Trump is urging his supporters to use violence and 'brute force' because investigations are closing in on him: Robert Reich
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

White House veteran Robert Reich warned that President Donald Trump is going to lash out worse than we've ever seen as investigators continue to close in.


"What does a megalomaniacal president of the United States do when he’s cornered?" Reich mused in a column for The Guardian. "We’ll soon find out."

While House Democrats prepare a series of investigations into the president's alleged wrongdoing, Senate Republicans "have begun to desert him" on his border wall emergency declaration, special counsel Robert Mueller's report being made public and even the war in Yemen.

"Trump cannot abide losing," the Clinton-era Labor secretary wrote. "His ego can’t contain humiliation. He is incapable of shame."

In response to being cornered, Trump raised "the specter of violence against his political opponents" by telling the right-wing Breitbart website that his "tough" backers — police, military and "Bikers for Trump" — are prepared to counter his opponents.

“I actually think that the people on the right are tougher,” the president said in the interview. “But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress ... with all this invest[igations] – that’s all they want to do is – you know, they do things that are nasty.”

"In Trump’s mind, congressional investigations that could cause him shame and humiliation, and quite possibly result in a prison sentence, will be countered by forces loyal to him: the police, the military, and vigilante groups like Bikers for Trump," Reich wrote. "To put it another way, the work of a democratically elected Congress will be met by Trump loyalists who, he asserts, are 'tougher' because they have brute force on their side."

Though nobody knows what "bizarre scenario" Trump has concocted in his mind, hints of it have emerged since the controversial Breitbart interview when, after a terror attack against Muslims at two New Zealand mosques, the president claimed he doesn't think white nationalism is on the rise.

"It is hardly the first time Trump has played down white nationalism, or signaled his support for those who might use violence on his behalf," Reich wrote, noting that the president has on many occasions alluded to and even outright called for violence against political opponents.

"Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump has given cover to some of the most vile bigots in America," he concluded. "As he grows more desperate, he is giving them encouragement."