"'Death and destruction,'" said anchor Poppy Harlow. "Given the history and the background of the death and violence on January 6th and the insurrection, why is the [former] president saying this?"
"He doesn't see any downside to upping the ante," said Phillip. "And why would he? Every time that he's escalated the rhetoric, the response on Capitol Hill from Republicans, even the ones who are typically more measured about Trump, has been to circle the wagons around him. So these things really feed on themselves. When trump sees the reaction to one post, the previous one, calling on his supporters to protest, and he sees that the only consequence of that had been that Republicans basically said, we've got to defend Trump, he goes one step further, and I think that's what we're seeing here. We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know what Alvin Bragg is going to do. But Trump is raising a lot of money off of this kind of rhetoric. And I think that he does not care if he does, in fact, spin up unrest. That's part of the strategy."
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"Well, he raised a whole lot of money by saying, oh, I'm going to be — you know, insinuating that he was going to be indicted on Tuesday, right raise money off of that," agreed anchor Don Lemon. "But this is really disturbing me, because he's been doing this for a while, and I think we can't talk enough about it, where he's been calling these prosecutors who happen to be African-American, saying that they're racist. He called Alvin Bragg a 'Soros-backed animal.' He's turning to his old tricks here of, you know, being racist or racist-adjacent, using that type of language for people."
"And as someone who's covered trump for years, if you go back and you read his rhetoric — I mean, this goes actually all the way back to the 80s," said Phillip. "Trump has a very long history of calling Black people racist or dumb or using, you know — talking about Baltimore as being, you know, filthy, rat-infested, the same thing with Congressman John Lewis' district in the Atlanta suburbs. So he has a long history of that. These are — I don't know if we can even call them codes at this point, because I think that it's pretty transparent, but they are signals to his base, who are much more prone to see Black people, in positions of power in particular, in a racial lens, even though what the D.A. is doing at this moment actually has absolutely nothing to do with race."
"I think we've got to just stick with the facts here, wait for them to unfold and not get distracted by what Trump is trying to do, which is to rile up his his base from a political perspective on this issue," Phillip added.
Watch the video below or at this link.
Trump is whipping up unrest and it's 'all part of the strategy': CNN's Abby Phillip