Former President Donald Trump was accused of inciting domestic terrorism following a Saturday rally speech in which he called President Joe Biden an “enemy of the state” while threatening a “backlash the likes of which nobody has ever seen” in response to the federal investigation into his possession of classified documents.
Making his first public appearance since the FBI’s August 8 raid on his Florida resort home, Trump addressed supporters at a “Save America” rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he stumped for Republican gubernatorial candidate and “Big Lie” supporter Doug Mastriano and U.S. Senate hopeful and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.
During his speech, Trump called Biden’s Thursday evening address to the nation the “most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by a president.”
During his speech, Biden said that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Repeating his “Big Lie” that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election from him, Trump accused Biden of “vilifying 75 million citizens, plus another probably 75 to 150 [million]—if we want to be accurate about it—as threats to democracy and as enemies of the state.”
“You’re all enemies of the state,” the twice-impeached ex-president said as the crowd booed Biden. “He’s an enemy of the state if you want to know the truth. The enemy of the state is him and the group that control him, which is circling around him. ‘Do this, do that, Joe.’”
“How’d you like the red lighting behind him like the devil?” asked Trump, referring to the backlit Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the site of Biden’s speech.
Attorney and author Seth Abramson called Trump’s speech “fully unhinged.”
“This is, quite simply, a speech intended to incite domestic terrorists to kill FBI agents and members of the Biden administration,” he wrote on Twitter. “It is shocking that there are no legal consequences for incitement anymore.”
David Badash, founder and editor of The New Civil Rights Movement, tweeted that “Trump is literally under four separate criminal investigations, was impeached twice, sued by the federal government over racist actions, but the president of the United States, Joe Biden, who has devoted his life to public service and his family, in an ‘enemy of the state?’”
Trump also took aim at federal authorities probing his removal of classified documents from the White House, telling his audience that the “FBI and the Justice Department have become vicious monsters, controlled by radical-left scoundrels, lawyers, and the media, who tell them what to do.”
The ex-president—who stands accused of inciting the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol—said the investigation will spark “a backlash the likes of which nobody has ever seen.”
Reacting to that remark by Trump, Abramson said that “everything he is saying bespeaks future violence.”
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Brett Wilkins is staff writer for Common Dreams.