At 7:31 on Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted that former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman is a “crazed, crying lowlife” and called her “that dog.”
Critics were quick to note that calling one of the few black women to have ever served in his administration a “crazed, crying lowlife” and “that dog” was a racist, sexist attack, especially coming after a series of vicious and pointed attacks on black people who have criticized him in recent days. This also is not the first, second, or even tenth time the President of the United States has referred to one of his opponents as a dog; a scroll through his extensive and toxic list of dog tweets shows that Trump clearly means “dog” as a vicious insult, one that he deploys against enemies he particularly wants to malign.
What’s less clear is why he thinks calling someone a dog — typically a beloved, domesticated fur sweetie — is such a bad thing. However, the overwhelming evidence shows that Trump has a very specific and unconventional concept of what a dog is: namely, something that is capable of being gainfully employed, and also constantly getting fired.
Trump’s Tuesday tweet, the most recent example of this trend, referenced Omarosa’s firing by White House chief of staff John Kelly — a firing which took place in the Situation Room, and which Omarosa still managed to record.
In March 2016, he also called TV host David Gregory a dog after he was fired from his job as the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press:
He called vocal Trump critic Erick Erickson a dog after Erickson was fired from the conservative outlet RedState:
He said his former adviser Steve Bannon had been “dumped like a dog” after his firing from the White House:
In February 2016, he accused Ted Cruz of firing his “very capable director of communication” like, you guessed it, a dog:
He also used the same insult against Glenn Beck:
“Sleepy eyes” Chuck Todd:
And Reverend Jeremiah Wright:
So while most people may associate dogs with fire hydrants and barking and unconditional love, the president seems to associate them with getting fired in disgrace from your media job. But that’s not the only time he deploys the insult.
In 2016, for instance, after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney cautioned that Trump’s election could legitimize racism, the former steak salesman responded by saying that Romney had “choked like a dog” in losing the previous presidential election, indicating that he may think dogs are also capable of making failed bids for office.
He’s called people dogs other times, too. Like when they cheat:
When they “wrongfully comment” on him:
When they “hit” him even after he makes a “big donation” to their charity”
When they’re “begging for money”:
And when they’re Mac Miller and they need a “big boy lesson”:
If there weren’t photographic evidence to the contrary (which, let’s be honest, could be Photoshopped) one might be forgiven for thinking the president has never seen a dog in his life. Or maybe he’s only ever seen those Cassius Marcellus Coolidge paintings of dogs playing poker, and assumed all dogs anthropomorphized, unsavory miscreants.
In fact, the only dog he hasn’t been actively negative about is actor Gary Busey’s mechanical dog on his season of Celebrity Apprentice in 2013.
And actually, that mechanical dog got Busey fired, so never mind, I get it now.