Although he claimed he was not advocating violence, Fox fave Sheriff David Clarke promoted vigilantism as he advised Trump supporters, “If the police need a hand, to step in” and “stand up” to the “goons” protesting him. The fact that Trump’s campaign manager has just been accused of assault never came up.
Clarke was the lead off guest in today’s “Cost of Freedom” special. Host Neil Cavuto began by asking Clarke how to keep the calm in the wake of the protests in Chicago last night that prompted the campaign to cancel its rally.
Instead of answering, Clarke got right to demonizing the protesters almost as enemies of America. “These are rebellions and they’re brought on by riot-starters who show up at these things to create chaos,” he said. “This is a threat to order, liberty, and the United States of America.”
Meanwhile, Clarke, who’s a sheriff in Milwaukee, seemed completely ignorant of the facts. He attacked the Chicago police for being “under-resourced last night.” He added, “Shame on the Chicago police administrators for not putting their line officers in a position to be able to accomplish their mission, which was to have this rally go on.”
In fact, the Chicago police said they were fully capable of handling the rally and that it was Trump who, independently and without consulting them, canceled the rally.
But Cavuto did not correct the record.
Clarke continued with his inflammatory rhetoric.
CLARKE: I expect the people who show up at these rallies to stand up for themselves and don’t back down to these bullies and these goons and to have your voice heard as well. The numbers are on your side. …I expect law-abiding citizens, if the police need a hand, to step in.
Clarke insisted he’s not advocating for violence “but I’m not gonna back down and I don’t expect them to back down.”
Cavuto never asked what “stepping in,” helping the police and “not backing down” exactly entailed.
Cavuto did ask if Trump might be stoking violence. He timidly pointed to Trump’s critics as saying, “The language and the tone is such out of Donald Trump that he instigates a lot of this. What do you think of that? ...Should he say anything? Should he just urge calm, I mean he was last night, in various interviews.”
Cavuto did not bring up the Breitbart reporter who has filed assault charges against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski or how Trump has shrugged off her allegations (and the video and audio evidence supporting her) by accusing her of making it up.
As the two also “forgot” about the number of other people who have been assaulted at Trump rallies by Trump supporters or his own staff, Clarke blamed Democrats for last night.
CLARKE: Look at some of the rhetoric and the language used by Mrs. Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders at their rallies and at their debates, how they criticize the police, they attack the police, they stoke up racial animosity, the president of the United States is the one that created this division stoking up racial discord, class warfare, gender warfare for the last eight years. For people to blame this on Donald Trump is way out of bounds.
“How do you tamp this down?” Cavuto asked.
Clarke only seemed interest in ratcheting up tensions.
CLARKE: You can’t, Neil, because these are anarchists. …They advocate violence and chaos in the name of virtue. …Why is it that the people who are on the side of ordered liberty and law and order, why do they have to back down? They did not start this. When you’re facing a goon and a bully, what you have to do is you have to stand up to them and that’s the only way that our American way of life and our American system is going to continue to go on.
Cavuto sounded almost apologetic as he asked if there weren’t times that the Trump crowd should “keep it down” and noted that “they’ve thrown blows” at protesters.
CLARKE: This has to be crushed. …I don’t believe, in our country, that we should have our First Amendment – when I say “our,” I’m talking about anybody who wants to participate in this process – we should have it shut down just to keep the peace. No, the goons need to back off and they need to be silenced, not the people who are on the side of law and order.
Cavuto closed by saying, “Alright, Sheriff, thank you very, very much for taking the time, a crazy day, the day after.”
As if Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke had some role to play in Chicago.
Watch this disgraceful rhetoric from a law enforcement official go unchallenged, below, from the March 12 Cost of Freedom special.