Michael Sandford, a 20-year-old British man who has overstayed his visa here in the United States, attempted to shoot and kill Trump in Las Vegas last week. According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, Sandford has been planning for a year to kill Trump.
But there’s no mention of Sandford or the assassination attempt on Trump’s Twitter or Facebook pages, the two social media platforms that never fail to amplify the candidate’s viewpoints.
In previous cases when undocumented immigrants have been suspected of committing violent crimes, many media outlets have used those stories to paint a grim portrayal of the people immigrating to this country. But when it comes to Sandford, who is white, the narrative appears to be playing out differently.
Save for a satirical piece by Mother Jones, the vast majority of news outlets haven’t focused on Sandford’s immigration status much at all. Even conservative outlets that typically don’t have nice things to say about “illegal aliens” haven’t seen Sandford’s status as a relevant detail.
After Sandford’s attempt on Trump’s life, a headline on the right-wing Fox News website proclaimed: “Man tried to grab cop’s gun to kill Trump at Las Vegas rally, authorities say.” The Washington Times, another right-leaning publication, used a similar headline: “Man who tried to grab officer’s gun at rally told police he wanted to kill Trump.” Breitbart, a right-wing publication, came closer to identifying Sandford’s country of origin with the headline, “Police: British man tried to kill Donald Trump at Vegas rally.” On Tuesday, “Fox & Friends” anchors didn’t even ask Trump about the assassination attempt.