Former President Donald Trump recently amplified a user on his social media site who suggested that his loyalists should “physically fight” for him to win the Republican Party nomination for president in 2024.
On Wednesday, a user with the handle @FreeTX1776 engaged in a back-and-forth with other far right accounts on Trump’s Truth Social website. The conversation — between users with only a few hundred followers each — caught the attention of the former president, who shared one of the user’s posts.
In the post, the user said that Trump had the backing of people who were willing to use physical force in order to ensure he won the nomination. “People my age and old will physically fight for him this time,” they wrote. “What we got to lose?”
The user went on to state that they “know many others who feel the same,” and that they are “Locked and LOADED” — referring to the loading of firearms.
Trump didn’t respond to the conversation, but by sharing the post, he amplified it to nearly 5 million Truth Social users.
Notably, Trump’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were recently reinstated after being banned for years due to his incendiary rhetoric regarding the 2020 election.
“The GOP primary has just begun and Trump is already promoting rants from other old men promising violence if he’s not installed as president,” Crooked Media podcast host Jon Favreau wrote on Twitter.
“Imagine how much worse it’s going to be when Trump is back on Facebook & Twitter again,” said Lincoln Project senior adviser Tara Setmayer.
Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account in November, nearly two years after the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump loyalists. In January, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced that it would let Trump return to those platforms in the next few weeks, adding that it would implement new safeguards against repeat offenders of its policy on violence.
But Trump’s recent behavior on Truth Social suggests he will likely use those platforms to promote even more conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric.
Trump has shared a number of memes and posts that promote violence or false claims about his election loss to President Joe Biden in 2020. He has also shared memes of himself wearing QAnon apparel, an extremist far right movement that claims, wrongly, that Trump is fighting a secret war against Democrats and will return to the White House before Biden’s term expires.
“Mr. Trump’s increasingly probable return to major platforms raises the prospect that he will carry over his more radicalized behavior to a far wider audience,” wrote New York Times reporters Ken Bensinger and Maggie Haberman in a report published last weekend.
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