President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to unleash the anger of his base over what he perceives as "vicious" attacks from the left.
Speaking to Breitbart Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle, Trump accused liberals of being "vicious" and savvier at playing "cuter and tougher."
“So here’s the thing—it’s so terrible what’s happening,” Trump alleged in the exclusive interview. “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?"
The president then boasted about having "the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump," referring to them as "the tough people."
What Trump said next was harrowing.
The president warned that his aforementioned base may have no choice but to turn violent if Democrats in the House continue to investigate his finances, his businesses, and his suspected clandestine relationship with Russia.
"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," Trump continued. "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. Republicans never played this.”
Barack Obama and Bill Clinton had it easy with Republicans in Congress, apparently.
Historical revisionism aside, Trump's remarks have disturbed Americans across the country, who are interpreting his words as fascist dog whistling.
Trump, from breitbart. Never mind that yes of course the republicans have sought & had investigations (what?), the… https://t.co/DMBvYFoVmH— benmont tench III (@benmont tench III)1552575050.0
—so when trump makes veiled threats at his opponents, as he did to Breitbart, from his position as president of the… https://t.co/XuKnnRET9T— Deanie Mills (@Deanie Mills)1552582313.0
Using paramilitaries like biker gangs has been a common authoritarian tactic. A pro-Putin biker gang—dubbed the Night Wolves—have used their "tough" aesthetic to incite violence and fear in Ukraine on Putin's behalf as recently as last year.
@ddale8 So, in other words, the president is condoning/inciting violence against his political enemies? Fascist, much?— Eric Slater (@Eric Slater)1552572804.0
@ddale8 Can you give us more context? It sounds like he is threatening martial law and vigilante justice if he doesn't get his way.— Bear Walks with Teri (@Bear Walks with Teri)1552573218.0
@ddale8 This isn’t even a thinly veiled threat. It’s blatant. Trump wants a police state, and he means it in all the worst ways.— Jules (@Jules)1552576841.0
And this was not the first time Trump has sprinkled the seeds of armed insurrection.
Following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, Trump said that "bikers for Trump" were "peaceful people" and that he hopes they "stay that way."
@ddale8 Trump said something similar at campaign rally last fall in countering Antifa https://t.co/M8ntzHFPFW https://t.co/trN8xEJfFI— David Nakamura (@David Nakamura)1552578845.0
This is not normal behavior for a US president.
This is the moment, and the day, when a squad of US Marshalls should escort trump out of the People's House. He had… https://t.co/0J5ly4bSDM— Arabella (@Arabella)1552588567.0
@DavidNakamura @ddale8 This is the way two-bit, tin-horn tyrants talk. And would-be banana-Republican dictators. I… https://t.co/v5Q70Ang7V— Jean Louise Finch (@Jean Louise Finch)1552579360.0
@ddale8 I at one time envied Americans. As a Canuck I always quietly thought America was the place to be, but not… https://t.co/1zS0Iq6xO4— Prairie Frost ~ Lifestyle & Self-Sustainability (@Prairie Frost ~ Lifestyle & Self-Sustainability)1552578253.0
@ddale8 You can’t make this up. Even if you tried hard. Not even if it was in Hollywood. This is literally the worst reality show ever.— Sam Buca (@Sam Buca)1552572710.0
@ddale8 Let's be clear: is the president suggesting that he would foment a second Civil War if he loses in 2020?— P.D. White (@P.D. White)1552574228.0
@ddale8 This does not seem mob-like or despotic at all.— the gater would like you to do us a favor though (@the gater would like you to do us a favor though)1552579544.0
Incidentally, we were recently warned. During his tesimony before the House Oversight Committee last month, Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen predicted that Trump would refuse to peacefully relinquish power if he loses the 2020 election.
"I fear that if he loses the presidential election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power," Cohen said.
With good reason.