On CNN Wednesday, former Republican strategist Rick Wilson tore into GOP figures for their increasingly violent rhetoric surrounding the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Republicans are riling up voters about the search, conducted as part of an investigation into missing classified information, despite knowing they are prone to acts of violence in the aftermath of the January 6 attack, Wilson pointed out.
"You got Matt Schlapp, who runs that thing called CPAC, who says the FBI move 'shows that we've become a third-world country," said anchor John Heilemann. "Bernie Kerik told Newsmax the Democrats are trying to 'assassinate' Trump. This really is a Big Lie 2.0, and it strikes me as arguably more incendiary and more dangerous in the moment like you really are striking the match right next to a house that's already been soaked in kerosene."
"I think that's right, John," said Wilson. "The terms they're using, that this was an assassination, this was a hit, this was a raid, all these things are doing, they're trying to frame this out as something that's outside the bounds, that has nothing to do with Trump's long, consistent pattern of illegality. Merrick Garland is a guy who never once in his life has yelled hold my beer. This was a careful warrant. It was issued by a judge. It was done with all the reviews. They knew this would have those political impacts, and it was done in a very careful scope and manner, and of course, Trump is going to lie about it. Of course, his people are going to lie about it."
The rallying around Trump, continued Wilson, is going to have other effects too.
"This also is a real sign that all the flirtation with Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz and anybody else who thought they were going to run in '24 with Fox, they're all back on board now with Trump, they're all back in bed with him, and I think you're going to see that Trump's going to try to leverage this experience into his next campaign into disrupting the country as much as he can," said Wilson. "The Schedule F idea, basically burning down the government and filling it with little clones like Steve Bannon, is extraordinarily dangerous. They're relying on rhetoric and communications and narratives right now that are encouraging a base of people who have already demonstrated that they can be motivated to violence without much effort.
Rick Wilson on GOP attacks on the FBI www.youtube.com