Trump escalates the signals to his followers: Use lethal violence to help me hold power - 2020-09-14
Well, that escalated quickly. Only a couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump and his allies were using the term "self-defense" to condone the behavior of armed right-wingers who showed up at Black Lives Matter protests to intimidate demonstrators — and also to justify the alleged murder of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
Now Trump has expanded the universe of excuses for such lethal violence, suggesting that it's acceptable in the name of "retribution."
In this case, the lethal violence was inflicted on Michael Reinoehl, a self-identified supporter of antifa, which isn't an organized movement so much as a loose association of left-wing activists who use confrontational tactics to fight perceived fascists. Most people who identify as antifa aren't violent, but some have become enamored of seeking violent confrontations with far-right or white supremacist groups. Reinoehl appears to have been such a person: He seemingly confessed on camera to killing a right-wing activist named Aaron Danielson during an Aug. 29 skirmish in Portland, Oregon.