Trump Threatens To Fire A Governor During Belligerent Friday Rally

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On Friday, President Donald Trump made a couple of campaign stops in Florida, including at a rally in Ocala. The event had a couple of high-profile Trump supporters, like the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who represents an area in the panhandle. As the 2020 election cycle draws to a close, the president has zeroed in on belligerent chaos as his campaign’s guiding principle. If he’s uttered a conspiracy theory at just about any point during his time in the public spotlight, then — based on his recent comments — he seems likely to wheel it out again as Election Day approaches.

There were slight updates — for example, at one point during the rally, Trump’s supporters began chanting “lock him up!” referring to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In the past, Trump has baselessly claimed that Biden’s role in the Russia investigation — which Trump alleges was simply meant to smear his own team — means that the former vice president should get a decades-long jail sentence. Trump has made the same nonsensical claim about former President Barack Obama. His claims of some kind of criminal wrongdoing on Biden and Obama’s parts do not reflect reality — but he seems ready and willing to push for the punitive criminal prosecution of his political opponents anyway.

In a similarly dictatorial vein, Trump ranted that the press is the “enemy of the people” at another point during his Friday appearance in Ocala. Trump has, of course, made this accusation in the past, but the fact that by now it’s rote does not negate the fact that the rhetoric is a dangerous attack on the free press. Trump is, of course, lying when he claims that there’s some kind of conspiracy to drum up fake news about him, but his fans have clearly cultivated virulent antagonism towards members of the media anyway. The virulent antagonism towards the media that the president has helped cultivate could pose a physical danger to reporters if some of the president’s most dedicated followers decide to take matters into their own hands and confront journalists — again.

Other moments at Trump’s Ocala rally were just an inane spectacle of ignorance. Trump quipped at one point that if he loses Florida, then he’d like to figure out a way to fire the state’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis. There is obviously no way in which Trump could actually do that. At another point, he rambled about his campaign’s quest to “make America great again again,” as if a resuscitated campaign slogan from four years ago is supposed to be inspiring to people.