Friday, December 02, 2022


Say, did you know that Donald Trump thinks the January 6 insurrectionists shouldn't be in prison? Why, I had no idea until I read Peter Baker's latest dispatch in The New York Times:
Former President Donald J. Trump once again made clear on Thursday night exactly where he stands in the conflict between the American justice system and the mob that ransacked the Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power nearly two years ago.

He stands with the mob.

Mr. Trump sent a video statement of support to a fund-raiser hosted by a group calling itself the Patriot Freedom Project on behalf of families of those charged with attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “People have been treated unconstitutionally, in my opinion, and very, very unfairly, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said. The country, he warned, “is going communist.”

The video underscored just how much the former president has aligned himself with forces that used to be outside the mainstream of American politics as he seeks to reclaim the White House through a rematch with President Biden in 2024.
It's nice that Baker noticed this, but I think Trump's attitiude toward the January 6 criminals was fairly clear last month, when he said on Truth Social, "Let them all go now!" Or in mid-September when he called in to a rally held at the D.C. jail.
Trump called Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, who authorities shot and killed during the Capitol riot, to express his support for those being detained at the jail in connection with their involvement on Jan. 6.

“It’s a terrible thing that has happened to a lot of people that are being treated very, very unfairly,” Trump said. “We love Ashli, and it was so horrible what happened to her. That that man shot Ashli is a disgrace.”
Or in early September when he appeared on a right-wing radio show:
Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he will “very, very seriously” consider full pardons for the rioters who breached the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, if he runs for reelection and wins.

“I will tell you, I will look very, very favorably about full pardons. If I decide to run and if I win, I will be looking very, very strongly about pardons. Full pardons,” Trump said on Wendy Bell Radio Thursday, adding: “We’ll be looking very, very seriously at full pardons because we can’t let that happen. ... And I mean full pardons with an apology to many.”
Or in April, when he spoke at a rally in North Carolina:
... Trump told the crowd: "We will, while we're at it, demand justice for the January 6 prisoners and full protection of their civil rights. Like was received by ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter, who murdered people throughout our country."
Or in January, when he told the crowd at a Texas rally:
"Another thing we'll do, and so many people have been asking me about it, if I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said to applause. "We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly."
Or in September 2021, when he spoke in their favor:
“Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election,” Trump said in a statement ... adding that the prosecutions have “proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice.”
Or in February 2021, less than a month after the riot:
“If it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly,” Trump said during a Texas rally over the weekend.

Trump repeated the promise in an interview with Newsmax ... saying, “I would absolutely give them a pardon” and calling the punishment “20 times out of proportion. These people are being persecuted.”
Sorry, Peter -- this isn't a change of strategy. You say that Trump "has embraced extremist elements in American society even more unabashedly than in the past" -- but that's not true.

You also say, "In recent weeks, he has adopted QAnon themes." But here was a Politico story from July 2020:
On July Fourth, before President Donald Trump spoke to the nation from the White House lawn, he spoke indirectly to another community on Twitter: QAnon.

That afternoon, he retweeted 14 tweets from accounts supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory....

Trump’s QAnon-baiting has gone into overdrive in recent months. According to a Media Matters analysis, ever since the pandemic began, Trump has retweeted at least 90 posts from 49 pro-QAnon accounts, often multiple times in the same day.

Those around Trump have followed suit. Eric Trump, the president’s son, recently posted a giant “Q” on Instagram as well as the hashtag version of the community’s slogan: “Where we go one, we go all.” White House deputy communications director Dan Scavino sparked glee on Facebook when he posted a photo with Q symbology in it back in March.
So why is this news? It's just Trump being the same person he's been for years.

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