Last week, under fire for his rhetoric, President Donald Trump actually claimed he thinks it “brings people together.” An ABC News investigation finds that the people President Trump’s rhetoric “brings together” include mostly white men, in criminal cases involving violence, threats, and alleged assaults against mostly minorities, including African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and gay men.
“I think my rhetoric brings people together,” President Trump said, just days after an alleged white supremacist allegedly shot and killed 22 people in an El Paso, Texas Walmart. Minutes earlier, it is believed, he posted an anti-immigrant manifesto to a message board that has been called “a Megaphone for Gunmen,” and is popular with the alt-right.
Now, ABC News reports it has found 36 criminal cases where President Trump’s name was invoked “in direct connection” with those acts of violence, threats, or alleged assaults.
“In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior,” ABC reports.
There were an additional seven cases that “involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump’s allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases — 29 of the 36 — reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.”
The perpetrators and the suspects range in age from teenagers to as old as 75.
The victims “largely represent an array of minority groups — African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men.”
President Trump has said he deserves “no blame,” but ABC News reports it found exactly zero cases “where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.”