Sep 30, 2019
The hashtag #CivilWar2 was trending in the U.S. Monday morning after President Donald Trump promoted comments from a right-wing pastor who said that if Trump is successfully impeached, "it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation."
\u201c....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.\u201d Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1569805913
Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry from the House over his asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter and days ago suggested the whistleblower who filed a complaint about his call with Zelensky be executed. On Sunday, the president went further in quoting a series of tweets remarks made that morning by Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress on the latest Fox & Friends Sunday.
Jeffress told the hosts that "impeachment is the only tool [Democrats] have to get rid of Donald Trump and the Democrats don't care if they burn down and destroy this nation in the process."
Evangelical Christians, the megachurch pastor continued, "know that the only impeachable offense President Trump has committed was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. That's the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him. And I do want to make this prediction this morning: If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I'm afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal."
Trump's promotion of the comments came in for criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle:
\u201cI have visited nations ravaged by civil war. @realDonaldTrump I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.\u201d— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger) 1569808758
\u201cThis is just a reprehensible way to talk and people could get hurt. This isn\u2019t about partisan teams anymore - it\u2019s clear now he will allow the Republican Party to eat itself and will tear the country apart if he thinks it gives him an advantage of any kind.\u201d— Brian Schatz (@Brian Schatz) 1569811195
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), in a late Sunday tweet, suggested that Republicans must respond Monday by either denouncing the Civil War comments or backing impeachment.
\u201cHey @brianschatz - question:\n\nThe President just said that if Congress impeaches him, his suppporters will rise up in armed insurrection. \u201cCivil War\u201d, he says. \n\nSo tomorrow will Senate Republicans\n\na. support impeachment inquiry; or\nb. condemn him in strong unequivocal terms\u201d— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1569811507
Other observers accused Trump of again turning to stochastic terrorism:
\u201cIn terms of Civil War, we're not going to see the massed armies of 1861-65 but something that's already happening: sporadic white nationalist violence inspired by rhetoric from Trump and his circle. Stochastic terrorism.\u201d— Jeet Heer (@Jeet Heer) 1569816433
\u201cThis isn\u2019t about Civil War, it\u2019s about violence. Perfect #stochasticterrorism: use of a comms platform to incite predictable hate in others though exact nature of violence is unpredictable. And by using a crazy quote, Trump can invoke plausible deniability (\u201cjust a joke!\u201d)\u201d— Juliette Kayyem (@Juliette Kayyem) 1569846455
Jeffress, for his part, has a history of making offensive comments, including that Islam "promotes pedophilia" and is "a heresy from the pit of Hell," that gay people are incapable of monogamy, and that Trump has the authority to assassinate people.
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