In a private meeting with a group of evangelical Christian supporters on Monday night, Trump reportedly warned of violence if Democrats take control of the House of Representatives after November’s midterm elections.
In audio obtained by NBC News, Trump said that Democrats “will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There’s violence. When you look at antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people.”
He urged those in attendance to get their congregants to vote Republican.
“If they don’t vote, we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time because then it just gets to be one election — you’re one election away from losing everything you’ve got,” he said in audio heard by The New York Times.
Toobin said Trump’s warning of “violence” was code for fear of African-Americans.
“Let’s be clear also about what’s going on here. The theme here is, ‘I’m Donald Trump and I’ll protect you from the scary black people,’” Toobin said on CNN on Tuesday.
He said “antifa,” or the anti-fascist movement, is perceived as an African-American group.
“This is about black versus white. This is about Donald Trump’s appeal to racism, and it just happens all the time,” Toobin said. “And we never say it, and we don’t say it enough for what it is, but that’s what’s going on here.”
Others also criticized Trump’s comments for a variety of reasons: