In a panel discussion about President Donald Trump's threats of violence on the streets if Democrats took over in November. One CNN legal analyst argued the speech was really about Trump warning of people of color taking over in November.
"Let's be clear also about what is going on here," said Jeff Toobin. "The theme here is: 'I'm Donald Trump and I'll protect you from the scary, black people.' Antifa is widely perceived as an African-American organization, and this is just part of the same story of Lebron James and Don Lemon and Maxine Waters and the NFL players and the UCLA basketball players."
He went on to say that the threat was Trump's attempt to appeal to the racism in the GOP. The commentator also noted no one ever calls the president out on it and they should. While Toobin is wrong about Antifa being widely perceived as a black organization, it's entirely possible Trump views it that way.
"We never say it -- we don't say it enough for what it is, but that's what is going on here," Toobin said.
Atlantic editor Ron Brownstein agreed somewhat with Toobin's assessment but noted he sees it as a broader theme.
"I think Trump basically has portrayed himself from the beginning as kind of the last line of defense for his supporters against all of the forces that he suggests are trying to take America away from them," he argued. "Sometimes it is coastal elites like his attack on Google this morning, and sometimes, often, it is minority leaders like all of the attacks that Jeffrey mentioned."
However, Brownstein said the president is trying to start a war between red and blue America to shore up his own base. Because evangelicals fall into the base, these leaders are part of that.
"He is presenting himself in effect as a war-time president for red America, only the war is largely against blue America," Brownstein continued. "I mean we've had presidents who have been accused of sliding voters outside of their base before Trump, I think really is the first one who actively kind of tries to demonize the voters and parts of the country outside of his base as a way of consolidating and mobilizing his own supporters."
He noted division is essential for Trump's plan to work.
"Of course, the price on that is it puts enormous pressure on the less partisan piece of the Republican coalition, mostly white-collar suburbanites which is where they face the greatest risk this fall, among the voters who look at what is happening and say, this is too much chaos for me. I want more checks and balances," he closed.
Toobin responded that he still believes it's about "black people and brown people."
"You know, yours is a sophisticated analysis, but I think it is as ugly as it could be. Let's not forget Donald Trump is -- became a politician by making up a racist lie about the first African-American president of the United States," Toobin said.
Watch the full panel discussion below: