Part I of this story, “Why Does Trump Keep Firing Up His Base,” can be found here.
By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag
In one of the most provocative incidents involving self-styled neo-Nazis since Charlottesville, about 25 men in masks and bandanas descended on a progressive book fair in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, Sept. 24. They set off smoke bombs, shouted “Sieg Heil!”and “blood and soil!” and generally harassed folks at the event.
It was a story totally missed by mainstream media, but observed by reporters from AlterNet who filed a report, picked up by other progressive news sites:
They rushed the door of a multicultural community center [where children were inside], igniting a pair of smoke bombs. Together, they raised their arms in a salute of “Sieg Heil.” … After shouting “blood and soil” and other vulgar slogans for 15 minutes, they stole a handmade sign from the fair and fled the scene. They later posted photos of themselves defiantly clutching the cloth banner on social media.
Police, who organizers claimed had appeared earlier in the day to intimidate the book fair’s participants, did not intervene.
The masked men were part of a group called Patriot Front which is “loosely affiliated with Vanguard Front, a fascist organization” which includes James Alex Fields as a member, the man who murdered Heather Heyer at Charlottesville.
“Emboldened,” that’s the word for it. The under-reported story reflects a dangerous trend in the country where groups once on the political fringe now feel much more emboldened under Trump to come out and publicly identify themselves as “Nazis” – all the while confronting progressive protests, groups or individuals. They are part of the base that Trump continues to fire and whip up.
Meanwhile, early in October, the late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was forced to increase security during his shows, after crusading against Trump and Republicans’ health care proposals. The uptick in security comes after incidents with Trump supporters at the show and due to threatening emails and letters. These Trump supporters are undoubtedly also part of the base.
And Trump’s base is exactly what the focus is here. In Part 1, I raised the question “Why does Trump keep firing up his base?” In other words, just exactly what is he preparing his base for?
Briefly, here are key takeaways from the first part:
- Charlottesville was a watershed moment for the country. It’s the moment when the white supremacist movement reared its ugly head during a very public event, and when the president of the United States assured them he had their back.
- No matter the issue or the venue, Trump continues to speak to his base – that roughly one-third of the electorate that is unshakable; firing them up with campaign slogans, and he does this, I believe, not because of his campaign and legislative failures or to feed his narcissism, but for some more nefarious and dark motive.
- The question is raised: Is Trump preparing his base to counter impeachment efforts, to resist what he will call a “liberal coup” or otherwise claim is an illegitimate power grab by liberal elites, the deep state, and “fake news media.” The fear is that Trump is preparing his base as his last desperate option, to mobilize it to prevent any impeachment proceedings or to protect him personally if he is threatened with removal.
- His pundits, radio-powered sycophants, and extremist evangelicals are calling for “civil war”,”insurrection”, “revolt”, “revolution”; some openly discuss shooting progressives. They reach millions of listeners and believers.
- Coalescing networks of armed militias, neo-Nazis, and groups like the “Proud Boys” are forming; they adore Trump and are ready to do his bidding, whatever it may be. Some of the armed militias are cozening up to Republicans, providing security for GOP events.
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is not going away. Just the opposite – it will continue to close in on Trump and the top echelons of the White House and campaign.
- The country is split down the middle on the issue of impeachment, but the numbers for impeachment keep going up.
- Once Trump believes impeachment is inevitable, he will become desperate and extremely dangerous. It’s unlikely he’ll just resign. We have seen he cares not for the rule of law, or the courts, or the separation of powers, or the Constitution.
Trump’s Movement and the Polls
Trump claims he has a “movement” behind him. Does he? Does he have a real movement that can be mobilized on his behalf? If Trump opts to mobilize his base in order to block impeachment – to form the “counter-resistance” – just how much of the electorate does that represent and just how strong is that support for him?
To get a sense of his base, we rely on polls. And polls of voters from last Spring to the present demonstrate there is an unwavering core of supporters – Trump’s real base – and they represent one-fourth of the electorate. One study in mid-August at the Washington Examiner was based on a variety of polls and determined “about one in four voters is with him no matter what.”
In looking at the polling reports, especially from Charlottesville to today, this reporter found the rating results slumped against Trump right after the violence, with his approval numbers remaining low into September. But then they swung slightly up after the Harvey and Irma monster storms hit. Despite Trump and FEMA’s under-response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and despite Trump’s war with the National Football League, it looks like his base is sticking with him, even as his overall numbers fall dramatically.
