“The President of the United States is encouraging the military, police, and bikers to violently attack his critics on the left.”
President Donald Trump delivered a thinly-veiled threat in an interview this week with the far right wing website Breitbart.
“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 told Breitbart (Google cache version.)
The remark was framed as remarks on the “general tensions between conservatives and leftists.”
Trump’s remarks were not widely publicized, as Breitbart, which for years was run by Trump’s former campaign CEO Steve Bannon, is not a mainstream publication. Bannon infamously described the site as the platform for the alt-right.
But Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, who focuses on tracking and fact-checking all of Trump’s remarks, posted the quote to Twitter. It quickly drew concern, outrage, and condemnation – and repeated charges of fascism.
Here’s what some experts are saying about the threat from the President:
Founder of ThinkProgress and Popular.info:
We can’t sugarcoat this.
The President of the United States is encouraging the military, police, and bikers to violently attack his critics on the left. https://t.co/UdP9EcxjPy
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 14, 2019
Trump is propped up by a transnational crime syndicate dominated by billionaires. Folks will emphasize the threat here — but it’s also an attempt to make himself seem rooted in all-American, blue-collar protection. In reality Trump’s big backers are corrupt elites just like him. https://t.co/I0lRghCrXd
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 14, 2019
Emmy award-winning MSNBC anchor:
This is…a threat of fascist violence by the President ?https://t.co/JQ1Yq3L9Nt
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 14, 2019
Public policy professor, pundit, and political scientist:
This is how an authoritarian talks. Happening right in front of us. https://t.co/7VK8ZUS6fF
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) March 14, 2019
Washington Post journalist:
Imagine a 2011 Obama interview in which he mused about the New Black Panthers supporting him in case things “got to a certain point.” https://t.co/9B0tcSdZpv
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 14, 2019
Senior Writer at RollingStone:
This is fascistic language. https://t.co/hjRLk6oHTK
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 14, 2019
You mean like when your ceaseless attacks on democratically elected officials and the free press inspired a pipe bomber and a Coast Guard lieutenant to plot the assassination of your “enemies list”? Is that what you’re trying to inspire here yet again? https://t.co/yKCjnyo22r
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 14, 2019
Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama:
Are we supposed to take this seriously or literally? https://t.co/G2Ofdm13Xk
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) March 14, 2019
Editor-in-Chief of Shakesville.com:
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
National correspondent for the Los Angeles Times:
The South made the same argument about sissified Northerners, roughly some time shortly before starting and then losing the Civil War. https://t.co/AhZQUP8jcO
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) March 14, 2019
Journalist, think tank fellow:
Well that’s fascist https://t.co/OAOi6WzmH1
— Jonathan M. Katz✍🏻 (@KatzOnEarth) March 14, 2019
Activist and writer:
Sounds like Trump has escalated his theatrics from civil war to an all-out coup? https://t.co/DWcgLWbKlD
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) March 14, 2019
Columnist at The Intercept:
There he goes threatening violence and civil conflict once again – not to mention sounding like a bully in the playground. https://t.co/Y1eBxCxNoU
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) March 14, 2019
If Trump loses in 2020, he may encourage street riots. https://t.co/s1KAVGI1J6
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) March 14, 2019
Contributing writer for the Washington Monthly:
This is fascism defined, folks. Wow. https://t.co/6bZCI9Rd1A
— John Stoehr’s Editorial Board (@johnastoehr) March 14, 2019
Image by The White House via Flickr
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Trump’s Acting Homeland Security Chief Makes Damning Admission Feds Are ‘Proactively Arresting’ Americans
Appearing on Fox News Tuesday night, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf — who has not been confirmed to his position by the Senate — made a damning admission about his department’s conduct in Portland.
Federal officials in Portland have prompted a fierce backlash for aggressive and legally dubious tactics against protesters in the city. Local officials have demanded that the federal officials, some of them using unmarked vehicles and wearing camouflage without identifying insignia, leave and let police handle law enforcement. But President Donald Trump and Wolf seem intent on using the Homeland Security forces to intimidate, rough up, and apprehend protesters to make the federal government appear tough.
