Trump has shown little remorse or any sign of self-reflection for what happened that day. In fact, he is making and promoting the same references to political violence that preceded January 6th.
Perhaps the most obvious recent example is Tuesday. On his Truth Social platform, Trump shared a message from a user actively encouraging physical violence on his behalf.
Discussing a hypothetical effort to disqualify Trump from office, the user said that anyone supporting such an effort “has to figure out how to fight 80,000,000 people and it’s not going to happen again.”
“Me and everyone my age will fight for him this time,” the user said. “What do we have to lose? I’m going to give it the rest of my time on this planet. I know a lot of other people who feel the same way. They got my 6 and we got locked and loaded.”
Trump sees this as a message that needs to be shared with his supporters.
Unlike many of Trump’s previous allusions to political violence, this one contains no real ambiguity or double meaning that could be used for plausible denial. It was a blunt assurance that Trump’s supporters would “physically” collectively fight for him.
This is just the latest example of Trump gesturing in this direction.In recent months, he has used Truth Social to ramp up his amplification of QAnon-related messages, A conspiracy theory that the FBI linked to the threat of extremist violence was embraced by many of the Jan. 6 rioters.
Just after the Mar-a-Lago attack in mid-August, Trump warned that “terrible things are going to happen” if people are outraged by his treatment.
Trump layered his comments at the time, saying he was willing to do what he could to help lower the “temperature,” but even his allies at Fox News doubted his true intentions. Trump’s comments since then have certainly shown that skepticism is warranted.
Indeed, later that month, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted “riots in the streets” if the former president were indicted for failing to return classified documents . Trump promoted the interview on Truth Social, but did not comment. (Graham later tried to refute this, saying, “I reject violence.”)
Then, in late September, Trump added some chilling words to one of his routine social media attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying McConnell “ There is a death wish”. The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial summed up the situation this way: “Mr. Trump’s defenders claim he meant only that Mr. McConnell had a political death wish, but that’s not what he wrote. It’s easy to imagine Some fanatics took Mr. Trump seriously and tried to kill Mr. McConnell.
Trump used and shared such suggestive remarks frequently early in his political career. In 2017, a federal judge found he may have incited violence at a rally. In one 25-hour period in mid-2020, Trump said of violent racial justice demonstrations that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and promoted a video in which an ally said, “The only good democracy Democrats are dead Democrats.”
(That ally, by the way, was later convicted for his role in the Jan. 6 riots and then became the first U.S. official in 150 years to be constitutionally disqualified from office for his involvement in an insurrection.)
Such comments have drawn criticism — and warnings of their dangers — before. They feel freshly relevant in the wake of the rebellion, providing stark evidence that some took Trump’s comments literally and seriously, as some observers feared. After the Mar-a-Lago search, the rhetoric gained weight again: The FBI reported increased threats to its agents, an armed Trump supporter and avid Truth Social user tried to break into FBI territory office in Cincinnati, and then died in a shootout.
Now it is undeniable that even if you somehow believe that Trump’s intentions are innocent, language like this leads to a very dark place.
And now, the committee’s investigation on Jan. 6 provides real evidence that Trump may have seen the political utility and threat of violence that day when he refused to call for peace and later expressed that to supporters storming the Capitol. “love”.
Despite his so-called olive branch in mid-August, it’s clear that Trump sees his supporters’ willingness to use violence as something to be proud of and possibly a leverage.
Probably for all its precedent, what happened on Tuesday went largely unnoticed in news reports. But it was a remarkable moment: A supporter voicing the kind of sentiment many took in real life on Jan. 6 — and Trump’s decision to share it with others, sparked A similar belief in evil people trying to overthrow him.