In the middle of a tense election battle in which fears of right-wing militia violence are already running high, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon took the incendiary rhetoric to a dangerous new level Thursday by suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded as a "warning to federal bureaucrats."
During an episode of Bannon's online show "War Room: Pandemic" that was shared widely on social media, the far-right provocateur said Trump should fire both Fauci and Wray if he secures a second term in the White House.
"Now I actually want to go a step farther but I realize the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man," said Bannon, who is out on bail after being arrested in August for his role in a fraud and money laundering scheme. "I'd actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I'd put the heads on pikes, right, I'd put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you're gone—time to stop playing games."
Jack Maxey, Bannon's co-host, followed the former Trump adviser's comments by noting that "just yesterday, there was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia, these were Quaker businessmen who had cohabitated, if you will, with the British while they were occupying Philadelphia."
"That's how you won the revolution," Bannon responded. "No one wants to talk about it. The revolution wasn't some sort of garden party, right? It was a civil war. It was a civil war."
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"Former top White House aide is advocating for the murder of two government officials for being disloyal to Donald Trump," HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte tweeted in response to Bannon's remarks.
The video of Bannon's comments was live on Facebook for at least 10 hours and had racked up nearly 200,000 views before it was finally removed on Thursday. YouTube also removed the video Thursday night for violating its policy against "inciting violence" and Twitter permanently banned Bannon's "War Room" account.
As The Guardian reported Thursday, "There has been mounting concern over the risk of violence following this week's U.S. elections, amid highly inflammatory rhetoric from Trump and his allies, who have falsely said Democrats are trying to 'steal the election.'"
"Philadelphia police arrested two men who were allegedly involved in a plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday night. Police were tipped off, possibly from a concerned family member of one of the men," The Guardian noted. "The moves against Bannon came hours after Facebook banned 'Stop the Steal,' a group involved in organizing protests this weekend throughout the U.S. against the presidential vote count. One post, shared by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, declared: 'Neither side is going to concede. Time to clean the guns, time to hit the streets.'"