Donald Trump opponents accused of being ‘bigots and racists' by columnist for The Times

The gulf between the President-elect's supporters and detractors continues to grow following controversial hires and his promise to keep some of his most contentious election pledges

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The Independent Online

A columnist for The Times of London has accused Donald Trump’s opponents of being the “bigots and racists” amid anger over one of his first appointments to his team. 

In a similar manner to Brexit, the discord which began building in the run-up to the US election has only become more pronounced since Mr Trump's shock victory. As a result, Mr Trump's supporters and detractors have become increasingly polarised in their views on his presidency. 

His victory was followed by a wave of reported hate crimes across America by attackers allegedly professing support for Mr Trump. 

As divisions grow, Melanie Phillips, a broadcaster and columnist for The Times, has accused liberal activists and Mr Trump's opponents of distorting the President-elect’s message, claiming his supporters are the people being racially abused in the aftermath of his selection.

“Trump’s victory, it is claimed, will promote hatred, racial violence and an end to democracy,“ she writes, ”yet the people being hated and racially attacked are Trump supporters.

“The accusations being hurled at Trump are not only distorted and display double standards but in turn smear the millions who voted for him.” 

Phillips claims Mr Trump's anti-immigration policies, which at one point including banning all Muslims from entering the US and still included deporting millions of undocumented people, are wrongly used to portray him as racist and anti-Muslim. “In fact," she continues, "he is against Islamist extremism and terrorism; he merely said Muslims should be stopped from coming to America until it worked out whether or not they had radical ties.”

Defending him against “grotesque” claims of anti-Semitism, Phillips pointed to his daughter Ivanka’s conversion to orthodox Judaism and Mr Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, the real estate magnate Jared Kushner. 

Her defence of Mr Trump also extended to the controversial appointment to his team of Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, whose four years steering the site has seen headlines such “The West Vs Islam is the New Cold War - Here’s How We Win” and “Political correctness protects Muslim rape culture” published and disseminated. 

“Breitbart exposes Islamist violence and intimidation," she went on. "For that it is called racist, hate-fuelled and Islamophobic. Millions of voters who fear Islamist oppression and oppose uncontrolled immigration have been denounced in exactly the same way.”

Phillips has already praised Mr Trump’s ascension to the White House as an "uprising of the scorned" that has given the Western world “a chance of surviving”.