After news broke Monday evening that the FBI had raided Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of former President Donald Trump, right-wing influencer Steven Crowder delivered an alarming message to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter: “Sleep well. Tomorrow is war.”
The next day, during his show on YouTube, where he has nearly 6 million subscribers, Crowder called for the “defunding” and “dismantling” of “our intelligence agencies” and the FBI over the raid on Trump’s seaside mansion. He also called for a purge, imploring the GOP to get revenge.
“The next president of the United States needs to prosecute everyone,” he said. “Needs to clean house everywhere.”
“If a Republican gets in, investigate everybody, raid everybody,” he added. “Use all of it. I don’t care if we become Nicaragua at this point.”
Crowder’s inflammatory rhetoric was standard right-wing messaging across America on Tuesday. GOP lawmakers and MAGA influencers clamored to show their fealty to the former president after federal agents searched his home for classified information he may have taken home after leaving the White House, according to a New York Times report.
“Are you ready,” far-right influencer and “Pizzagate” conspiracist Jack Posobiec wrote in a series of hyperventilating tweets to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter. “The federal security state has declared war on Donald J Trump and his supporters.”
“Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” he wrote. “Leviathan has awoken…Welcome to the end game.”
Monica Crowley, a former Trump administration official and Fox News personality who now hosts her own radio show, suggested it might be time for people to lay their lives on the line. “This is it,” she tweeted. “This is the hill to die on.”
Others invoked ancient Rome. “The Rubicon has been crossed,” tweeted far-right YouTuber Tim Pool. Conservative radio host Jesse Kelly posted a quote from Roman general Pompey Magnus: “Do not quote laws to men with swords.”
The New York Young Republicans issued a statement calling for the “total disintegration of the FBI” and for mass arrests.
Everyone involved in the “persecution” of Trump should be detained, the group stated, and habeas corpus — a basic right allowing defendants to protest their detention to a judge — should be “suspended in order to secure our Republic from insidious monsters that have wrenched it from the American People’s control.”
And Jon Miller, a former host with the right-wing outlet Blaze TV, was even more blunt.
“Either we destroy our political enemies ruthlessly and mercilessly or they destroy us,” he wrote on Gab for his 45,000 followers. “It’s that simple.”
These right-wing invocations of violence and “civil war” could have deadly consequences, warned Michael Hayden, spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization.
“Hard right and white supremacist social influencers have pushed civil war rhetoric repeatedly since Trump’s rise,” Hayden told HuffPost. “Whenever something happens to threaten their movement, they push it again, stoking outrage for profit. Although these calls for violence are unlikely to mobilize a large group without a unifying event like Unite the Right or Trump’s speech on January 6, they can certainly inspire horrific acts of violence, like we have seen in places like Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Buffalo.”
The rhetoric is especially worrisome when it comes from candidates for public office and sitting lawmakers, like far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
“This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!!,” Greene tweeted. “These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) wrote that “we must destroy the FBI.”
Kari Lake, the GOP nominee for governor of Arizona who earned an endorsement from Trump in the primary, said the raid was “one of the darkest days in American history,” and warned her followers that “not a single one of us is safe.”
And Laura Loomer, a far-right activist currently running for Congress in Florida, wrote to her followers on Telegram that it was “time to take the gloves off.”
“If you’re a freedom-loving American, you must remove the words decorum and civility from your vocabulary,” Loomer wrote. “This is a WAR! And it’s time to obliterate these communists.”
In Pennsylvania, state Rep. Rob Kauffman shared — and then deleted — a Facebook post from an account called The Federalist Papers that stated: “Sadly, the USA as envisioned by our founders is officially dead and we have now become a police state. Biden, the DOJ, and FBI crossed a line and now politics as usual must be dead as well.”
In the online MAGA fever swamps, the language was similar, if a little more direct.
On Patriots.win, the extreme pro-Trump message board, the top comment on Tuesday implored the former president’s supporters to take up arms.
“Lock and load,” it said.