President Donald Trump spreads a lot of messages of his own creation on Twitter—his apparent favorite form of communication—but Trump also repeats others’ words. And while he may not have written the quoted words himself, his tweet is an endorsement and amplification of them.
One presidential tweet Sunday had people crying foul, including a Republican House member, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
The words posted by the President were from controversial Trump Evangelical adviser, Pastor Robert Jeffress. A frequent guest on Fox News television and radio, Pastor Jeffress—who has been criticized for his Islamophobic, antisemitic, ethnocentric and homophobic views as well as other claims—appeared on Fox & Friends Weekend.
On Sunday during a flurry of tweets and retweets by the President trying to sway public opinion in advance of his impeachment inquiry, Trump included a quote from Jeffress with his own parenthetical response thrown in.
“If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be [Trump addition]), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
And while most respondents and recent polls disagreed with Jeffress and the President over the effects of an impeachment…
#CivilWar2 Frankly Donald, we don’t give a damn. We just want you Gone With The Wind as soon as possible.
— PassMeAPickle (@CeeLeeMusic) September 30, 2019
…GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger had harsh words for the President’s choice to share the Jeffress quote at all.
“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war. [Donald Trump] I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President.”
“This is beyond repugnant.”
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) September 30, 2019
This is not the first time Trump—whose family has five generations without military service despite two world wars, the Korean War and Vietnam War each involving drafts—drew criticism for his bold talk of war from veterans who actually served. Illionois’ Kinzinger was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
While many appreciated Kinzinger’s rebuke, others felt it was just the first step.
— 🏝 Kim (@kim) September 30, 2019
This began July 19, 2016, when Donald Trump announced at the @GOP convention that he was the only one who could fix the country’s problems. Since that night, he has created more problems for the United States than any foreign enemy ever could. What’s happening now was inevitable.
— JohnRJohnson (@JohnRJohnson) September 30, 2019
Then it is time for you to support the #ImpeachmentInquiry publicly and ambiguously, now.
Please put your country over party.
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) September 30, 2019
Your words are appreciated, but we need Republicans to take action now. Words are not enough when our country is at stake. Trump has taken actions that require action.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall pic.twitter.com/BYruv2ae2p
— Holly Lee (@LeeHolly81) September 30, 2019
Others responded to the President with messages similar to Kinzinger’s.
Those are the words of a pastor and you as a president thinks it’s ok to retweet those words?
— NMP2016 🆘 (@NMP20162) September 30, 2019
Ahem…despite the great advances in weaponry since muskets, it’s pretty certain that none of them have PARTY-seeking ammo. Wonder how YOUR UNregulated militia 2.0 will determine who to slaughter 1st at
…the WORLD knows
— E. Christophe’ (@simplyemc) September 30, 2019
In other words, YOU don’t care who’s gunned down to defend your dishonorable, unpresidential, treasonous behavior…even your FINE supporters & their children. If they still support your “potential” murderous regime to “own” their FELLOW citizens, it’s obviously about complexion
— E. Christophe’ (@simplyemc) September 30, 2019
You are a P.O.S. pic.twitter.com/b76fhlNaxb
— Len Harvey (@shelbyman350) September 30, 2019
So now the threats… is this when you will use your “Biker gangs”? Yea, I remember that threat. You have the Military behind you… remember that one?
You need to stop using FEAR.
I am not afraid of you. I am not afraid of your “Civil War”.
You should be afraid of Prison.
— MicalMacal (@mpmacal) September 30, 2019
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California, announced a formal impeachment inquiry would review the case for an impeachment vote. Since then, the President made veiled threats against the whistleblower and declared Pelosi no longer Speaker of the House in his eyes.
The United States Constitution—which all elected officials, military members and federal government workers take an oath to uphold and defend—established the impeachment process. Two Presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached. President Richard Nixon resigned before his impeachment inquiry ended and before a vote was taken.
Listen to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘ where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.