Terrorism
Proud Boys And Other Extremists Seize On Trump Shooting To Push 'Civil War'

Proud Boys demonstration in Miami

After the attempted assassination of Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, July 13, a long list of prominent Democrats — including President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) — forcefully condemned the attack, emphasizing that such violence has no place in U.S. politics.

Regardless, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) — once a scathing critic of Trump but now a devoted loyalist and possible running mate — blamed Democrats for the assassination attempt. Some other Republicans have pointed the finger at Democrats as well.

During an MSNBC segment on July 14, national security reporter Ken Dilanian warned that the Proud Boys and other far-right extremist groups have responded to the attack by calling for a civil war.

Dilanian told his colleague Kate Snow, "Several Republican members of Congress have directly blamed President Biden, the Democrats and the media for the assassination attempt. They claim it was a result of overheated rhetoric about Trump and part of a campaign to jeopardize his safety. So, for example, Georgia Republican Congressman Mike Collins posted, quote, 'Joe Biden sent the orders.'"

Dilanian continued, "And Trump campaign surrogate Nick Adams posted, on social media, quote, 'Joe Biden's rhetoric is directly responsible. There can be no discussion. This is a fact.'"

The reporter noted that although Democrats have "called Donald Trump an authoritarian and a threat to democracy," they "have never hinted that violence was an appropriate response to that."

Dilanian explained, "After this shooting, Democrats, including President Biden, have condemned it in the strongest possible terms, and they've called this political violence a threat to democracy…. And experts are worried that this kind of rhetoric increases the risk of more violence."

The MSNBC reporter warned that according to national security experts, "extremists" are "seizing on this incident.

"Telegram channels for branches of the Proud Boys militia group have been calling for civil war and violence," Dilanian told Snow. "According to Advance Democracy — that's an NGO that tracks this stuff — a user on one forum wrote that the Democratic National Committee, RINOs, and the feds, quote, 'should all be hung in the streets of D.C.' And users on a pro-Trump platform, Patriots.Win, are calling for violence and civil war. One user wrote, 'War now. They don't want to live and let live.' Some really dangerous rhetoric coursing around out there, Kate."

Dilanian observed that although some members of Congress are trying to calm the situation down, "flame-throwing politicians" are "not doing that at all."

"As long as there is some group of people who are throwing gasoline on the fire," Dilanian told Snow, "there are sort of a group of deranged individuals out there that are listening to it, paying close attention, and think they are essentially in a civil war."

Watch the full video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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