Former President Donald Trump is essentially justifying at least some of the antagonistic, violent behavior of his supporters after the recent FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, the ex-president’s southern Florida property.
Agents descended on the resort, where Trump has largely resided since exiting the presidency, in search of government records that federal law required be provided to U.S. record-keeping authorities — not stashed in a poorly secured storage area or anywhere else at Trump’s property. Personnel participating in the raid recovered 11 sets of classified materials, including documents identified as top secret/ sensitive compartmented information — some of the most restricted information inside the federal government. After the raid, online threats from Trump supporters against law enforcement spiked, and in one incident, a man named Ricky Shiffer attempted to force his way into an FBI office in Cincinnati, where he fired a nail gun before an hours-long stand-off with local law enforcement that ended with his death.
Shiffer may have participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. “The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this,” Trump said in a Fox interview. “If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that.” Despite this supposed willingness to assist, Trump’s justifications for anger at federal law enforcement continued. “There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times,” the ex-president said.
Referring to “years of fake witch hunts and phony Russia, Russia, Russia schemes and scams,” Trump complained “nothing happens to those people who perpetuate that—nothing happens with them… And then they break into a president’s house— a sneak attack where it was totally—no one ever thought a thing like this would happen.” During the Fox interview, Trump also once again raised the alleged possibility that FBI agents planted evidence during their search of Mar-a-Lago. One of the issues with that notion — besides the lack of real-world evidence for it — is that Trump is also claiming documents at Mar-a-Lago were automatically declassified across-the-board, with the inherent suggestion that the supposed declassification essentially absolves him of responsibility for any wrongdoing. So, which is it? Is everything fine, or is there a chance something Trump acknowledges as legitimately condemning was there?
Trump, of course, has a history of trying to excuse political violence. He’s often spoken of supposed justifications for the attack on the Capitol. “Whatever we can do to help—because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen,” Trump added to Fox. “The people of this country are not going to stand for another scam.”