There has been one consistent theme throughout President Donald Trump’s four years in office when it comes to the resistance– he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Coming under fire for not reacting quickly enough to condemn the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week, the president released a video message ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration denouncing all political aggression and calling for peace.
Another consistency is that the more the nation sees of the FBI leadership that was under Barack Obama, the less surprising it is that the bureau allowed itself to be used as a political weapon to spy on Trump, both before he was elected and after.
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, now a CNN contributor — you can’t make these things up — responded to the president’s message to call him a “master at coded language,” saying his call for peace was actually a “dog whistle” calling on his supporters “to fight.”
After commenting on a reported “conspiracy” to plan last week’s attack — Trump was impeached by Democrats for inciting violence with his remarks on Jan 6, in an attack that reportedly was already in the works before he spoke — McCabe was then asked to respond to Trump’s message by CNN anchor John Berman, who claimed it was offered “under duress.”
(Berman was dismayed that the president did not admit that he lost the election or acknowledge that in any way he was “responsible for the insurrection” — this being the prescribed media narrative to describe the attack on the Capitol.)
“Well, President Trump is a master at coded language and the use of dog whistles,” McCabe replied. “And there is no question that that statement included some of those same references; simply by leaving out the comments that you’ve mentioned, he sends a signal to his folks to fight on.”
“He has never come out and formally undercut the central theory of this domestic terrorist rebellion, which is that the lie that the election was stolen from them. And his failure to do it last night is absolutely unforgivable,” he added.
The former FBI official fired by Trump for lying to investigators, dismissed the call for peace, saying it was “a self-serving attempt at damage control.”
President Trump was emphatic in the video that violence is not acceptable.
“Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a respectful and peaceful way. That’s your First Amendment Right,” he said. “But I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law-breaking, and no vandalism of any kind. Everyone must follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement.”
— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) January 13, 2021
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump added. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it and you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it.”
The message also included a call to “ease tensions.”
“We have seen too many riots, too many mobs, too many acts of intimidation and destruction. It must stop,” he said. “Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers, and help to promote peace in our country.”
In what was likely behind the left’s unhappiness is that the president also commented on “the unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days.”
“These are tense and difficult times,” Trump stated. “The efforts to censor, cancel, and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous.”
While one is left to wonder what McCabe may think of Antifa, the CNN contributor served up some high-level fearmongering in looking ahead.
“I still think that the biggest danger that we face in the coming weeks is from the independent actions of small domestic terrorist groups, be they racial or alt-right or whichever your flavor of the moment, targeting soft targets in their home areas,” he said. “Those are statehouses, government buildings, things of that nature. D.C. is going to be a fortress for the inauguration.”
“There will be some attempts to disrupt things, but I don’t think they’ll be successful here,” McCabe continued. “They have the rest of the country to play with, and that’s really concerning.”
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