Trump Compares Student Protesters to Jan. 6 Rioters

trump college protests j6

Donald Trump doubled down on his assertions that student protests against Israel’s ongoing military offensive in Gaza are exponentially worse than the deadly 2017 neo-Nazi rallies held in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

In statements given to reporters gathered at Manhattan criminal court — where he is currently standing trial — Trump said that if President Joe Biden “ran because of Charlottesville […] Charlottesville is peanuts compared to what you’re looking at now,” the former president said, echoing a similar claim he made last week. Trump also took the opportunity to repeat his claim that criticism of his statement defending “very fine people on both sides” of the white supremacists demonstrations in Charlottesville was a “hoax.”  

Trump then questioned how the consequences faced by student protesters across the country will compare to the criminal penalties faced by rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

“I wonder if what’s going to happen to them will be anything comparable to what happened to J6 [protesters], because they’re doing a lot of destruction, a lot of damages, a lot of people getting hurt very badly,” Trump said. 

Protesters have not been linked to widespread destruction and damage of university property. In fact, the most violent incidents observed in relation to the protests have been aggressive actions by law enforcement officials arresting roughly 1,000 students, faculty, and other individuals at campuses across the country. 

But while Trump mused over potential crackdowns against protesters, he clearly has much more sympathy for Jan. 6 rioters. In an interview with Time published Tuesday morning, Trump affirmed that he would “absolutely” consider pardoning every Jan. 6 defendant should he win the presidency in November. 

Trump himself is facing a slew of state and federal charges in two criminal cases related to his role in fomenting the Jan. 6 insurrection, and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results — one brought by the Justice Department, and another by state prosecutors in Georgia. 

Compared to the attack on the Capitol, the student protests have centered peaceful demonstrations in their tactics. But Republican lawmakers have continuously characterized the movements as a vicious uprising violently promoting antisemitism across the country. 

After students at Columbia University occupied Hamilton Hall early Tuesday morning — in a recreation of anti-Vietnam War protests on the campus in the 60’s, breaking a few windows in the process — House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) described the students’ actions as “terrorism.”

Last week, Republican California Senate candidate Steve Garvey described the pro-Palestine student protesters as “pro-Hamas,” adding: “They’re pro-terrorists. They’re supporting terrorism.” 

Republicans have long complained that free speech rights are under assault on college campuses. They have similarly spent years defending the actions of truly violent Jan. 6 rioters — who inflicted millions in damages to the nation’s seat of government, and almost succeeded in impeding the peaceful transfer of power — as misguided “tourists.” 


The hypocrisy isn’t lost on the students, who heckled Johnson mercilessly during an appearance at Columbia University where he threatened to urge Biden to call in the National Guard. 

“Get the fuck out of here,” they yelled at him. 

Source link:

Recommended For You

About the Author: News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *