Trump recently sat down with his favorite alt-right cheerleaders at Breitbart for an interview, and they’ve been slowly oozing out the president’s semi-coherent ramblings over the past few days. Today they published a portion of their chat relating to Trump’s distaste for former House Speaker Paul Ryan. The reason? Amongst other things, Ryan was loathe to give Trump’s congressional attack dogs free rein to subpoena political enemies.
“Paul Ryan wouldn’t give the right to haveany subpoenas,” Trump is quoted by Breitbart as saying. “Okay? Now in all fairness, Meadows and Jordan and all these guys, they wanted to go tougher, but they weren’t allowed to by leadership.”
Trump then shifts gears from political intimidation via investigation to political intimidation via force in a rant about the relative “toughness” of both sides.
“You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? 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. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]—that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicansnever played this.”
Naturally, the president of the United States hinting—let alone openly threatening—political opponents with “tough” consequences that would be “very bad” made some people a tad uneasy.
Here is the president of the United States once again not-so-subtly hinting that his supporters — including the police and military — may become violent on his behalf. pic.twitter.com/dqvji9K9lh— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) March 14, 2019
The implicit threat of fascism... https://t.co/ErmtqHjzxS— Todd Domke (@ToddDomke) March 14, 2019
This is stoking Civil War. The military won’t be following any unlawful orders. Neither will most cops so that leaves the bikers ... 90% of whom are over 70. https://t.co/tnRAKbQonv— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) March 14, 2019
I want to be exactingly clear about this — I am not even slightly joking and I absolutely believe that within the relatively near future the US constitutional order is going to be overthrown by a coup. https://t.co/Uz1W681HgH— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 14, 2019
Of course, not everyone takes Trump’s off-the-cuff rants so seriously.
President Big Boy Says His Motorcycles Friends Will Beat You Up— Aaron Fullerton (@AaronFullerton) March 14, 2019
Trump doesn’t seem to mind his supporters carrying out violent retribution directed at his perceived enemies, as evidenced by his reactions to the Charlottesville hate rally, the synagogue shooter, the MAGA bomber, and more. Additionally, he doesn’t seem to mind allowing border patrol and ICE agents to use whatever tactics they deem necessary to intimidate Latin American refugees and asylum seekers from entering the United States. And he’s also not above ordering the military on purely political missions, like the midterm border patrol stunt last year. Put together, you can see why Trump’s threats are more than a little frightening.
h/t: Talking Points Memo