1) Brian Klaas, “Trump Floats the Idea of Executing Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley; The former president is inciting violence against the nation’s top general. America’s response is distracted and numb,” The Atlantic, September 25, 2023 (8:00 am);
2) “Trump issues veiled call for the assassination of Joe Biden,” The Trenchant Observer, November 2, 2020;
3) Aaron Blake, “On election eve, Trump dances around a powder keg with a lit match,” Washington Post, November 2, 2020 (11:13 a.m. EST);
Donald Trump’s fascist behavior has become more overt. He has called Gen Mark Milley, the retiring Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a “traitor” and issued a veiled appeal for his assassination.
This fascist behavior is not new for Trump.
On November 2, 2020, he issued a veiled appeal for the assassination of Joe Biden. As we wrote then, “Our thanks go out to Aaron Blake, who had the courage to report some of the truly disturbing things Trump has been saying at his rallies and in his tweets. Blake reported today…”
Speaking to supporters in Opa-locka, Fla., on Sunday night into Monday, the president, who faces potential defeat this week, began sizing up his opponent Joe Biden’s physical attributes and describing how he might beat him up.
“So those legs — those legs, they’ve gotten very thin,” Trump said. “Not a lot of base.”
He continued, drawing his words out carefully and slowly. “You wouldn’t have to close,” he said, holding up a clenched fist and then releasing it, “you wouldn’t have to close the fi-.”
In a similar riff the day before, Trump’s sentiment was even clearer, though he again suggestively trailed off at the end: “A slight slap. You don’t have to close — even close your fist.”
Trump has also for weeks used a potentially suggestive word to describe Biden’s mental state, repeatedly referring to the idea that he’s “shot” — which critics suggest is a deliberate double entendre. At one point last week, he referred to the idea of Kamala D. Harris taking over, saying, “Three weeks in, Joe’s shot. Let’s go, Kamala, you ready?”
–See Aaron Blake, “On election eve, Trump dances around a powder keg with a lit match,” Washington Post, November 2, 2020 (11:13 a.m. EST).
As we wrote then,
Now, Trump’s dog-whistle encouragement of political violence has spilled into public view with what amounts to a dog-bullhorn call for the assassination of Joe Biden.
Blake’s article should be the lead story with a large headline above the fold in today’s newspapers. Instead, it is buried inside. The fact that the major newspapers will not give prominence to such an explosive story reveals that they are afraid of Donald Trump, and no longer have the courage to take him on frontally. NOTHING COULD BE MORE CONSEQUENTIAL THAN THIS STORY.
Trump has developed into an art form the commission of major crimes in full sight.
Trump’s veiled suggestion that Biden should be shot (enters) into an area which beyond any doubt constitutes another of Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which he should be impeached and removed from office. Maybe he will be.
Where are the Republicans calling Trump out for this most recent outrage? If they remain silent, they should be viewed by everyone as accomplices.
Incitement to shoot or murder a presidential candidate is a very serious felony. Once we have an independent Attorney General and Justice Department, again, they should conduct a very serious investigation into this matter. If that investigation results in the indictment of Donald Trump for inciting violence against a Presidential candidate, he can explain to the jury that he was “just kidding” or only meant that Biden would be “shot” in the sense of being worn out. The jury would take all of the surrounding circumstances into account in reaching its judgment.
We should remember Harvey Oswald, John Hinkley, and all of the other nuts who are running around out there, excited to a fever pitch by Trump’s rhetoric of violence.
Trump is inciting nuts like Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinkley, and all the nuts out there to go and try to kill Gen. Milley.
He should be indicted for this felonious conduct. More immediately, the judge in the January 6 case should grant the prosecution’s motion for a gag order, and should jail Trump for violating the conditions of his bail.
This could lead to civil war, some will argue.
However, the conditions are more favorable for reasserting the rule of law in the United States today than they are likely to be in the future, particularly if Trump were to win the 2024 election.
The demonstrators involved in the January 6 Insurrection have been convicted and are in prison. High profile prosecutions of anyone making death threats should chill the ardor of Trump supporters.
President Biden controls the military and the Justice Department including the FBI. That is far different from the situation existing in January 2021.
The authorities should be able to uphold the rule of law, even if Trump is jailed for violating his bail conditions.
The First Amendment does not protect speech inciting violence and implicitly calling for the assassination of a U.S. official.
Fascist behavior must be met with action to protect the rule of law.
While there is still time.
The Trenchant Observer