Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Donald Trump’s current rhetoric has at times been even more “overt and blatant” than it was in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
During an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, Lofgren was asked about the former president’s violent language at a rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
“The rhetoric that he’s using today is not dissimilar to the type of rhetoric he used prior to January 6,” said Lofgren, who served on the House committee that investigated the attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a clip recorded by Mediaite. “In fact, in some ways, it’s more overt and blatant than the events leading up to January 6.”
Lofgren cited a social media post last week in which Trump targeted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is reported to be pursuing charges against the former president over his role in a 2016 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels.
Among a stream of menacing comments about Bragg ― including one in which he suggested a potential indictment would result in “death & destruction” ― Trump posted a photo of himself with a baseball bat next to a photo of the prosecutor with his hands up. The image was later deleted.
“He disparaged the idea that his followers should remain peaceful. You know, this is cause for concern,” Lofgren continued. “We know that certainly not all of his followers are inclined to take up arms, but there’s enough of them who are willing to do battle on his behalf that someone could get killed. And people were killed, obviously, on January 6.”
At the Waco rally, Trump told supporters that the 2024 presidential election would be “the final battle” and framed various investigations against him as political attacks orchestrated by “radical left maniacs.” He also honored insurrectionists imprisoned for their roles in the Capitol attack and vowed to find justice for them.
Some of the language echoed rhetoric he used ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, violence when he called on supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol to protest the results of the election he lost.
House Majority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-Calif.) warned on Friday that Trump clearly “has not learned his lesson” from the riot.
“It’s dangerous, and if he keeps it up, he’s going to get someone killed,” he said of Trump’s rhetoric.