As the list of more than 1,000 hate-motivated incidents since Donald Trump’s election continues to grow, the president-elect admitted on Friday that his supporters were “violent” and “vicious” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Speaking in Orlando, Florida on his “thank you tour” of states which favored the billionaire businessman over Hillary Clinton, Trump half-heartedly attempted to quell boisterous anti-Clinton and anti-media chants including “lock her up” and “move them back.” Trump started by suggesting his supporters’ acrimonious ferocity helped spur him to victory.
“You people were vicious, violent, screaming, ‘Where’s the wall? We want the wall,” saidTrump. “Screaming, ‘Prison! Prison! Lock her up!’ I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?”
Trump then suggested it was time to be “mellow.”
“Now, you’re mellow and you’re cool and you’re not nearly as vicious or violent, right?” he asked. “Because we won, right?”
Violence plagued Trump campaign events, with the candidate himself sometimes inciting or condoning attacks against protesters. After a Black Lives Matter activist was brutally assaulted and called racist slurs at a Birmingham, Alabama campaign rally last November, Trump said of the victim, “maybe he should have been roughed up.” In February he urged supporters to “knock the crap out of” other protesters and promised to pay for the legal defense of anyone who did. Also in February he waxed nostalgic for the days when protesters who interrupted candidate speeches were “carried out on a stretcher.”
”We’re not allowed to punch back anymore,” lamented Trump. ”We’ve become weak,” he repeated the following month in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he fondly remembered the “good old days” when “they used to treat them very, very rough.”
”Part of the problem,” he said in St. Louis in March, “ …is nobody wants to hurt each other any more.”
But based on that ever-growing hate crime list — and sadly, a notable number of violent anti-Trump attacks — it appears as if plenty of Americans indeed do wish to hurt each other.