It has been some 25 months since supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. Trump was later impeached for allegedly inciting the mob, with a historic number of Republicans voting to convict, though the Senate acquitted him. And many of those arrested for rioting said Trump’s suggestive language ahead of that date amounted to a call to arms.
Trump has shown little remorse and no signs of self-reflection about what happened that day. In fact, he’s making and promoting the same kind of references to political violence that preceded Jan. 6.
Perhaps the most pronounced recent example came Tuesday. On his Truth Social platform, Trump shared the message of a user actively encouraging physical violence on his behalf.
Discussing a hypothetical effort to disqualify Trump from office, the user said anyone behind such an effort “will have to figure out how to fight 80,000,000 + it’s not going to happen again.”
“People my age and old will physically fight for him this time,” the user said. “What we got to lose ? I’ll donate the rest of my time here on this planet to do it. And I know many many others who feel the same. They got my 6 and we Are Locked and LOADED.”
Trump decided this was a message that needed to be shared with his supporters.
Unlike many of Trump’s previous allusions to political violence, this one contains no real ambiguity or dual meaning that could be exploited for plausible deniability. It was a straight-up assurance that Trump supporters will “physically” fight for him, en masse.
This is only the latest instance in which Trump has gestured in this direction. Using Truth Social, in recent months he has upped his amplification of messages related to QAnon, a conspiracy theory that the FBI has linked to the threat of extremist violence and that was embraced by many Jan. 6 rioters.