Trump Extremists Make New Calls to Hang Mike Pence – Rolling Stone

jan 6 mike pence extremist reactions


The top post at the online forum TheDonald on Wednesday morning was titled “Fuck Mike Pence. 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻.” And chilling calls for violence against the former vice president were rising to the top of the comments thread.

Pence plays a starring role in the new indictment of Donald Trump, which quotes Trump telling Pence, “You’re too honest” after the vice president refused to block certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win. 

And Pence met the news of the indictment with harsh criticism of Trump, now a rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Pence tweeted that “anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.”

Special prosecutor Jack Smith’s indictment also recalls how Trump, unable to convince Pence to become a co-conspirator in his despotic plot to steal the presidency, instead unleashed a mob of MAGA supporters against him. “At the Capitol,” the court document reads, “members of the crowd chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence!’; ‘Where is Pence? Bring him out!’; and ‘Traitor Pence!’” 

Such dark sentiments against Pence now have been revived, at an online forum that played a key role for plotters of the unrest of Jan. 6. TheDonald is a Reddit like forum for the Trumpiest of the Trump faithful. Both individual posts, and the comments on them, rise based on the “upvoting” of users, giving a glimpse into the collective psyche of the community. 

The top comment on the Pence post called for divine retribution against the “traitor.” It reads: “May GOD Strike him down for his lies and treachery to the American People.” But as other commenters piled on, they fantasized about a public execution of Pence at a gallows. “I want to watch his toes dangle in the breeze,” wrote user BigMikesHairyDong. 

“I want to stand beside you as witness,” wrote user Totally_Passable adding, “I want to pull the lever.” This user made clear he didn’t want the violence to end with Pence: “I long for the day we the people pull these traitors… out of their seats screaming, knowing full well what is coming to them, and why its coming.”

Instead of recoiling at the call to execute Pence, other users joined the call for mob violence. “No long drops,” said another user, echoing many of the replies. “Humane execution should be off the table.”

Extremist MAGAdonians soon became baroque in their dark fantasies of how Pence might get hanged, with one adding a second-amendment twist: “Make it like an adult version of the pool drop kids play at parties,” suggested user bubadmt. “Except you take the shot at a target from 200 yards away, a bullseye releases the trap door.”

It may be tempting to dismiss such comments as wingnuts blowing off steam, rather than as indicative of genuine violent sentiments. But TheDonald — which bills itself “a high-energy rally for supporters of President Trump” — has a dark history. 

The site began as a popular subReddit, r/TheDonald, but got booted from Reddit for “rule-breaking content” that went unchallenged by moderators who “refused to meet our most basic expectations.” The forum then shifted to a standalone site at TheDonald.win. And there, as detailed by the Jan. 6 Committee’s final report, it became a hub of plotting for the unrest at the Capitol, and a place where members of the then-Trump administration monitored their success in firing up the base. 

The Select Committee report notes:

Users on TheDonald.win discussed: surrounding and occupying the U.S. Capitol; cutting off access tunnels used by Members of Congress; the types of weapons they should bring; and even how to build a hangman’s gallows. The parallels to what transpired on January 6th are obvious.

TheDonald was briefly shuttered by the website owner in the wake of the chaos and violence of Jan. 6, but was, in short order, rebooted by former co-moderators at its current url Patriots.win. The site’s current management did not reply to a request for comment about the threats to Pence.

A senior federal law enforcement official told Rolling Stone that the government is poised to respond to credible threats of violence. “We are seeing an uptick in calls for violence right before and since yesterday’s trump indictment. Most of them are directed at the prosecutors and judge,” says the official. “We are tracking online chatter and calls for violence looking for specific credible threats.” A different government official tells Rolling Stone that senior leadership in the Biden administration is being briefed on the calls for violence and will continue to be briefed, especially if the threat landscape changes and there is a further increase in threats.

Pence is not the only object of seething online anger in the wake of the new indictment. Site Intelligence, a group that tracks online extremist activity, has f online calls for “civil war” and “armed revolution” to avenge Trump, as well as “open threats” to both special counsel Jack Smith and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will be handling the case.

The day-to-day content at TheDonald has recently strayed, somewhat, from an obsessive focus on Donald Trump, with users avidly participating instead in the culture wars and in particular the conservative panic about trans Americans. 

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But whenever Trump runs into new legal trouble, the forum snaps back to form, in extreme defense of a man they refer to as GEOTUS or “God Emperor of the United States.” When Trump’s first federal indictment was unsealed in June, forum users called for mass slaughter of the former president’s enemies. 

“The only way this country ever becomes anything like the Constitution says this country should be,” wrote one extremist MAGA supporter, “is if thousands of traitorous rats are publicly executed.”





Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/donald-trump-indictment-mike-pence-jack-smith-1234799753/

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