President Donald Trump warned in an interview that his supporters could “play tough” and make things “very, very bad” if they “reach a certain point.” He cited the police, military and Bikers for Trump as his backers.
He didn’t define what that “certain point” might be in the Breitbart interview published Tuesday. But the implication was that his supporters would stand for a limited amount of political decisions that they opposed until the “tough people” made things “very, very bad.” Violence by a military opposed to political decisions would be a coup.
“I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump,” he said. “I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
The president also noted that the “left” plays it “cuter and tougher.” But he didn’t indicate that the “left” would go overboard at any point.
Trump has hinted at possible violence by his supporters a number of times and has even supported it. During his campaign, he once encouraged supporters to “beat the crap out of” protesters, offering to pay the legal fees of anyone who did.
Trump hinted at possible violence by Bikers for Trump at a campaign rally last year for now-Sen. Josh Hawlery (R-Mo.). “They’re peaceful people, and antifa and all — they’d better hope they stay that way,” he said. The Washington Post said that Trump’s stated “hopes” at various times that the situation will remain peaceful provide him with “plausible deniability” should violence erupt.
But it’s “clear” from his repeated comments that he’s suggesting his supporters from the military, law enforcement and bikers “could be tempted to rise up if things don’t go Trump’s way,” the Post noted.
Trump’s former personal attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen hinted at an American coup in his testimony before Congress earlier this month, warning that he feared if Trump didn’t win the 2020 election, he wouldn’t peacefully quit the presidency.
“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen told the House oversight committee.