Here’s how the recent polling unfolded. Charlottesville exploded on August 11 and 12. Because of his open support for the white supremacists, Trump’s popularity took a beating. Journalists and pundits rushed in and throughout August declared Trump’s base was deserting him.
The Washington Post in early August reported Trump’s base “was crumbling” – a CNN poll pegged his support at 38 percent and an Investor’s Business Daily poll ( IBD poll ) showed it at only 32 percent – the lowest of any high-quality poll in Trump’s entire presidency. John Nichols at The Nation declared Trump’s base of support “is collapsing” – that his approval rating is on par with Nixon’s during the height of the Watergate scandal. William Galston at Newsweek painted a grim picture for Trump of a base that’s ready to desert him, particularly his base among the white, working-class.
The Hill declared, “Trump’s base is shrinking,” especially in the swing states. FiveThirtyEight agreed. AXIOS reported Trump’s support among his base was at “dangerously-low” numbers. Trump’s own pollster confirmed his base was cracking. The New York Times suggested polling numbers of Republicans masked an even steeper decline in Trump’s traditional support base as Gallup data showed a four-percentage-point decline in G.O.P. identification since the 2016 election.
But then the first two monster hurricanes hit and his numbers moved up, with his approval rating reaching into the low-40 percentiles for his handling of the government’s response to 2 of the 3 recent hurricanes. By mid-to-late September, when Trump’s numbers got a bump, NBC reported they “marked the highest job approval score for Trump since the start of his administration when he was at 44 percent in February.”
(Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico was another story. According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, just one-third of Americans approved of the president’s response in the wake of the storm while 49 percent disapproved.)
Trump’s uptick of three points in his rating numbers was however only within his own base, as NBC News concluded. During Trump’s feud with the NFL, a Rasmussen poll found a small difference of two to three percentage points in disapproval ratings , but by early October, that had disappeared.
The New York Magazine reported October 6 on an Associated Press–NORC Center poll just released that found Trump has a 32 percent approval rating, with a 67 percent disapproval rating. It also found only 67 percent of Republicans approved of his performance, down significantly from 80 percent in the same poll in March. It is still a fact, Trump is in historically low numbers for a president in the first year.
The polls show three things:
- Overall, Trump’s approval ratings continue to slide into historic lows, although there have been small bumps. Trump’s job approval is “underwater” in 31 of the 50 states, including the key Red States like Texas, Arizona, and Georgia with higher “disapprove” than “approve” numbers, according to NBC.
- Trump’s base is basically sticking with him – this relies on six months of Gallup polling.
- The small rise in Trump’s approval ratings is only within his base.
As Trump’s overall base shrinks, he will be more and more dependent on his hardcore. And if that hardcore is the most extreme politically – the most explicitly racist – that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the country.
Just How Racist Are Trump Supporters?
We know where Trump stands. From his “birther” days to Charlottesville, to pardoning white supremacist Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to his response to the Puerto Rico hurricane disaster, Trump has shown his racial favoritism. But among Trump supporters, how strong are the overtly racist elements? This question is important to measure the depth of racial animosity among Trump’s core supporters and determine just who is susceptible to the rhetoric of white supremacists.
Answering this, William Saletan at Slate examined “[t]he president’s racist base, by the numbers.” He reviewed a number of pollsters, who have, since Charlottesville, asked Americans what they think of explicitly racist groups; —Quinnipiac University, the Washington Post, Public Policy Polling, Marist (for NPR and PBS), and Morning Consult (for Politico).
When you put all these numbers together, they suggest two things.
First, the most likely predictor of overt racism isn’t being white, conservative, or Republican. It’s supporting Trump.
Second, among Trump fans, the racist constituency is significant. Twelve percent of strong Trump approvers express a favorable opinion of neo-Nazis, and 19 percent express a favorable view of white nationalists. Twenty-two percent of Trump voters say some white supremacists are “very fine people,” and 45 percent — a plurality — say whites face more discrimination than other groups do. Slate
These numbers are illuminating because they give us a cross-sectional view of Trump’s racist core group of supporters. Now, the answer as to whether they could be motivated to mobilize on his behalf, I think, is based on the likelihood that the more racist elements would be more ready to respond to his calls for action. They are better organized, more ideological, and more militant.
