Following a protest at the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson last week by the liberal activist group Smash Racism D.C., The Daily Caller, a news outlet co-founded by Carlson, interviewed the president about the situation. Rather than ask why Carlson was targeted in the first place, The Caller asked the president how law enforcement should engage with Antifa protesters. Trump’s answer wasn’t great:
They better hope that the opposition to Antifa decides not to mobilize. These people, like the Antifa—they better hope that the other side doesn’t mobilize. Because if they do, they’re much tougher. Much stronger. Potentially much more violent. And Antifa’s going to be in big trouble. [...] Because if you look, the other side, it’s the military. It’s the police. It’s a lot of very strong, a lot of very tough people. Tougher than them. And smarter than them. They’re sitting back and watching and they’re getting angrier and angrier.
With this statement, Trump encourages the same behavior he’s condemning, essentially making vague mob boss threats. The hate for media and opposing parties only grows as the president tacitly encourages his citizens to meet discourse with violence. Specifically, he suggests that Antifa’s opposition—fascists—will strike back even harder.