President Donald Trump last week claimed his “rhetoric brings people together,” but according to a nationwide review conducted by ABC News, Trump was invoked “in direct connection” to at least 36 criminal cases involving violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault against mostly minorities, including African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and gay men.
“I think my rhetoric brings people together,” Trump said days after an alleged white supremacist opened fire inside an El Paso, Walmart killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.
Minutes before his shooting rampage, the 21-year-old suspect is believed to have posted an anti-immigrant manifesto to an online message board that has been called “a Megaphone for Gunmen,” and is popular with the alt-right. The online screed
“In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior,” ABC reports.
There were an additional seven cases that “involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump’s allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases — 29 of the 36 — reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.”
The perpetrators and the suspects range in age from teenagers to as old as 75-years-old.
The victims “largely represent an array of minority groups — African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men.”
President Trump has said he deserves “no blame,” but ABC News reports that it “could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.”