The Impeachment Momentum
It’s our contention that as the Special Counsel digs deeper, the calls and momentum for impeachment will only grow. Even months ago in February, the country was already split nearly down the middle on impeaching Trump, according to Public Policy Polling.
More recent polls only confirm those figures, as Newsweek did in late August.
As public pressure for impeachment grows, the key to what goes down is going to be the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. For, unlike Nixon – who was facing impeachment by a Democratic-led Congress – and unlike Clinton, who was impeached by a Republican-led Congress, Trump has to face his own Republican colleagues. And those Congressional colleagues are susceptible to public pressure.
But it would have to be the Republican Party base applying the pressure; it’s their turning on Trump that will move their Congressional reps off their partisan seats and to act for the sake of the country.
If Trump is not abandoned by Republican voters, Republican members of Congress are not likely to either, which is why the Republican base approval of Trump is so crucial to what happens the closer Mueller gets to his endpoint. So, despite the growing momentum for impeachment by the rest of the country, the GOP voting base – due to their influence on Congress – could work to block that momentum, and stall everything. And that would throw a different scenario up on the national screen.
However, the central question still before us, is just what will Trump and his supporters do if he is impeached?
Tom McCarthy at the Guardian poked at this crucial question a few months ago:
Could he refuse to comply with proceedings? … Could he refuse to step down if he’s found guilty? … a Trump refusal to go along with prospective impeachment proceedings is certainly easy to imagine. In which case: who controls the military?
Paul Krugman warned us recently:
The only real check comes from Congress, which retains the power to impeach; even the potential for impeachment can constrain a bad president. But Republicans control Congress; how many of them besides John McCain have offered full-throated denunciations of the Arpaio pardon? The answer is, very few. …
This bodes ill if, as seems all too likely, the Arpaio pardon is only the beginning: We may well be in the early stages of a constitutional crisis.
Krugman asked the obvious but unspoken questions:
Does anyone consider it unthinkable that Trump will fire Robert Mueller, and try to shut down investigations into his personal and political links to Russia? Does anyone have confidence that Republicans in Congress will do anything more than express mild disagreement with his actions if he does?
As we figure out how Trump’s base of supporters, the armed militias, the Alt-Right boys, and the millions who follow him on twitter will respond – we ponder whether they will fall in line, march on Washington or will they desert him en mass if the situation becomes confrontational and violent?
Are There Any Hints of What They May or May Not Do?
All those threats during the Trump campaign of violence against Muslims, Mexicans, Hilary Clinton, women and journalists are all well-documented.
But do you also recall all those threats during the run-up to the Republican Convention in Cleveland back in April 2016? Trump threatened, “There will be riots!” if he was to be denied the nomination. During an interview, he offered if he somehow fell short of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination:
“I think it would be — I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people. … I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen, I really do. I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it but I think bad things would happen.” New York Times
At the time, his supporters echoed the warning. Two reporters from AlterNet at a Donald Trump rally in Ocean City, Md., in April 2016, asked Trump’s supporters how they would react if he didn’t receive the nomination at the GOP Convention. They reported:
Many told us they were prepared to wage an armed insurrection against the powers that be, or what one Trump fan called “a civil war.”
The reporters filmed a video and half a dozen Trump supporters had no trouble or hesitation of openly stating they would support armed insurrection if he was not nominated.
Then, months later, in the run-up to the November 2016 election, when it looked as if Trump would lose, his surrogates parroted the “rigged election” narrative, warned of widespread voter fraud, and suggested that supporters revolt. When Trump went to Facebook and discussed election rigging, more than 100,000 people commented or reacted, and some discussed armed rebellion and assassination.
Trump friend and adviser Roger Stone promised there would be a “bloodbath” if Trump was not elected. Stone said:
… it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.
Matt Bevin, the Republican governor of Kentucky, also threatened armed violence if Trump lost. Gov. Bevin said if Trump loses and Clinton wins –
The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. MSNBC
Not coincidentally – Bevin also came out in support of Trump’s comments after Charlottesville, when he blamed both sides.
If Clinton won, one leader of a Georgia militia group was ready to make plans for an armed march on Washington, D.C.
