Trump, Known for Celebrating Jan. 6, Applauds College Protesters’ Crackdown

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TL/DR –

Former US President Donald Trump has been leveraging the peaceful protests at Columbia University and the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to promote his presidential campaign. He has been drawing a parallel between the two events to criticize President Biden and justify his own actions during his presidency. However, some Democrats are concerned about Trump’s rhetoric, warning that it encourages his supporters to break laws and commit violence, while others argue that Trump’s inconsistent stance on protests, relating to his response to the Capitol insurrection and current campus protests, could be problematic.


Today’s Newsletter Quiz Takeaway: Trump’s Telling Comments

In a recent news quiz, two statements were highlighted: “The police came in. In exactly two hours, everything was over. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”, and “It was a beautiful day.” These comments, both made by ex-president Donald Trump, pertained to the Columbia University campus protests and the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol insurrection, respectively. The former president is currently using these events as campaign talking points, despite their contrasting nature.

Trump’s Response to Campus Protests and Capitol Riot

Trump has recently taken advantage of the Gaza War college protests, portraying them as lawless while simultaneously glorifying the Jan. 6 violence. He has been found to be applauding the arrests of protesters and suggesting in an interview with Time magazine that he would dispatch the National Guard if such protests occurred during his presidency.

Contrasting Views on Violence

Despite condemning campus protests, Trump’s portrayal of the Jan. 6 riot vastly differs. He continues to sympathize with those who partook in the violence, even rallying by the side of arrested rioters, and has hinted at the possibility of pardoning them if he regains power. He also draws comparisons between the punishments of the rioters and the college protesters, despite the two events being fundamentally different.

Democrats’ Concerns and Trump’s Distorted Facts

Democrats have expressed concerns about Trump’s comments. As they seek to bring the Jan. 6 events to the forefront, the surge in nationwide campus protests has made some uneasy. Harry Dunn, a former Capitol Police officer present during the Capitol assault, highlighted that the campus protests bear little resemblance to the events of Jan. 6. He called the latter a “violent mob” and an “assault on democracy”. Other Democrats have warned about the dangerous implications of Trump’s messages, which seem to condone law-breaking and violence among his supporters.

Republicans’ Struggles with Inconsistencies

Some Republicans have struggled to justify the inconsistency of calling for the prosecution of college protesters while defending Jan. 6 lawbreakers. This includes Senator J.D. Vance, a Trump ally and vice-presidential contender, who has been questioned about his fundraising for Jan. 6 defendants. Despite these inconsistencies, some Republicans believe that the college protests will aid Trump in the upcoming election.

Continuation of Trump’s Rhetoric

Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t end with the protests. He has also drawn comparisons between the campus protests, the violence in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017, and the events of Jan. 6. Trump’s comments, whether about the current protests or past violent incidents, seem to be geared towards attacking Biden’s record as much as they are about cleaning up his own.

Trump’s Ongoing Criminal Trial

While Trump capitalizes on the protests, his criminal trial in Manhattan, in which he is accused of covering up a sex scandal during his 2016 campaign, continues. The trial has seen Trump threatened with jail time, ex-employees testifying against him, and secretly recorded audio being played in court.

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