According to Trump, victims of violence in his name both don’t exist and have it coming

Donald Trump is not unique in wanting to “bomb the sh*t” out of the Islamic State. He is not unique in wanting to appoint Supreme Court justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges. He is not unique in having a tax plan whose math can best be described as “negative a few trillion plus ??? equals zero.”

In most substantive respects, Donald Trump’s campaign is a carbon copy of traditional Republican campaigns. The platform, the logic and the rhetoric used to sell it are all remarkably similar.

What’s made Trump’s campaign different has been its tenor and tone. Specifically, it has at times been overtly pro-violence. Earlier this week, after months of Trump telling his supporters that he’d “like to punch [protestors] in the face,” and that “in the good ol’ days” you could just “knock the crap out of of” people who caused a ruckus at your events, a white supporter sucker punched a black protestor while he was being escorted out of a Trump event. Asked about the protestor on his way out of the event, the assailant (who was only arrested later in the day, unlike the protestor who was arrested on the spot) said, “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.

Asked about this and other incidents of violence at his events, Donald Trump condoned his supporters’ actions:

[iframe class=”video-embed” src=”https://mediamatters.org/embed/209161″ width=”480″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen scrolling=”no”]

Notice how fast Trump went from “I hope not” to “We have some protestors who are bad dudes”? Big, strong, powerful, (black) dudes? And all it took was for Jake Tapper to remind Trump that, despite his false hopes, he has in fact advocated for violence at his rallies — in one case promising to pay for the legal fees of anyone who assaulted protestors.

Donald Trump, via iprimages / Flickr

Donald Trump, via iprimages / Flickr

Trump may have to make good on that promise to cover the legal fees of people who commit assault in his name, as his campaign manager, Cory Lewandowski, is now the defendant in a legal complaint made by Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Fields, in a story corroborated by the Washington Post’s Ben Terris, was forcibly removed from Trump’s orbit by Lewandowski during a press scrum. According to Terris, Lewandowski grabbed Fields and dragged her back hard enough to leave bruises on Fields’s arm.

Asked about the incident after last night’s debate, Trump suggested that Fields made the entire story up. Lewandowski, for his part, has insisted she’s lying — but only after reportedly telling another journalist that he did in fact grab her…because he thought she was a member of the “mainstream media.” In other words, if he had known that Fields worked for Breitbart, a Trump-friendly outlet, none of this would have happened.

I don’t like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, but I trust that if either of their campaign managers admitted to assaulting a reporter, they’d be fired. Hell, Cruz has already fired a member of his senior staff for insinuating that Marco Rubio made a bad joke about the Bible. But as far as Donald Trump is concerned, his supporters and his staff are blameless. Victims of those who commit violence in his name either don’t exist or have it coming. Or both.

That’s unique, and that’s dangerous.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • The_Fixer

    Good grief, the Drumpfo der Clown is a child.

    I’ve said that before, and it bears repeating. He not only talks like one, he reasons like one. Only a 4th grader would try that tactic – lie and then justify. It’s simply ludicrous.

    To anybody who’s been paying attention, it’s been apparent for quite some time. However, it seems to be getting far worse. This makes his supporters children as well. It’s obvious from the behavior in which they engage, and the words they speak.

    This has gone far past funny into horror story territory. If I believed in a deity, I’d be asking for help from him/her/whatever. It’s just plain nuts.

  • FLL

    If Trump has a plurality of delegates but doesn’t win the nomination, Trump supporters will want to burn the Republican Party to the ground. I worry for the city of Cincinnati, and so does their police department, which is currently bidding to buy massive amounts of riot gear. The venue for the Republican convention will probably screen participants for flammable substances, and with good reason. I can easily see some Trump nutcases pouring gasoline on the convention floor and lighting a match to it. When I said that Trump supporters might want to “burn the Republican Party to the ground” in the first sentence, I wasn’t being entirely figurative.

  • Drumpf is a fascist, pure and simple, and violence is always part of such movements.

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