Then let’s return to early 2016 for the Bundy brothers’ armed stand-off – where dozens of white, armed militants stormed a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon taking a stand against the “tyranny” of the federal government. This armed rebellion led by the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – who had his own stand-off with the feds earlier – inspired militia groups around the nation. While most of the mainstream media were afraid to define this action, at least CNN did:
“The men, heavily armed, urging others to come support their cause, and claiming somehow that, while peaceful, they will ‘defend’ themselves whatever it takes, are—by any definition — domestic terrorists.”
The occupation of the refuge was eventually suppressed, and while Trump mildly disavowed it, a co-chair of Veterans for Trump in New Hampshire, praised it as a “great success,” that the militia’s cause was “peaceful” and “constitutionally just.”
We discussed the rise of the armed militias in Part I and their networking with the Klan, neo-Nazies and even Republicans. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 276 militia groups – up from 202 in 2014, a 37 percent increase. Most of them are social-media savvy, and most by far spout the hatred of white nationalist rhetoric. From Part I:
Generally, the militia groups celebrated Trump’s victory, finding a new legitimization under him. They are armed and they are ready to serve him and his agenda.
After Trump’s election, armed militias came out of the woods and found a welcoming embrace by some Republicans who use them for security against liberal activists. For the past two years, militia groups have been making appearances at numerous right-wing political events.
(For a listing of some of the incidents involving armed Trump supporters – see the end of this article.)
Then there has been a surge in hate incidents since Trump’s election. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported 1,863 incidents of hate or bias between November 9 and March 31. It’s common knowledge that hate crimes are almost certainly underreported. In addition, fears among progressives have grown due to threats of violence against them by armed Trump acolytes, with the internet filled with extremists inching to start shooting progressives.
The Neutralization of Law Enforcement
With all these threats and appearances of armed militias and Trump supporters making threats, what about the police? Where are they?
If one reviews what the role of the police was during the infamous Charlottesville incident as an indicator, serious doubts arise as to their effectiveness in controlling the violence of the Nazi right. During the height of the violence, one eye-witness observed:
The police were nowhere to be found. That was a continuing thread for a lot of the incidents that happened during this weekend … Police would convene in large numbers in spaces that were nowhere near the action. They would also not even attempt to make their presence seen when the fascists went on their marches about town.
This is what we call a “stand down order.” … The Charlottesville PD … just stood by and let pretty much anything happen.
In effect, local authorities turned the streets of the city over to groups of militiamen. This was confirmed by ProPublica which reported:
“State police and National Guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters.”
In trying to defend the police’s passive response to the violence at Charlottesville, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe cried: “It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this: 80 percent of the people there had semiautomatic weapons.” He went on to say that the militias had better equipment than the State Police.
In another example where law enforcement was effectively neutralized in the face of white nationalist actions, we need only look at San Diego in early July. San Diego County Sheriffs stood by while a gang of Proud Boys disrupted and intimidated a rally and march for impeachment at the County Admin building downtown. After trying to incite violence, the alt-rightists were finally separated from the large crowd by sheriffs, which unfortunately forced the rally organizers to move the event.
And then there was that local police response at that Houston incident in late September, discussed earlier, where a progressive book fair was harassed by two dozen neo-Nazis; this is also indicative of a certain intentional law enforcement passivity.
This passivity by police at Charlottesville, here in San Diego, in Houston – and in possibly countless other places in the face of potential or actual violence by militant white nationalists – appears to be some type of an institutional response that is indeed troubling. It represents a neutralization of the police, of law enforcement just when their presence is needed.
Immediately, echoes of early Nazi Germany are heard; it was the violence in the streets between Brown Shirts and their opponents – a violence the Weimar police could not or would not control – that set the stage for Hitler to enact his first repressive measures.
Timothy Snyder, a Yale University historian, has warned to “watch out for the paramilitaries,” saying the “end is nigh” when “men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader.” Snyder cautioned: “When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.”
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote recently that if Congress takes up impeachment, Trump will not resign, unlike Nixon, but would respond to impeachment proceedings by launching a furious effort to further divide the nation and even foment violence.
“Trump’s somewhat shrinking fan base is not likely to abandon him. They already know he’s a liar and cheat — but he’s their liar and cheat. … He has been a miserable winner. He would be an even worse loser.”
How far would Republicans be willing to follow the president if he proposed radical steps to disrupt the status quo, over – say, his false claims, such as massive voter fraud? What if he proposed postponing the 2020 presidential election until the country can fix its problems. One study found over half of Republicans say they would support postponing the election.
