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Response to Trump Search Highlights Violent Rhetoric From the Right


On Jan. 6, the nation watched as hundreds of Trump supporters responded to his words by traveling to Washington and storming the seat of Congress. Lots of them, in keeping with tons of of criminal cases stemming from the riot, went to the Capitol believing they may rectify the supposed wrongs that had been done to Mr. Trump.

When asked, the previous president’s spokesman, Taylor Budowich, didn’t address the query of whether Mr. Trump was concerned that his words could possibly be, or were being, interpreted by his supporters as calls to motion. He said as an alternative that Mr. Trump was “disgusted by how the Democrats are destroying once great institutions, just like the F.B.I., of their never-ending quest for absolute power,” adding that he “recognizes that the one approach to save these institutions is to encourage the great people inside them to talk out and restore truth!”

Experts in political violence say that while there may be evidence that violent rhetoric, especially online, is running high, it’s difficult to understand how often — and precisely when — such language will result in attacks.

Still, the recent surge of fury toward the F.B.I. is one other palpable example of anger on the suitable seen in each public appearances by high-profile Republicans and in posts by Trump supporters on the web. The outbursts have come after years of Mr. Trump and allies casting the bureau’s repeated investigations of him as baseless political attacks, a tactic that has served to defend Mr. Trump from blame while stoking fear and anger in his base.

The attacks against the F.B.I. from Mr. Trump and his supporters began in earnest in 2018 after agents searched the office of his personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, for evidence of campaign finance violations. After the search, Rudolph W. Giuliani, one other lawyer near Mr. Trump, went on a warpath, declaring that the F.B.I.’s office in Recent York — with which he had worked closely during his time because the U.S. attorney in Manhattan — had behaved like “storm troopers” in conducting the raid.

Since then, Mr. Trump and his allies have attacked the F.B.I. for its role in investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia; for purportedly failing to thoroughly investigate issues surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop; for using federal informants to infiltrate a gaggle of militiamen charged with — and partly acquitted in — a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan; and for supposedly instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

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