Pakistan-born actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to offer praise for for George W. Bush, but quickly added the former president’s arguably veiled criticisms of Donald Trump shouldn’t paper over the Texas Republican’s “crimes” in office.
Within an hour, however, he deleted the tweets, citing “[t]oo much negativity” from readers.
“I’lsupport [sic] George W. Bush instead of tearing him down. We need all the allies we can get right now. He’s not blameless, but he’s here now,” Mr. Nanjiani began.
He appeared to be referring to remarks Mr. Bush made Thursday morning at a forum in New York City in which the former president shared his concerns about the state of U.S. politics today.
“Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed,” the nation’s 43rd president said at one point in his speech. While Mr. Trump was never mentioned by name, media outlets such as Politico have taken to describing the speech as an oration against the dangers of “Trumpism.”
“I never said I was forgiving him for his crimes,” the 39-year-old actor added minutes later. “I said I’m supporting him for speaking out right now. Don’t straw man. Understand nuance.”
“W’s statement after 9/11 did actual good in curbing islamophobia,” Mr. Nanjiani said. “What he said mattered & made a difference. He also started an unjust war.”
Minutes later, Mr. Nanjiani told followers he had deleted his trio of Bush-friendly tweets.
“I’ve deleted all those tweets. Too much negativity. I had decided I would fight for stuff, not against. I love you all,” he wrote shortly before 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Mr. Nanjiani immigrated to the U.S. at age 18 to attend Grinnell College in Iowa, where he majored in philosophy and computer science, according to his Internet Movie Database profile.
Shortly after the November election, the “Silicon Valley” co-star took to Twitter to complain about being accosted by Trump-supporting patrons at an L.A. bar, USA today reported at the time.
Mr. Nanjiani said the offending individuals were escorted out of the establishment and no one was hurt, but added, “This happened at a bar in LA surrounded by ppl. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be someone who looks like me in other parts.”
“We can’t let hate/racism/bigotry/sexism be normalized,” he said. “If something happens, be safe, but let it be known we won’t stand for this.”