“Trump: The Political Threats Will Stop … When You Agree With My Lies”

Rolling Stone:

AT THE START of this election year, Donald Trump spoke of “bedlam” breaking out if criminal prosecutions prevent him from retaking the White House. But the chaos the former president is threatening isn’t an abstraction. It’s already here, barely a month into 2024.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently warned of “a deeply disturbing spike in threats against those who serve the public.” Last month, his top deputy said the Department of Justice is receiving urgent reports of threats to public officials “on a weekly basis.” Around the country, election officials in key battleground states say they are devoting unprecedented resources to election and physical security, and are bracing for an increasingly hellish 2024 to come.

The man who has inspired much of the wave of threats and intimidation efforts directed at politicians, judges, prosecutors, and other officials is not disturbed by any of this. Trump has stressed to close allies that if those individuals — who he says are “harassing” him or trying to “cheat” him out of the 2024 election — simply did what he wanted, the torrent of death threats would stop immediately, two people with knowledge of the situation say. 

Trump has publicly pledged that if the criminal cases against him hurt his election prospects, “It’ll be bedlam in the country.” Trump’s lawyers similarly warned the Supreme Court there would be “chaos and bedlam” should Colorado prevail in keeping him off the ballot.  

At times, though, the former president has privately accused some officials and Democrats of making up certain threats and attacks to make him look bad, the two sources add.

But for the many people on the receiving end of those threats, there’s nothing fictitious about the dangers or the reverberating consequences. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to find new ways to protect themselves and their staffers. Three years after the deadly Jan. 6 riot, U.S. Capitol Police are still grappling with an explosion in violent threats. And critical states in the upcoming election are experiencing a sharp rise in resignationsamong election workers and administrators, many of whom openly say they can’t withstand the pro-Trump, conspiracy-theory-fueled scare tactics any longer. 

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