lock her up
Trump Labels Reporter 'a Criminal' to His Face After He Asked Trump Why He's 'Calling Biden a Criminal'
Throughout the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump insisted that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was "crooked" and a criminal, despite multiple investigations proving otherwise. Trump's supporters would gleefully chant "Lock her up" at his rallies—chants which persevere today.
Trump seems to have adopted a similar strategy in 2020 against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, whom Trump tweeted "makes Crooked Hillary look like an amateur!"
Now, Trump is pushing a New York Post report that Biden's son, Hunter, orchestrated a meeting between the then-Vice President and an executive at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
The story relies on unauthenticated documents supplied by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who supposedly got the hacked emails and photos from a laptop repairman who claims to have had access to Hunter Biden's laptop in 2019. The repairman's story has changed multiple times.
The Biden campaign has fervently denied the story and even conservative network Fox News passed on the chance to break it, citing fears about its credibility.
Nevertheless, Trump is treating the story as true, and he's once again chastising the media for being biased against him by not presenting it as fact.
Trump called one reporter a "criminal" for allegedly not covering it.
The president of the United States says that a reporter asking him a question is "a criminal for not reporting" on the Hunter Biden smear story. pic.twitter.com/g7gVI4K2YB
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) October 19, 2020
When asked why his campaign strategy—15 days before the election—is to claim Biden is a criminal, Trump answered:
"He is a criminal. He's a criminal. He got caught. Read his laptop. And you know who's a criminal? You're a criminal for not reporting it. You are a criminal for not reporting it ... Joe Biden is a criminal and he's been a criminal for a long time and you're a criminal and the media for not reporting it."
Twitter users emphasized that—despite the past four years—the President publicly accusing a journalist of being a criminal for not reporting something is not normal.
I teach a section of college first-years. They're 18, 19 years old. Trump is the first president they've known as adults.
I stress to them: This is not normal. Calling for your opponent's arrest, calling for media arrests, is different and crazy and dangerous. https://t.co/dASctUJGb8
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) October 19, 2020
It is a very serious and sobering development anytime the United States government accuses a citizen of engaging in violations of federal law. It requires evidence.
Don't get numb to any elected leader publicly and casually labeling anyone they disagree with a "criminal." https://t.co/L5pIzLSFHc
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) October 19, 2020
During my field research, I've seen plenty of leaders call journalists criminals. It's just that they're usually in places like Zambia, Thailand, and Belarus, not the United States. https://t.co/0tcyS3ugaG
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 19, 2020
The President is throwing the word “criminal" with disturbingly increased frequency. This is not normal. It can never be normal. And the press need to start defending themselves and democracy with a little more ferocity. https://t.co/pw1rz4Ozvo
— Jason Grant (@jase0910) October 19, 2020
calling journalists criminals for not reporting the way the president wants is dangerous. https://t.co/ikFzt7mzDu
— Oscar Winberg (@WinbergOscar) October 19, 2020
Some think Trump is falling apart and becoming more dangerous.
He is now entering Full Panic mode!
He knows he is losing. His fake empire will be destroyed and he will spend most of the rest of his life in courtrooms and hopefully prison.
Help make this happen #VoteBidenHarris #TrumpMeltDown https://t.co/Mg4C4pJXac
— SICK OF Agolf Twitler (@bblock29) October 19, 2020
Totally normal behavior and not at all crazy flailing desperation. pic.twitter.com/PDvpiAIGfV
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) October 19, 2020
Trump is enraged & confrontational. His fantasy world is cracking as he tries to tell people it's OK. Now is the time to go at him hard. Confuse, frustrate & challenge him on his ability to mentally function. Call out his delusions. Make him eat every lie.pic.twitter.com/oqkaBCHmx4
— Tom Joseph (@TomJChicago) October 19, 2020
The presidential election is on November 3rd, but early voting has begun in at least 40 states.