Donald Trump’s call for Americans to “protest”, after claiming he will be “arrested on Tuesday”, has sparked an angry reaction online, with commentators comparing it to the rhetoric used ahead of the January 6 2021 attack on Congress.
Speculation has been growing for weeks that Trump is about to be indicted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, for allegedly breaching campaign finance laws to arrange a payment of $130,000 in hush money to adult movie star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.
On January 6 2021 hundreds of Trump supporters stormed Congress in a bid to stop Joe Biden‘s 2020 presidential election result from being certified. In the ensuing mayhem, one Trump supporter was shot dead by police and dozens of officers were injured after being attacked with poles, rocks and chemical irritants.
Posting on his Truth Social website, in all capitals, Trump said leaks from “a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorneys office” indicate he will be “arrested on Tuesday of next week.”
The former president added: “Protest, take our nation back!”
Earlier Trump claimed “radical left anarchists have stollen our presidential election,” and claimed “American patriots” were being “held in captivity like animals,” in an apparent reference to those arrested over the January 6 disorder.
A number of political commentators condemned Trump’s call for protest on social media, with several suggesting he was inciting violence and making an explicit comparison with the January 6 unrest.
Philip Lewis, a senior HuffPost editor with over 300,000 Twitter followers, tweeted: “‘Protest, take our nation back’ is not politician speak. That is Trump calling for violence, and that is clear.”
Jon Cooper, co-founder of anti-Trump Super PAC The Democratic Coalition, commented: “Trump knows his cult followers. By calling for them to “Protest, take our country back!” he’s implicitly urging them to riot in the streets.
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