President Donald Trump made another reference to his supporters’ potential for violence in an interview published Wednesday.
Speaking to Breitbart News, Trump said that while the left “plays a tougher game,” his supporters “are tougher.”
“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.”
It’s hardly the first time Trump’s has talked up — and even goaded — his supporters’ potential for violence.
During the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly implied that he wanted his supporters to beat up protesters.
“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” he said in February 2016, promising to “pay for the legal fees.”
“Part of the problem, and part of the reason it takes so long [to take protesters out of rallies], is nobody wants to hurt each other any more,” he said a month later.
In 2017, he encouraged police officers to rough up arrestees on the way into squad cars.
Trump presaged Wednesday’s line during the 2018 midterm elections, the Washington Post’s David Nakamura pointed out, when he said of anti-fascist activists: “They’re so lucky that we’re peaceful.”
“Law enforcement, military, construction workers, Bikers for Trump — how about Bikers for Trump?” he continued. “They travel all over the country. They got Trump all over the place, and they’re great. They’ve been great. But these are tough people. These are great people. But they’re peaceful people, and Antifa and all — they’d better hope they stay that way.”
H/t Daniel Dale.