Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen highlighted comments from Democrats that he suggested had promoted or defended violence.
Trump, he argued, is different than these Democrats. “Contrast the President’s repeated condemnations of violence with the rhetoric from his opponents,” van der Veen said. He then played a video that juxtaposed clips of Trump condemning violence, and calling himself an “ally of all peaceful protesters,” with some selectively edited clips of Democrats.
Facts First: This argument and video were misleading by omission. Trump has indeed condemned violence and called for peaceful protest, but he has also repeatedly applauded or defended violence and aggressive behavior.
Among other things, Trump has done the following since he launched his presidential campaign in 2015:
- Praised a Republican congressman for assaulting a journalist
- Urged police officers not to worry about injuring the heads of suspects they are arresting
- Said he would like to punch a protester in the face
- Urged supporters to “knock the crap out of” any protester they saw holding a tomato
- Said a kidnapping plot against Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer might not be an actual “problem”
- Approvingly told a fake story about an early 20th century US general who massacred Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in the blood of pigs
- Said it was a “beautiful sight” when the authorities tossed a journalist to the ground during unrest in Minneapolis
- Mocked a reporter who got shot with a rubber bullet
- Applauded the Trump supporters who surrounded a Joe Biden campaign bus on the highway, an incident that prompted an FBI investigation.