Come again? I don't know if I heard White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders correctly. On Friday, Feb. 22, amid reports that a Coast Guard lieutenant had allegedly amassed an arsenal and had a kill list of Democratic lawmakers and journalists, Sanders said that President Donald Trump has never done anything "but condemn violence" against journalists or anyone else, confusing and angering many in the Twitter world. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for additional comment on her remarks and Trump's statements regarding violence, but did not hear back by the time of publication. Here are just a few of the tweets calling out Sarah Sanders' comment about Trump condemning violence.
On Feb. 19, federal prosecutors alleged in a court filing that a Coast Guard lieutenant was allegedly stockpiling weapons in preparation for a mass attack on Democratic lawmakers and the media, per NPR. The man, who reportedly was a self-described white nationalist, allegedly planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to the filing. Elite Daily reached out to the man's lawyer for further comment, but did not immediately hear back. The allegations prompted new conversations about domestic terrorism, including, given the targets, the role of the president's rhetoric. Trump has famously called the media the "enemy of the people," and the reported targets of the plot included Democratic politicians Trump has publicly sparred with, such as House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Journalists reportedly targeted included hosts of CNN and MSNBC, per NPR.
But when asked by a reporter on Friday, Feb. 22 whether there are any plans for the president to tone down his fiery rhetoric against Democrats and the media, Sanders said Trump hasn't "at any point done anything but condemn violence." She went on to say that any time something like this has happened, he's "one of the first" to condemn it and that they have been "consistent and repeatedly said [they] condemn violence in all forms." As of the afternoon of Feb. 22, the president does not appear to have tweeted or released a public statement about the case. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the subject.
Twitter is all like:
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of occasions that people might be thinking of right now.
There was the unforgettable time in October 2018 when Trump praised Congressman Greg Gianforte for body slamming a reporter the previous year, saying during an Oct. 18 rally, "Any guy who can do a body slam ... he's my guy." Afterwards, he made a gesture mimicking the move, which drew cheers and applause from the audience. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the moment at the time, but did not hear back.
While speaking at a 2016 rally, Trump reportedly told audience members that he would pay their legal fees if they got violent towards his protesters. “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, okay. Just knock the hell — I promise you I will pay for the legal fees, I promise," he said, per The Washington Post. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the matter.
He also famously tweeted out a wild video of him tackling a personified version of the CNN logo, following it up with a series of aggressive punches. Two CNN journalists, Don Lemon and Van Jones, were reportedly targeted in the recent alleged plot. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
And stretching even further back, beyond his days as president, Trump reportedly wrote about swinging off on a teacher as a kid simply because he didn't favor him in his 1987 book The Art of the Deal. According to ABC News, an excerpt of the book reads:
Even in elementary school, I was a very assertive, aggressive kid. In the second grade I actually gave a teacher a black eye — I punched my music teacher because I didn't think he knew anything about music and I almost got expelled. I'm not proud of that but it's clear evidence that even early on I had a tendency to stand up and make my opinions known in a very forceful way. The difference now is that I like to use my brain instead of my fists.
The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the matter.
There are more incidents, but I think you get the gist. If only Sanders did, too.