Following large protests at his rallies in both St. Louis and Chicago on Friday, leading to the cancellation of the Chicago event and one in Cincinnati on Saturday, Donald Trump appeared on pretty much every Sunday news talk show to discuss the rising violence at his events. While the hosts tried to corner him on the subject, pointing out that he’s been condoning and encouraging violence against protesters at his events for some time, the Republican candidate refused to take responsibility, instead blaming Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders for the disruptions, claiming that he is personally directing his supporters to crash his events.
Now, while he was doing these numerous interviews, he also sent out a tweet piggybacking on his assertion that Bernie is directly responsible for the disruptions and increasing violence at his rallies.
Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2016
Look, this is a straight-up threat. There is no other way to look at this. He’s personally stating that Sanders needs to “be careful” or he will sic his supporters on him. Seriously, this is a Mafia-like tactic, trying to get Bernie to kowtow to him and do whatever it is he wants. Sure, it is Twitter tough guy syndrome at its basest, but just putting this out there, he is agitating his already unhinged Trumpkins.
Yet, this was barely covered by the mainstream media. To be fair, he only sent this out on Sunday morning, and perhaps this will receive more coverage on Monday. (Or get passed over for the next Trump story…sorta like how nobody is asking about his campaign manager assaulting a reporter anymore.) Also, there is only so much interview time, and the hosts were busy trying to get Trump to address the situation that is only happening at his events. At the same time, they need to call out the celebrity billionaire when he makes extremely dangerous statements like these.
Making overt threats to opposing candidates and their supporters is the trademark of a fascistic strongman. And, at this point, Trump knows he isn’t going to suffer any consequences, whether it is from the mainstream press, his own political party or Republican voters. His supporters love this shit because they are drawn to an authoritarian whose entire platform is built on white nationalism. And the media will play along because of ratings and clicks, regardless of the damage he’s causing the country, both here and abroad.
Every single day, Donald Trump does something that is beyond disqualifying. And every single day, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News treat it with a shrug and discuss what it might mean to his poll numbers.