So, we have Trump’s “there will be riots,” Stone’s “bloodbath,” other threats of violence if there’s impeachment, the emboldened coalescing militias, their growing numbers, and their embrace by Republicans, the rise in hate crimes and incidents, the neutralization of police … these are what we have to look forward to as the crisis of impeachment folds over the nation.
Those “hints” at what Trump supporters would do if he was impeached have racked up a formidable body of evidence for us to form various scenarios of America’s future. And none of them are pretty. In fact, they’re downright dark and scary.
If everything we see and hear now plays out to their logical conclusions, then there’s a host of scenarios that don’t bode well for us.
Were Trump to seriously propose postponing the  election, there would be a torrent of opposition, which would most likely include prominent Republicans. Financial markets would presumably react negatively to the potential for political instability. And this is to say nothing of the various legal and constitutional complications that would immediately become clear.
A writer at Medium thinks ‘if Trump is impeached, it’s the end of America.’
[Trump supporters] won’t care. They’ll interpret a Trump impeachment as nothing but a usurpation. A corrupt establishment’s inability to play by the rules of democracy. …
This psychological defeat will be so great that it will lead to the bubbling over of the fury inherent to the Trump voter. But they won’t protest on the streets … because that’s not their style. They’ll simply check out. They’ll cease to participate in the system. … If Trump is impeached, Trump voters will not just believe, they will know that a corrupt media and a corrupt Washington rejected their candidate like a transplanted organ.
Even if only 20–30% of Trump voters are so disenfranchised by a Trump impeachment that they exit the game of America altogether, the results aren’t just devastating, they’re terminal. What happens if farmers … keep their crops for themselves? What happens if the rural people doing the few blue collar jobs that still remain?—e.g. truckers and longshoremen—stop working? Or begin self-sabotaging? Not only won’t they vote, they’ll find ways to boycott the entities that they view as part of the establishment. They’ll hole up in the bunkers they’ve already been building for for years.
So what will happen? It’s likely that the economy will careen towards failure like a train with a broken wheel. …If rural people begin what’s effectively a mass general strike, urbanites won’t be forced out of the city by the government, they’ll be forced out by necessity. The price of food will skyrocket to the point of being unaffordable for anyone but the very richest of city-dwellers. Lines of production and transport will break down from lack of labor and self-sabotage, and the economy will begin folding in on itself.
Climate of Fear
Another scenario holds a different endgame if Trump’s mass base is mobilized. What if – as the Mueller / Senate investigations move toward impeachment – Trump calls out on Twitter for his followers to surround the White House to prevent any encroachment by the perpetrators of the “liberal coup “whom he calls “traitors”. What if he asks his followers to disrupt the Impeachment proceedings, to surround the Capitol and shut down the operations of Congress?
His followers could single out opposition leaders, follow them around, stalk and harass them at their offices and homes. Open threats could be made against them. Left and progressive events, marches, demonstrations, speakers – even Democratic Party activities – could very well be disrupted by a new level of violence.
This is the building of a “climate of fear” that could grip the nation, a climate of fear manufactured by Trump and his followers. By extension, then, the left, beginning with groups like Antifa and Indivisible would be criminalized and called “terrorists”, even outlawed. Dissent is curtailed by Congressional Republicans whipped up by threats of unprecedented levels of violence, perpetrated by the militias and neo-Nazis.
The climate of fear is heightened with dramatic shows of force with night-time torch parades down main-streets all over the country, converging on Washington D.C., with armed militias providing protection. Trump speaks at a night rally in front of the White House. (This is similar to what the Klan did in the 1920s when it assembled 50,000 robed Klansmen and marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.)
Pro-Trump rallies would be held all over the country, with armed supporters in very prominent positions; speakers call for crack-downs on Muslims, immigrants, leftists, and the fake media; calls are made for violence against these enemies. There are armed take-overs of TV stations/newspaper offices, opposition offices, government buildings.
Local police departments are neutralized as they were in Charlottesville. Some sheriffs openly sympathize with the militant white supremacist extremists and they will certainly be even more emboldened.
Bob Dreyfuss wrote back even before the election in The Nation fantasizing the coming of a fascist Trump regime.
