When asked whether he would instruct his followers to refrain from violence, Trump responded by simply walking away. The ex-president’s continued refusal to condemn violence has been met with widespread criticism.
A simple question
As a press conference in Washington drew to a close, a reporter had one simple question to ask Trump: “Will you tell your supporters now, no matter what, no violence?” The conference followed a court hearing at the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District, attended by the former president.
Trump refuses to condemn violence
However, the reporter was left hanging as Trump remained silent and continued to walk out of the room—an action that would leave many onlookers wondering whether the Republican was secretly hoping for more violent support.
Trump holds no blame, he says
Speaking to the press after the hearing, Trump declared, “I did absolutely nothing wrong, working for the country, and I worked very hard on voter fraud.” According to the ex-president, he and his legal team found evidence of “tremendous voter fraud.”
Presidents deserve immunity
Trump went on to argue that “a president has to have immunity.” However, he was also quick to emphasize, “The other thing is, I did nothing wrong.”
Democrats fight back
Trump’s apparent selective hearing was called out by many Democrats and social media commenters. On X, former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh remarked, “Trump has consistently desired acts of violence to be committed in his defense. He sought violence on January 6th, and he’ll seek violence again this year.”
Violence may help Trump
Writer John Stoehr argued that Trump would be giving up one of his greatest advantages by discouraging acts of violence. “Violence and the threat of violence are probably why he’s the frontrunner,” he said on X.
Trump on the run
The Forward columnist Alex Zeldin also took to X to declare, “Trump will dismantle everything in the name of avoiding imprisonment. That’s why he’s running. That’s why he won’t denounce violence.”
Does Trump want violence?
Author Michael Freeman observed, “He was delighted that his mobs ransacked the Capitol for him, and if he loses, it’s not going to bother him if they do it again.”
No answer, no surprise
Anti-gun advocate Fred Guttenberg also shared his thoughts on X, writing, “As my friend @WalshFreedom knows, I never thought Trump would run. I lost a bet with Joe over it. I also said to him 2 years ago that if he does run, it will be a hedge against his criminal exposure, and he will incite violence to stay out of prison. Of course, he won’t answer.”
Trump faces ballot bans
Trump’s silent treatment is particularly concerning as the repercussions of the January 6th insurrection continue to unfold. The Republican’s role in the attack has sparked a heated debate on whether his name should be removed from ballots altogether.
Trump fans support violent action
According to The Guardian, research by the University of Chicago found that 12 million Americans, constituting 4.4% of the adult population, hold the opinion that violence is justified in reinstating Trump to power.
It is statistics such as these that have increased the pressure on Trump to openly condemn acts of violence on his behalf. However, with Trump continuing to evade responsibility for the actions of his supporters, the debate remains far from over.