Donald Trump went over the edge over the weekend and began calling for his detractors to be prosecuted or even put to death.
“They are almost all dishonest and corrupt, but Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC, often and correctly referred to as MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!), should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason,’” he wrote on Truth Social Sunday night.
“I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States … the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events,” he said. “They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!”
Trump has never been a fan of news outlets that give him the slightest bit of negative or unbiased coverage. He even turned on his once-favorite Fox News after the network confirmed Arizona voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
But the fact that he is threatening to censor news outlets through federal regulatory powers is terrifying, not to mention a huge violation of the Constitution.
Trump’s threat to the news media was actually his second attempt to menace detractors this past weekend alone. On Friday, he slammed Mark Milley, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggesting that perhaps he also committed treason.
“This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States,” Trump said on Truth Social. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”
Trump was referring to two phone calls Milley made to Beijing, one during Trump’s last months in office and the second in the aftermath of the January 6 riot. The calls, which were to assure China that Trump was not planning to attack the country, were done at the direction of other Trump administration officials.
Trump, of course, appointed Milley to his role in 2018—but since then has repeatedly lashed out at the general. His Friday comments came after The Atlantic published a profile of Milley that described how he “protected the Constitution from Donald Trump.”
It should go without saying, but Trump making comments like this is incredibly dangerous. His followers have shown themselves quick to spring to action. Hundreds of January 6 defendants have said they descended on Washington because Trump personally called on them.
Republican lawmakers too quickly follow the former president’s commands. Another Trump supporter, Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, has also called for Milley to face death. In his newsletter Sunday, Gosar baselessly claimed that Milley and then–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had worked to delay the National Guard’s response to the January 6 riot, to make Trump look bad.
“In a better society … General Milley would be hung,” Gosar wrote. “How this traitor remains in office is a question we need answered.”
(If it’s any consolation for Gosar, Milley retires on October 1.)
Gosar has shown himself remarkably willing to take up Trump’s call, even on the most extreme behavior. In December, Gosar posted on X, then called Twitter, backing Trump’s call to terminate the U.S. Constitution and overturn the 2020 election. He deleted the post an hour later, after it sparked backlash.
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