Trump's name has been invoked in connection with at least 36 violent crimes.
A new report from ABC News has revealed that, in at least 36 criminal cases, Trump's name was invoked in connection with violence, assault, or the threat of violence.
"In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims," the outlet reported on Tuesday.
In 10 cases, perpetrators of violence "cheered or defended Trump," while in another 10 cases "Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant's violent or threatening behavior."
The network said it could not find a single criminal case where the names of former Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush were invoked in the same way Trump has been.
The connection worries law enforcement officials.
"Federal law enforcement authorities have privately told ABC News they worry that — even with Trump's public denunciations of violence — Trump's style could inspire violence-prone individuals to take action against minorities or others they perceive to be against the president's agenda," ABC noted.
Trump has adopted violence and advocacy of violence as a political weapon since he began running for president, and he has not stopped since he took over the presidency. When he isn't promoting violence, he has frequently made explicitly racist and bigoted statements that his most diehard supporters have adopted.
The cases cited by ABC News go as far back as the August 2015 assault of a homeless man of Mexican descent, where the assailants said, "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported."
Just two months before the assault, Trump announced his presidential campaign by describing Mexicans as "rapists" and saying Mexico was "not sending the best" when immigrants from the country come to America.
A September 2016 case accused a New Jersey police chief assaulting a black teenager. The chief was recorded "within hours" of the attack saying, "Donald Trump is the last hope for white people."
In February 2017, Trump lied and said Muslim refugees had launched a terrorist attack in Sweden. One day later, a man called up a mosque in Miami Gardens, Florida, and threatened to "shoot all y'all."
Among the more high-profile cases in the survey is would-be serial bomber Cesar Sayoc, who targeted figures like George Soros, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others. Sayoc was a diehard Trump supporter who traveled in a van covered in Trump stickers. He frequently posted pro-Trump messages online.
The most recent case is the gunman who attacked shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, killing 22 people and injuring 24. The shooter had a manifesto that echoed Trump's attacks on immigrants and referred to a "Hispanic invasion of Texas." Trump has repeatedly used "invasion" rhetoric, as have his fellow Republicans and conservative outlets like Fox News.
Trump has not changed his approach to racism and violence, despite the vast reach of the presidential office.
Millions are exposed to his rhetoric and the data clearly shows that unlike his predecessors, those involved in violent acts are invoking his name as they try to hurt others.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.