Michael Fanone Says This Is What Shocks Him About Trump's 'Evil Manifesto'

Donald Trump is declaring his plans for a second presidential term, and former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone says the world should listen.

Fanone, who was violently attacked by Trump supporters while defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, spoke to HuffPost on Friday about a damning Trump interview published by Time magazine this week.

“I believe everything that Donald Trump tells me about his intentions,” Fanone said in a phone interview. “And I think every American should — everyone in the world should — believe Donald Trump in the things that he says because there’s a method to the madness.”

Speaking to Time at length, Trump outlined what could happen if he wins back the White House in November — and if he doesn’t. He spoke of his plans to deport millions of migrants. He said that he would permit red states with abortion bans to monitor women’s pregnancies. He suggested that he was open to firing federal prosecutors who don’t follow his orders on who to prosecute, and that he would “absolutely” consider pardoning every single one of the people sentenced for their roles in the Capitol riot.

Trump also predicted that there would be no political violence after the November election, but only if he wins. “If we don’t win, you know, it depends,” he said.

“I wasn’t surprised, but it’s still shocking to see an American presidential candidate spell out his — I don’t know what to call it,” Fanone said about reading the Time interview.

“Evil manifesto,” he said, after taking a moment to think. “And do it in a somewhat respectable news magazine, for everyone to behold.”

He asked, “Where is the urgency with our American institutions and those that occupy them to prevent this from happening?”

Michael Fanone said that he is trying to sound the alarm bells and preserve American democracy.
Michael Fanone said that he is trying to sound the alarm bells and preserve American democracy. via Associated Press

Fanone experienced a heart attack and traumatic brain injury after Trump supporters beat and electroshocked him in 2021. Multiple men who assaulted him have been sentenced to years in prison.

He sees Trump’s repeated pledges to pardon Jan. 6 rioters as a “dog whistle” and a “call to action” to his supporters, signaling that they will not face consequences if they commit violence on Trump’s behalf.

“If he doesn’t win, then he’ll use any and every means at his disposal to either destroy the system and democracy, or try to put himself back in the seat of power,” Fanone said.

Trump’s refusal to rule out violence around the next election and his pledge to pardon the Jan. 6 rioters are basically more messages to his supporters to “stand by,” the former police officer said.

He drew on his decadeslong law enforcement career to highlight other concerns about Trump, who is currently on criminal trial and faces three other felony indictments, with two tied to his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Criminals learn every time they’re exposed to law enforcement’s efforts to apprehend, prosecute, punish,” Fanone said. “They evolve.”

He said: “Donald Trump saw what his failures were, or at least what the failures of those around him were in attempting to subvert democracy on Jan. 6. And he’ll make sure that people ... who are not going to be corrupted no longer exist in our government.”

Those concerns align with ones voiced by a number of individuals formerly in Trump’s orbit. Many have warned that, in a hypothetical second presidency, he would surround himself only with sycophants and yes men who will not dissuade him from following his worst impulses.

Trump himself has suggested that he will be even harsher in firing people he clashes with if he returns to the Oval Office. As Time magazine put it, “Donald Trump thinks he’s identified a crucial mistake of his first term: He was too nice.”