So imagine this scenario for a moment: Donald Trump … announces that he’s convening a rally in a state where open-carry is permitted—say, in Dallas, at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium—and adds that he wants his supporters to come armed. … Under Texas law, it would be perfectly legal for his supporters in the thousands to attend such a rally armed with semiautomatic weapons. And there, at the podium, looking out over the crowd of gun-wielding militants, would be the Donald, smiling broadly. …
Imagine then that he repeated the event in other stadiums in, say, Denver, Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Miami—and then announced that he’s establishing the Donald Trump Second Amendment Society? … How far might we then be from armed marches by the new organization in the streets of American cities, its name, of course, soon abbreviated to the Trump SA (for Second Amendment) Society?
Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA tells gun owners they should start shooting “leftists” and members of the “national media machine” because they are “an enemy utterly dedicated to destroy not just our country, but also Western civilization” and “the only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence.”
It gets even worse. As massive marches of white supremacists convene around government buildings, there are mysterious disappearances of well-known Trump opponents, whether in the progressive movement, in the media, in pop culture or in government. First, it all appears accidental, even coincidental, but then there are open and brazen kidnappings, beatings and even assassinations. Harassment and disruption of progressive events are elevated to violent beatings of activists which forces them off the streets.
How Would US Military Respond?
What about US military? Remember Trump is commander-in-chief until he is convicted in the Senate on impeachable offenses.
The journal Foreign Policy asked the question: “What would top U.S. military leaders do if given an order that struck them as not merely ill-advised, but dangerously unhinged?”
It’s impossible to say, of course. The prospect of American military leaders responding to a presidential order with open defiance is frightening — but so, too, is the prospect of military obedience to an insane order. After all, military officers swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the president.
If the military refused orders from Trump, his supporters would call that “a coup.”
The End Game: Trump’s or Ours?
All of these dark scenarios and hypotheticals have foreboding meanings to most of the country, to a majority of our citizens who don’t want Trump, who didn’t vote for him and who want to see him impeached.
And these meanings will form the basis for Part III, The Resistance.
Here are just some of the incidents of armed Trump supporters that made the press:
- In mid-June, 2016, a half dozen open-carry gun activists, some sporting Trump T-shirts, arrived at Trump’s rally in Texas and firmly planted themselves right across from the anti-Trump protesters.
- A month later, on July 18, 2016, in Cleveland at the GOP convention, a handful of armed Trump supporters stood at the America First rally.
- on Oct 14, 2016, in Palmyra, Virginia, two Trump supporters flashed their firearms outside a Democratic politician’s campaign office for nearly 12 hours, while volunteers working nearby found their presence threatening.
- October 15, 2016 “The Crusaders,” a group of three men in Kansas, were arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on a mosque and apartment complex used primarily by Somali refugees.
- On election day November 2, 2016, in Georgia, the Oath Keepers, a militia that sent gun-toting members to Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, called on members to monitor voting sites on Election Day for any signs of fraud.
- January 20, 2017, in Seattle: during fights between fans of the racist “Alt-Right” Milo Yiannopoulos and a much larger crowd of counter-protesters, an anti-fascist protester was shot and seriously wounded by the gunfire and was in critical condition at a local hospital after undergoing surgery.
- February 19, 2017, in Atlanta while supporters gathered for a pro-President Trump rally downtown, an area militia group, Three Percenters Security Force served as security for the event.
- February 20, 2017, in Dallas – an Immigrant rights march faced counter-protesters of armed, Trump supporters;
- Portland, Ore., Members of an armed militia group from rural Virginia, APART (Armed Patriots Against Radical Terrorists), were detained by police overnight after the group took it upon themselves to “arrest” and “detain” several anti-Trump protesters;
- March 26, 2017, Ohio Statehouse -Trump supporters gathered in front of the steps and some were visibly armed. Those armed were part of a group, the West Ohio Minutemen, and had been asked by rally organizers to run security.
- July 24, 2017, Michigan; as residents of a small city gathered to denounce a city leader for calling for the death of Muslims, local militias “patrolled” the building with assault rifles, pistols, and bulletproof vests. The groups were the Great Lakes Three Percenters, and the Kalkaska Militia.
- August 22, 2017, Phoenix – men and women donned military fatigues and totted assault rifles at Trump’s rally in downtown Phoenix.
- September 24, 2017, Houston incident mentioned above.