What was Donald Trump doing Wednesday night during the Democratic National Convention? Answering questions from hateful wackjobs on the internet, obviously. Trump conducted a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) interview Wednesday, but it wasn't held on the popular message board site's IAmA "subreddit" forum*—it was on a subreddit called The_Donald which, to use Vice's description, is characterized by a "broken-record style of ranting and raving about Muslims, Mexicans, Black Lives Matter, Social Justice Warriors, Hillary Clinton conspiracies, Reddit censorship, and little else." The_Donald's moderators even set up special rules to make sure that Trump didn't field any questions from people who weren't already Trump supporters.
Trump ultimately took questions from 12 users: trexroarroar, platypapaya, bka1, yiannopoulos_m, davidg1996, PM-ME-UR-BEST-PHOTO, likethisandlikethat, triopat, oldie101, GodEmperorDonald (lol), iamaAMAfan (who asked if Trump is "getting tired of winning") (answer: no), and shadow6463.
Yiannopoulos_m is Milo Yiannopoulos, the notorious "alt-right" hate-speech idiot and anti-Semitic troll. Here are some of the things the less famous users that Trump took questions from have posted on Reddit.
A reference to Peyton Manning's accuser as a "little whore":
A comparison of "clock kid" Ahmed Mohamed to the Nice, France, terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel:
A reference to multiracial Daily Show host Trevor Noah as "filth from South Africa":
A reference to Black Lives Matter protests as "chimp outs":
A reference to attorney general Loretta Lynch as "cock suckin Lynch":
Again, those are just the individuals Trump took questions from; compiled here are some of the other egregious posts (by other users) that have appeared on The_Donald: one that asserts "race mixing is unhealthy" and claims Nazis had high IQs, another about racial separatism, one about race war, one about the "Jewish influence" in America, and on and on.
To be clear, every candidate has supporters who make extreme and offensive statements. But this isn't a case of the Trump campaign happening to interact with extremists. This was intentional outreach to a forum that was already known to be characterized by hate speech and that went out of its way to block other Reddit users from participating in its event.
After every time something like this happens—i.e. the Trump campaign engages with white supremacists—Trump and his craven apologists insist that Trump himself isn't racist and can't be held accountable for the views of some of his fans. But if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and holds exclusive Q&As on sewer forums for racist ducks, isn't it just a goddamn duck?
*Correction, July 28, 2016: This post originally misstated that Reddit AMAs are usually held on its "AMA page"; public figures' AMAs are typically held on the IAmA subreddit.