‘Teeing Up to Claim That This Election Isn’t Legitimate’
A threatening tweet from President Donald Trump late Monday morning, less than 24 hours before the polls open nationwide, is leading some to accuse him of engaging in voter suppression. Others are saying the tweet is the President’s attempt to lay the groundwork to call the results of Democratic midterm wins illegitimate.
“Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting),” Trump tweeted. “Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!”
Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, who specializes in national security and civil liberties, offered this take:
Area man under active investigation for cheating to win an election calls for Maximum Criminal Penalties for cheating to win an election. Thank you! https://t.co/nmCOpxT7Uo
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 5, 2018
But Media Matters for America Visiting Fellow Melissa Ryan had a more dire impression:
Trump is already teeing up to claim that this election isn’t legitimate. Recall that was the same playbook in 2016 when it looked like Hillary was going to win. Expect him and his supporters to keep whining about this after Tuesday. https://t.co/MvDu3988Ta
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) November 5, 2018
Washington Bureau Chief for Canada-based Global News:
Trump is already working to delegitimize an election that hasn’t yet happened. https://t.co/50HYJ8Q41W
— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) November 5, 2018
The Human Rights Campaign’s digital strategist:
The current occupant of the White House is blatantly intimidating people from voting. How is this even legal?! https://t.co/UZ3t64too3
— Brian McBride (@BrianDMcBride) November 5, 2018
Washington Post reporter:
coming from other users, this comes pretty close to crossing a line for Twitter, FB, etc, which have taken action against posts saying ICE would be at polling places on grounds it could deter voting. https://t.co/QId1McEG4U https://t.co/icsfWJzpfX
— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) November 5, 2018
Investigative reporter for USA Today:
In the federal system, sentences are determined by judges, not the executive branch. Very few people are sentenced to the statutory maximum. https://t.co/XQ5lAilXlU
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) November 5, 2018
The White House editor for Bloomberg Business notes this important fact:
It’s not illegal to vote if you’re unsure whether you’re registered. Every state is required by federal law to offer such citizens a provisional ballot. https://t.co/8KjbjYrHQB
— Alex Wayne (@aawayne) November 5, 2018
Former Senior Advisor to President Obama:
Now he is just making shit up to scare people from voting https://t.co/Qb9DvCuNWz
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 5, 2018
Election law and voting rights professor:
— Josh Douglas (@JoshuaADouglas) November 5, 2018
Classic voter suppression (the real scandal and problem thanks to GOP) right here: https://t.co/IUa3wDMBHy
— Andrea Stone (@andreastonez) November 5, 2018
Voter suppression is 100Mx more likely than illegal voting.
You are more likely to be bitten by a shark and hit by lightning at the same time than participate in illegal voting.
— Holly Fιɢυeroα O’Reιlly (@AynRandPaulRyan) November 5, 2018
Illegal voting is not a thing. This is voter suppression, pure and simple. The right actually hates when people vote. It means they lose. https://t.co/H0fCzjlbgD
— Charles Marleau (@charlesmarleau) November 5, 2018
The U.S. president is engaged in voter suppression, pure and simple. https://t.co/EVJKhI6qey
— Just Bob (@rlawton) November 5, 2018
This is transparent, rank voter suppression. Trump should be ashamed of himself. But more, every Republican and especially every Republican elected official should be vocally, publicly disgusted by this. https://t.co/KIfeYKXKli
— Mary Kelly Persyn (@mkpersyn) November 5, 2018
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Watch: Trump Laughs, Jokes After Supporter Calls for Shooting Migrants
President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Panama City Beach, Florida Wednesday night was the usual raucous affair – except for one exchange which has many even more outraged than usual.
Complaining to supporters from the Florida panhandle that migrants are trying to enter the U.S. through the Southern border, the President asked, “How do you stop these people?”
One supporter, as The Guardian reported, responded, “Shoot them!”
President Trump laughed, paused, then turned it into an applause line.
