Last week’s Carrier deal — the one that resulted in higher approval ratings for Donald Trump, so says Fox News — was not quite as advertised. Carrier took its $7 million in tax incentives to save what turns out to be only 800 jobs, but they not only shipped 500 jobs from its plant to Mexico, but United Technology — the parent company of Carrier — is still sending another 700 employees from another plant to Mexico. Twelve hundreds jobs are still going to Mexico, but Carrier got $7 million and Trump got a week’s worth of good headlines footed by the taxpayers.
Of course, bragging about saving 800 jobs wasn’t enough. Donald Trump inflated the numbers, announcing that he’d saved 1100 jobs. “He got up there and, for whatever reason, lied his ass off,” Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers union representing Carrier, told The Washington Post. “Trump and Pence, they pulled a dog and pony show on the numbers. I almost threw up in my mouth.”
Lying we’re used to, but we should probably get used to seeing Trump attack naysayers on Twitter, too, no matter who they are.
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016
The United Steelworkers defended its union leader.
Chuck is a hero not a scapegoat: you, others know about Carrier because of his, members' tireless work since day 1 to save ALL jobs there. https://t.co/C9fvwajHY7— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) December 8, 2016
So Trump attacked the Union.
If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016
Trump’s attack on Jones contradicts statements his VP said about the man earlier this year:
Appreciate the chance to meet w/ Chuck Jones & hardworking men of Local 1999 about our efforts to save Carrier jobs pic.twitter.com/jAzV4DO4PY— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 2, 2016
Jones, who has been harassed over the last few days for calling Trump out for inflating numbers, began receiving death threats after Donald Trump’s tweets.
Half an hour after Trump tweeted about Jones on Wednesday, the union leader’s phone began to ring and kept ringing, he said. One voice asked: What kind of car do you drive? Another said: We’re coming for you.
Donald Trump doesn’t have to send a hitman out to the home of a political enemy. He doesn’t need death squads. He only has to attack his enemies on Twitter, and his minions will take care of the rest. And look at the guy! He’s not a coastal elite. He’s one of the white working class people Trump claims to represent, a guy who has spent years trying to save jobs for other working class people. You don’t get more salt-of-the-earth than Chuck Jones.
Indeed, Trump poses a bigger threat to individual citizens than all the alt-Nazis Twitter banned for hate speech combined. By this point, Trump knows exactly what kind of power he possesses. If someone follows through on a death threat to Jones — or anyone else Trump attacks — I hope Twitter has the decency to ban the President-elect’s account, too.