As his campaign to win re-election gains momentum, former US President Donald Trump is using progressively stern speech to attack his adversaries in politics and the court system.
The former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, was nominated to get the death penalty by Trump last week in an online post. He advocated for the immediate execution of shoplifters in California. He made fun of Paul Pelosi’s brutal attack last year during a house invasion by an assailant who investigators believe was well-versed in Trump’s electoral conspiracies while criticizing former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during the same speech.
Additionally, before and during the opening of his civil trial in New York on allegations of business fraud on Monday, Trump made a number of inflammatory remarks against New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump referred to James as “corrupt and racist,” “rogue,” and “out of control” hours before he entered the courtroom on Monday morning. Moreover, he posted criticism of the case’s judge, claiming that he ought to vacate the bench.
These are the kinds of remarks that might result in another defendant being found in contempt of court and might cause disgruntled former followers to stop supporting a different presidential candidate. But as evidenced by the Capitol riot on January 6 and other violent occurrences in recent years, many of Trump’s supporters seize upon and applaud his language — and even act on it.
Trump’s 2024 campaign itinerary has been extremely active lately, traveling to both coasts as well as competitive Michigan and Iowa. But with the first of many trials in the next year drawing near, the stepped-up campaign was distinguished more by the disorderly and angry comments he flung in campaign speeches and posts on social media.
Trump first hinted at the execution of his former senior military official on Truth Social, which heralded the start of his violet rhetoric.
“This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH,” Trump said on Truth Social, referring to Milley’s past communication with Chinese military leaders.
On Saturday in California, Trump chastised the state for its high crime rates and swore to put a stop to it immediately by shooting shoplifters. “Very simply, if you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store, shot,” Trump proclaimed at the California GOP Fall Convention, drawing applause from the audience.
He then proceeded to mock the Pelosis, to which the filled room ,erupted in gusts of laughter and chanting their approval.
Later, as he walked into the New York courtroom, Trump addressed James, telling reporters, “You ought to go after this attorney general.” Inside the courtroom, Trump appeared to be starring aggressively at James, looking down at her as he walked by.
On the judge ruling over his fraud case, Justice Arthur Engoron, Trump remarked on Truth Social that he “should resign from the ‘Bench’ and be sanctioned by the Courts for his abuse of power.” (The Supreme Court is the name of New York’s highest trial court.)