Trump Isn’t Backing Away From Controversial ‘Bloodbath’ Comments

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump on Monday defended his dark prediction about a “bloodbath” for the country if he doesn’t win the presidency this fall, accusing the media of taking his words out of context.

In a post on Truth social, the Republican candidate said the “bloodbath” comment only applied to the auto industry—which he was discussing at the time of his concerningly worded statement.

“The Fake News Media, and their Democrat Partners in the destruction of our Nation, pretended to be shocked at my use of the word BLOODBATH, even though they fully understood that I was simply referring to imports allowed by Crooked Joe Biden, which are killing the automobile industry,” he wrote. (The United Auto Workers’ union, for their part, has endorsed Biden for president.)

The “bloodbath” comment was delivered on Saturday during a campaign rally for Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno. It came immediately after Trump vowed to crack down on the threat to the auto industry presented by China, which is building manufacturing plants in Mexico.

Addressing Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said, “We’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars if I get elected.”

Trump, who is known for ad-libbing and veering off-script during his speeches, then said, “Now if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole – that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That will be the least of it.”

“But they’re not going to sell those cars. They’re building massive factories,” he finished, returning to the auto industry.

For many observers, the comment was a direct callback to Trump’s instigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection and represented an extension of Trump’s repeated embrace of political violence.

A cross-section of publications wrote stories nodding at this history Saturday following the rally—though conservatives outlets and Trump supporters quickly accused the media of twisting Trump’s words to promote a “hoax.”

But Trump has also admitted to purposefully using inflammatory rhetoric in order to capture media attention. He told Fox News’ Howard Kurtz over the weekend: “If you don’t use certain rhetoric, if you don’t use certain words that maybe aren’t very nice words, nothing will happen.”

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