made the claim that Dimassimo is indeed connected to ISIS. He didn’t say, “I think” or “he may be”, he said he “is”. That is a statement of fact.
It should become a very expensive statement.