And while he was speaking to Fox Host Martha MacCallum on Tuesday, Wolf seemed to confirm what many had accused his agency of doing: making unlawful arrests.
“The department, because we don’t have that local support, that local law enforcement support, are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals,” Wolf said. “And we need to do that because we need to hold them accountable. This idea that they can attack federal property and law enforcement officers and go to the other side of the street and say ‘you can’t touch me’ is ridiculous.”
Watch the clip below:
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wold says the actions of his department in Portland are “proactive” arrests of individuals and argues that his stormtroopers aren’t bound by the physical jurisdiction of federal property. pic.twitter.com/tIkcSTSmKf
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) July 21, 2020
By saying that his officers are proactively arresting people, Wolf suggests that they’re making arrests before people have committed crimes. This, of course, would be an unlawful arrest — you can’t arrest someone just because you think they might commit a crime.
Some could argue this is an unfair reading of Wolf’s remarks because his remarks referred to people who committed crimes, such as assaulting federal officers. The problem is that there have been multiple incidents of federal officials sweeping people off the streets despite no clear evidence or reason to believe they were involved in a crime. One person, Mark Pettibone, was reportedly detained by agents and eventually released without ever being charged with a crime.
So the seemingly “unfair” reading of Wolf’s remarks actually seems to accurately reflect what is happening on the ground in Portland.
Watch: Trump Declares Any Conversation With Him Is ‘Highly Classified’ (Which Is a Lie)
President Donald Trump says that any conversation anyone has with him is classified.
“I will consider every conversation with me as president as highly classified,” Trump said Monday, according to multiple reports.
The President made the glaringly false and impossible assertion while speaking to reporters Monday afternoon in the White House as he was attacking his former National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton. The White House reportedly is working on a major plan to try to strip credibility from Bolton and his soon-to-be released book about his time with Trump.
Calling it “highly inappropriate,” Trump also falsely claimed it is “unprecedented” for books to be published about sitting presidents.
Trump on Monday also wrongly threatened that Bolton faces “criminal liability”if he published his book.
“He’s breaking the law,” Trump told reporters about Bolton’s impending book release.
The Trump administration is reportedly planning a lawsuit to stop publication, as Bloomberg News reports.
“I would think he would have criminal problems. I hope so,” Trump said. “Maybe he’s not been telling the truth. He’s been known not to tell the truth.”
That’s factually incorrect. Regardless of Bolton’s agenda, he does not have a reputation for not telling the truth. In fact, just one of his statements was considered necessary to fact check by Politifact, which rated it “mostly true.”
Bolton worked as Trump’s NSA for 17 months.
Trump on Bolton’s Book: I don’t think he’s even supposed to be calling himself an ambassador because he couldn’t get senate confirmed… That’s highly classified information. Even the conversations with me, they’re highly classified… If the book gets out, he’s broken the law pic.twitter.com/FFVcFHobjy
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 15, 2020
Pence Press Secretary Katie Miller Condescendingly Blasts Reporter for Asking if Uninsured Can Get Tested for Coronavirus
Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller blasted a well-known reporter for asking if uninsured Americans will be able to get tested for COVID-19.
Miller, recently married to white nationalist and Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, condescendingly criticized CNN political analyst Brian Karem during Wednesday’s coronavirus press briefing at the White House.
Karem, who is also the White House correspondent for Playboy, at the end of the event asked, “Guys, guys, can the uninsured, can the uninsured get tested?”
Pence and his numerous aides walked away without answering the very valid question.
Karem repeated his question.
“Gentlemen, ladies,” he pressed, “Can the uninsured get tested?”
Katie Miller paused, turned her head to Karem, and replied, “Screaming for the camera isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
Karem did not miss a beat.
“Well how about answering the question?”
As Miller continued to walk away, Karem continued: “A valid question – could you answer it?”
This was probably not picked up most cable network coverage.
“Can the uninsured get tested?”
“Gentlemen, ladies…Can the uninsured get tested?”
WH staffer(?): “Screaming for the camera can’t get you anywhere.”
These people. SMH. pic.twitter.com/zBxPmPrCsn
— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) March 4, 2020
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