'Morning Joe' Taunts Trump Backers After Sen. Lindsey Graham Warns Of Riots
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was sharply criticized Monday after he ominously warned of “riots in the streets” if the Department of Justice dares file charges against Donald Trump for ignoring the Presidential Records Act and stashing top secret records at his home.
“Just try it,” Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show appeared to taunt Graham and his supporters the day after the senator raised the specter of national violence on Fox News if Trump is charged with a crime.
Scarborough noted it’s a situation that would be completely unacceptable to Graham in the case of Black Lives Matter protests, yet the senator seemed to issue it as a threat if officials refuse to treat Trump as beyond the reaches of the law. The clip of Graham’s comments were quickly shared by Trump on Truth Social.
“Lindsey, if you are trying to stir up Republican riots, if you think Republicans are going to riot in the streets, they’re not above the law,” Scarborough warned. “They’ll be arrested. They’ll go through the same thing that people who listened to Donald Trump on Jan. 6 are going through. If you break the law, you’re held to account.”
The “answer to Republicans threatening violence in the streets is not backing down ― it’s holding those people accountable, just as you hold Donald Trump accountable, if they break the law,” said Scarborough.
Over 800 people have been charged with crimes in last year’s Jan. 6 riot.
“The irony is so rich, these people that talked about riots — Black Lives Matter riots; it’s all they talk about,” he added.
“Seriously, [Republicans] act as if there were no peaceful marches at all — riots, riots, it’s all they talk about. Yet they’re fine when Trump riots are actually putting democracy at risk, when they’re trying to overturn an election result.”
Scarborough called it a “hell of transformation” of the one-time “law and order” party with Graham “threatening Republican riots in the streets” if Trump is “held to the same standard ... as anyone else.”
Check out Scarborough’s full comments below:
The Washington Post editorial board on Monday called Graham’s remarks a clear threat, adding, “There is no excuse for this irresponsible rhetoric, which not only invites violence but also defies democratic norms.”
“I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for an elected official to make veiled threats of violence, just if law enforcement and the Department of Justice and a grand jury does their job,” former DOJ official Mary McCord said on CNN.
On Monday, the White House said that Graham’s remarks justified President Joe Biden’s controversial comments last week calling the MAGA movement and its promotion of authoritarianism basically “semi-fascism.”
“We have seen MAGA Republicans attack our democracy,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday. “We have seen MAGA Republicans take away our rights, make threats of violence, including this weekend.”
“That is what the president was referring to when you all asked me last week about the ‘semi-fascism’ comment,” she added.
A column in Esquire said Graham is actually “scrubbing the ‘semi’ off ‘semi-fascism’” in the continuing saga of the Republican Party’s “rodeo clown gangsterism.”
The White House says Senator Lindsey Graham's threat of "riots in the streets" should the Dept. of Justice decide to prosecute Donald Trump proves President Joe Biden's label of "semi-fascism" for the "MAGA Republicans" is correct.pic.twitter.com/f8plA2vcsU
— David Badash (@davidbadash) August 29, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.