There are no shortage of factors President Trump will blame for mass killings and violence in America. In recent weeks he’s mentioned video games, the media, Hollywood, and “mental illness.” He’s also pointed a finger at immigrants and black members of Congress.
One factor leading to violence in the U.S that Trump has never seemed to consider is his own violent rhetoric. In fact, last week, Trump claimed that his language does just the opposite. “I think my rhetoric brings people together,” he said.
He’s right, in a way. He just seems to be bringing together the wrong people. As ABC News reported Wednesday, there’s a growing fraternity of Americans who have committed acts of violence, threatened acts of violence, or committed assault in the name of Trump.
The outlet found 29 cases of people positively echoing Trump’s language in relation to an attack and another 7 cases of people committing violent or threatening acts in defiance of him (many targeting Trump’s allies in Congress). Among the 29 cases of violent Trump sympathizers, most are white men, ABC News reports, and “the victims largely represent an array of minority groups — African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men.”
ABC News went back to find examples of similar incidents during the last two presidencies, each of which was eight years long. They found nothing.
ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.
The cases identified by ABC News stretch back to August of 2015, when a 30-year-old in Boston beat a sleeping homeless man with a pole and told police, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” The man’s victim was not in the U.S. illegally.
The most recent incident is this month’s shooting at an El Paso Walmart, before which the shooter published a manifesto that said “the media” would “blame Trump’s rhetoric” for the shooting. He insisted though, that his racist views “predate Trump.”