ABC News conducted a nationwide review and identified at least 36 criminal cases where President Donald Trump’s name was invoked in violent acts, threats of violent acts or assault.
According to ABC News, “[i]n nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior.”
ABC News found no evidence of any violence or threats connected directly to Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush.
The findings come days after the suspected gunman behind the El Paso, Texas, massacre posted his white-supremacist manifesto online before the attack. In the manifesto, language is used to describe immigration and immigrants that is similar to language Trump has used in the past.
Trump called for unity after the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio attacks and has avoided linking his rhetoric to violence. He lashed out at former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci for his recent television appearances that condemned Trump’s language. At the time of the appearances, during one where he said there was a link between Trump’s words and the violence in El Paso, Scaramucci was still an ally. After being attacked by Trump on Twitter, Scaramucci is no longer in favor of the president’s re-election.
Notably, ABC News found that even cases involved violent or threatening acts done in defiance of Trump, though the majority of the cases “reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.”