Donald Trump hires the best, the best people, yes, sir, the kind of people who provoke Secret Service inquiries over threats made to the president. People like Anthony Senecal, who was Donald Trump’s butler for 16 years.
Senecal officially retired in 2009 but still volunteers as a historian at Mar-a-Lago, the West Palm Beach estate owned by Trump. Senecal’s Facebook page and his constantly alarmed ALL CAPS personality may prove to be a liability to the Trump campaign after today. At one point Senecal remembered to type: “I do not speak for Donald J Trump !!!! This is my opinion, only !!!! Our current “president” is a rotten filthy muzzie !!!!!”
He means Muslim, in case you don’t speak Sad Xenophobic Old Man.
It gets worse.
Here’s what happened. Via Mother Jones today came Senecal’s deeply not charming and not literate rant. There’s some stuff about “killery clinton” and Bernie Sanders the “commie.” But the part that’s going to warrant a visit from very serious men in dark suits is this: “To all my friends on FB, just a short note to you on our pus headed “president” !!!! This character who I refer to as zero (0) should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term !!!!!”
Via Mother Jones:
Trump’s most recent tweets are still mocking Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He may not personally respond to the menacing lunacy of his former butler (feautred prominently here in the New York Times.) The Trump campaign only just finished failing to clean up the mess that was picking a white nationalist for a California campaign delegate.
Senecal’s Facebook is bewildering. His constant, furious, punctuation-laden outrage is unending. It is also frequently racially toxic and always terrified of Muslims.
On February 12 Senecal signed a Change.org peition directed at Trump. This petition urges Trump (and Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson!) to “Arrest and charge Beyonce and Jay-Z for ‘Providing Material Support for Terrorism.” One Joseph Coberly never got his 1,500 signatures, but Trump’s former butler was glad to help with this noble goal of using the legal system to punish famous black musicians for giving money to bail out Ferguson protesters and for including aesthetic nods to the Black Panthers in a Super Bowl Halftime show.
I looked at the page for a while today (I now have a headache), and Senecal previously “liked” a picture of Obama with a Photoshopped noose, which was shared by a Facebook friend. He also wrote in September 2015 that “that piece of camel crap [Obama] be dragged from the white mosque, and be hung from his wither scrotum from the portico of the white mosque !!!!!!”
To underline the fact that he doesn’t seem to care at all about social niceties first and foremost, Senecal occasionally shares posts about “good” black people. But mostly his hysterical, frantic and exclamation-filled page includes racial rants, deep loathing for and paranoia about Muslims–and occasional urges to bomb them all to bits. At one point he suggested that “the sane people” be taken out of Ferguson, Mo., and then the city be carpet-bombed.
Senecal is also that guy who shares posts from White History Month, a page “celebrating white history and white heritage” that recently added a photo of a bumper sticker with the Obama campaign symbol and the racist pun: “Don’t re-nig. Vote him out.” Senecal has “liked” comments that suggest there are too many black people in the world, as well as pictures that compare the Obamas to apes.
Basically, scrolling through Senecal’s posts and comments reveals a man furious about the government, furious at Obama, furious at immigrants and Muslims, and a die-hard fan of Trump. His Facebook expresses so many of the thoughts that Trump’s Twitter has hinted at.
Former Secret Service agent Joe LaSorsa, who now runs a private security firm, told me that Senecal may be getting some special visitors as a result of his posts. “The [Mother Jones] article apparently pertains to an unfortunate foolish situation that will probably trigger a visit by the Secret Service,” LaSorsa said.
He added that, “The Secret Service typically address these type incidents with an interview/evaluation to determine the seriousness and level of danger posed by the individual making the remarks. Typically, these incidents are simply foolish statements made with no real intent to cause harm or injury. However, depending on the results of the evaluation conducted, they sometimes result in an arrest and criminal charges or ‘commitment’ and a psychiatric evaluation. In any event, there needs to be some type of closure.” The Obama in a noose Photoshop, and the entirety of Senecal’s near-threat comments, he says, “will be considered in the final analysis.”
Indeed, it turns out since I spoke to LaSorsa two hours ago that the Secret Service has opened an investigation.
And the Trump campaign just distanced itself heavily from the cranky old man who isn’t running for president.
“Tony Senecal has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for years, but nevertheless we totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him regarding the President,” campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.
This is a more stern response than Trump’s people usually go with. The problem is that it may be a little bit bullshit. Mother Jones noted that Senecal is still affiliated with the resort as a volunteer, and his LinkedIn page says that it is a current position “created by Donald J Trump.” He may not draw a paycheck, but he’s on Team Trump.
If the March New York Times puff piece, which gives Senecal’s age as a decade younger than Mother Jones does, and contains no info on Senecal’s Facebook fun, is accurate, Senecal is still welcome at Mar-a-Lago and was there in March.
Perhaps it’s unkind to publically flip the rock of this private citizen’s Facebook page and reveal all the racist paranoia underneath. But it’s hard not to see Senecal as a very red flag for the Trump campaign, and more to the point, its most die-hard followers. So many of them seem to believe that if liberals overuse the word racist, nothing is racist.
You also have to wonder if this–or anything–will taint Trump among his loyal supporters. Hell, some of them may be more delighted with Trump’s fine taste in picking employees.
It’s kinder to say that Senecal is more stupid and paranoid than anything. Perhaps since he shared a photo of a young black man helping an old lady cross the street, or quotes from prominent black conservatives, he thinks that makes him not hateful. Perhaps he believes that the dangers of “PC” are so intense that it’s reasonable to compare black people to apes. Senecal is an unpleasant old man on the internet. He’s the kind of awful Platonic ideal of a racist who doesn’t know that he is one, and he is for Donald Trump 2016.
The campaign response so far, you may have noticed, did not disavow anything else Senecal wrote on Facebook. Only Obama is off limits then. The Muslim, black and immigrant masses are, unsurprisingly, not to be defended by the Trump campaign. Who expected anything else?