While Trump refuses to accept any responsibility for his own hateful, extreme rhetoric targeting immigrants and other groups and its connection to violence against those groups, an ABC News report details more than 30 incidents in which someone committed an act of violence and then directly invoked Trump and the things he’s said.
But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.
In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior.
Seven cases involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump’s allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases — 29 of the 36 — reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.
Because there are no such cases. We are in very dangerous territory, with a president who routinely points the most vile rhetoric at various groups of people, then delusionally pretends that, as he said directly, “I think my rhetoric brings people together.” But the people it brings together are right-wing extremists and bigots who take him at face value and attack those groups with violence. If you’re going to tell people that Latino immigrants are involved in an “invasion,” how do you respond? By repelling the invasion. We shoot and kill those who try to invade a country. Of course, it isn’t anything like an invasion, it’s a refugee crisis. It’s people so desperate for a better life that they travel thousands of miles on foot in the desert to make it to America, with no guarantee that they can even get in. That’s desperate refugees, not invaders. But when you use that kind of rhetoric, some people are going to respond to it the same way we would if, say, Iran sent troops to invade our borders — by trying to kill them.