The Inciter-In-Chief: Trump Supporters Are Responsible For A Wave Of Terrorism
President Donald Trump’s rise to power has inspired dozens of individuals to commit violent acts, not only in the United States but in at least one other country as well.
ABC News noted that last year, “four days after a 21-year-old allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed online and then allegedly opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 and injuring dozens of others,” the president insisted he is not to blame for his supporters acting out in violence and said, "I think my rhetoric brings people together.”
But the evidence does not bear out this conclusion.
Earlier this year, ABC found 54 cases invoking the president’s name in connection with violence, threats, and alleged assaults.
More recently, a teenager from Antioch, Illinois, traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to join a right-wing militia group in “protecting” businesses amid ongoing protests against the shooting of a Black man in the city.
- Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, “faces a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha for allegedly shooting and killing two people and injuring another” while attending the protest, The Hill reported.
- And a video on the teen’s TikTok account shows him with a front-row seat at a January Trump rally.
- “A review of his other social media accounts appears to show he is a supporter of Trump and the pro-law enforcement ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movement,” the news outlet reported.
- As has become typical, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign denied that the president is culpable in any way and said he has “repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness.”
- However, The Hill noted that “Trump has previously called demonstrators protesting police violence ‘terrorists’ and shared similar pro-law enforcement rhetoric as Rittenhouse did on his social media accounts.”
Another violent Trump supporter of note is Patrick Crusius, who on August 3, 2019, opened fire at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring 26 others.
- Vox noted last year that the shooters stated intention was to kill Latinx people and immigrants, and “Minutes before he shot dozens of people, a racist, xenophobic manifesto appeared on the 8chan online forum, warning readers of a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of Texas.” Federal officials believe it was written by the shooter.
- Speculation began immediately that Crusius “may have been imitating Trump’s rhetoric about an ‘invasion’ of ‘people’ and ‘illegal immigrants.’”
The language used to describe Mexican Americans and Latinx immigrants was shocking — not just because of the hatred and racism it revealed, but because it was similar to the language repeated by the president of the United States.
Likewise, one of the suspects in a pair of deadly shootings at New Zealand mosques last year “wrote in a manifesto that he supported President Trump "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose," The Hill reported at the time.
The suspected shooter reportedly wrote in a more than 70-page manifesto that he somewhat supported Trump: “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”
- Forty-nine people were killed in the attack.
- “The worshippers were killed during shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday morning prayers. At least 40 other people were injured,” The Hill reported.
Trump’s name also came up in February 2018 after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured 17 others in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- Cruz’s profile picture on his Instagram account showed him sporting a red MAGA hat, Snopes verified.
- The Daily Beast reported that one of the shooter’s classmates confirmed he had seen Cruz wear the hat, which is a common sight among Trump supporters:
“I knew him to be passive aggressive but not violent. He was rude to people. He had an act up like he was tough. He never got into, like, physical fights with anyone, but he did get into verbal arguments,” 17-year-old Ocean Parodie told The Daily Beast. “I just thought he dropped out of school, I didn’t think he would do anything. He always kept a low profile.”
Cruz always had his hair short and had a penchant for wearing patriotic shirts that “seemed really extreme, like hating on” Islam, Parodie said. The suspected gunman would also deride Muslims as “terrorists and bombers.”
“I’ve seen him wear a Trump hat,” the student said.
These cases are just the tip of the iceberg, as ABC News noted:
After a Latino gas station attendant in Gainesville, Florida, was suddenly punched in the head by a white man, the victim could be heard on surveillance camera recounting the attacker’s own words: “He said, ‘This is for Trump.'" Charges were filed but the victim stopped pursuing them.
When police questioned a Washington state man about his threats to kill a local Syrian-born man, the suspect told police he wanted the victim to "get out of my country," adding, "That’s why I like Trump."
Reviewing police reports and court records, ABC News found that in at least 12 cases perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically assaulting innocent victims. In another 18 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant's violent or threatening behavior.
President Donald Trump is the Inciter-In-Chief, as evidenced by the many acts of violence committed by his supporters in less than four years in office.