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."
....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.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
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:
This is just a reprehensible way to talk and people could get hurt. This isn’t about partisan teams anymore - it’s 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. https://t.co/Sg2U76BYFS— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) September 30, 2019
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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.
Hey @brianschatz - question:— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 30, 2019
The President just said that if Congress impeaches him, his suppporters will rise up in armed insurrection. “Civil War”, he says.
So tomorrow will Senate Republicans
a. support impeachment inquiry; or
b. condemn him in strong unequivocal terms
Other observers accused Trump of again turning to stochastic terrorism:
In 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.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 30, 2019
This isn’t about Civil War, it’s 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 (“just a joke!”) https://t.co/tcsiK09HGs— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) September 30, 2019
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.