Not only has President Donald Trump refused to condemn his supporters who swarmed a Biden campaign bus on the highway as it passed through San Antonio, but he retweeted a video of the episode with a giddy “I LOVE TEXAS!”
Trump also reveled in the episode during a riff at his Pennsylvania rally Saturday night.
The response from the Texas Republican party was even more callous.
Citing the supposed “execution” of Trump supporters and attempted “rape and killing” of the McCloskeys, the gun-toting couple from St. Louis who were indicted after brandishing their weapons at protesters, chair Allen West dismissed the incident as “propaganda.”
“Where is the liberal corporate media’s concern about that real violence? Additionally, none of what your question implies is accurate. It is more fake news and propaganda,” he responded to a Texas Tribune writer in an official party statement. “Prepare to lose … stop bothering me. Maybe Soros can cut y’all another check in 2022.”
Some current and former Democratic Texas officials, including U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (R-TX), were on the bus at the time.
“This aggressive, abusive conduct by his supporters comes from Trump continuing to incite acts of intimidation and violence,” Doggett tweeted. “As Republican lawyers use Republican-dominated courts to diminish voting, this is another more outrageous form of voter suppression.”
“Those who fear their party is about to lose Texas resort to such desperate tactics,” he added. “We have to stand up to these bullies just as we seek to protect the right of every last Texan to vote out the Bully-in-Chief.”
According to the Texas Tribune, Trump fans rallied on social media to intimidate the bus, causing at least one collision between the cars and the cancellation of scheduled Biden campaign events due to safety concerns. Neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the latter of which was campaigning in Texas on Friday, was on the bus.
The Trump squadron eventually backed off when a police escort arrived, and the FBI is now reportedly investigating.
FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee from the San Antonio field office told TPM that an official statement on the incident will be coming later Sunday afternoon.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democrats, tweeted that at one point, the Trump supporters “ran into a person’s car, yelling curse words and threats.” Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-TX) said that those flanking the bus were “armed.”
Senior Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders tweeted that Trump’s response to the intimidation was even more reason for Americans to vote him out.
“What the President tweeted in regards to Texas is reckless, dangerous and an intimidation tactic,” she said. “It’s not something we should come to accept from our leaders. The people of our great country have the opportunity to turn the corner here. VOTE. HIM. OUT.”