“That’s only in the panhandle can you get away with that statement,” Trump proclaimed. As the audience broke out into cheers and applause, Trump, who himself has called labeled immigrants “animals,” repeated: “Only in the panhandle.”
At his rally tonight, Trump says the government is unable to violently attack immigrants, someone in the crowd shouted “Shoot them!”
The crowd & Trump erupt in laughter & cheers. Trump says, “Only in the panhandle can you get away with that statement.”pic.twitter.com/SgQd2OH9ti
— jordan (@JordanUhl) May 9, 2019
White House Aides Scrambling to Deal With Fallout From Trump’s Thinly-Veiled Threat of Violence: Report
Staffers Are Trying to Justify Remarks by Saying ‘That’s Just the Way the President Talks’
White House aides are reportedly struggling to figure out how to “spin” comments the president made prior to the New Zealand mosque massacre that could be viewed as incitements to violence.
In an interview with Breitbart ostensibly about a free speech order he’s about to sign, the president referenced all the “tough” people he has in his corner.
“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad,” Trump said. “But the left plays it cuter and tougher.”
CNN host Wolf Blitzer noted the comments were “disturbing” when asking White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins about how things are within the administration.
“Aides behind the scenes were pushing back on this saying, ‘that’s just the way the president talks,’” Collins explained. “That’s something you hear when the president makes a remark like this.”
She added that she wasn’t surprised by what he said because he’s made similar comments “in front of cameras, at rallies and events like that.
“Aides don’t know how to respond to this,” Collins added. “They don’t know how to spin this or anything like that. They hope that this is one of those comments, because the president says so many things, that they can just kind of let go by with the news cycle.”
Dictionary.com Reveals Spike in Searches for This Disturbing Term After Trump’s Thinly-Veiled Threat of Violence
President Donald Trump issued a thinly-veiled threat of fascistic violence this week in an interview with the far right wing website Breitbart. While largely ignored on the right, Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale’s tweet on Thursday highlighting a disturbing quote by the President went viral.
Trump to Breitbart on how the left plays tough: “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 14, 2019
Several experts on authoritarianism and others who closely follow President Trump’s moves and remarks reminded followers on social media Trump’s words are another example of “stochastic terrorism.”
Trump’s rhetoric has already been associated with spikes in hate crimes and extremist violence. The comment below is a prime example of stochastic terrorism, and none of us should
be surprised when it leads to political violence. https://t.co/hBdT1sBH9a
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 14, 2019
This, too, must be read as part of Trump’s campaign of stochastic terrorism. He is inviting average people to commit violence on his behalf, but distancing himself from it with the pretense that he’s just stating a “truth” about “the way it is.” https://t.co/0vyV9gIg90
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 14, 2019
Stochastic terrorism. Incitement. Call it whatever you want, but this alone is a grave abuse of his office.
I repeat: Waffling on #impeachment is a terrible message about whether Dems will defend the Constitution.
This is just another example of how emboldened Trump is. https://t.co/vVotysLPaH
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) March 14, 2019
If you’re like most people, the term “stochastic terrorism” is confusing at best. (So is pronouncing it.)
Clearly, many folks looked it up, because Thursday evening the people at Dictionary.com revealed that searches for the term are trending today on their site:
Trending on https://t.co/OeJELgy3YL: Stochastic terrorism.
It means the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act.https://t.co/2xI3HNIjXh
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) March 14, 2019
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent explains how Trump’s thinly-veiled threats of violence work:
It’s important to unpack how Trump’s veiled incitement really works.
He isn’t *calling* on his supporters to be violent. He’s just saying, hey, they *might* get violent under certain circumstances, and by golly, you’d better hope it doesn’t!https://t.co/K34XltBT2Y
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 14, 2019
Back in January Wired took a look at “stochastic terrorism,” which they define as, “Acts of violence by random extremists, triggered by political demagoguery.”
Bottom line: The President of the United States is engaging in fascistic behavior. Or, if you’d rather, he’s play around with fascism, trying it on seeing how it fits. And it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he thinks it fits just fine.
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