Donald Trump has come under fire for amplifying a call to his supporters to get “locked and loaded” and “physically fight” for the Republican party’s front-runner for the 2024 presidential elections.
Mr Trump, who is actively using his own social media platform Truth Social after he was barred from Twitter, reposted a message by a supporter who seemed to suggest violence.
“Then they will have to figure out how to fight 80,000,000 + it’s not going to happen again. People my age and old will physically fight for him this time,” a Truth Social post from username @freeTX1776 read.
“What we got to lose? I’ll donate the rest of my time here on this planet to do it. And I know many many others who feel the same. They got my 6 and we Are Locked and LOADED.”
Mr Trump, who was investigated for over 18 months by a House committee over his role in the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot, was blamed as the “central cause”.
His supporters descended on Capitol Hill after he told his more than 80 million Twitter followers to come to Washington on the day Congress would make final his 2020 election defeat to Joe Biden, and wrote that the day’s events would be “wild”.
The twice-impeached president was called out by prominent people on social media for amplifying a message that suggested a repeat of the 6 January riots.
Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who was one of two Republicans on the Democratic-led January 6 select committee, asked whether it is even legal to support this for a presidential runner.
“This is sick sick sick. Is it legal to even invite this kind of stuff?” Mr Kinzinger, 44, a staunch critic of Mr Trump, said.
Former FBI agent Peter Strozk, who shared the screenshot on Twitter of Mr Trump resharing the post, said it is the “normal signs of a well-functioning democracy” in an apparent sarcasm.
He referred to Mr Trump’s latest comments in which he said he trusts Russia’s president Vladimir Putin over his own director of national intelligence.
Responding to Mr Kinzinger, attorney Harris Peskin said he is stunned. “Absolutely shocked that the guy who tried to overthrow the government the first time, would try again. I just DID NOT see this coming! What a twist!”
The official Twitter handle for the Lincoln Project said: “Just appalling. Trump is gearing up for another January 6th attack. Show this to anyone who does not take seriously the existential threat that MAGA poses to our democracy.”