Although the Trump campaign has declined to comment on the President’s unexpected outburst, the President shortly tweeted out a video of himself shooting a New Yorker wearing an “I Voted” sticker. “I did it,” read the caption over the video. “I shot him and I’ll do it again.”
Back in 2016, then-candidate Trump once mused that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. In 2019, Trump’s lawyers went further, claiming that Trump could not be tried for murder even if he did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue because he is the President.
While most legal minds understood this as a hypothetical musing meant to shield the President’s financial impropriety, some took it as the next logical step of voter suppression.
“The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” said Cuoy Griffin, the leader of the New Mexico group “Cowboys for Trump” in a statement that was retweeted by the President.
While supporters of the President shrugged this off as just another endorsement of a death threat from the President of the United States, few had expected that it would become the foundational step of the President’s re-election campaign.
“Democrats can’t vote if they’re dead,” the President reportedly said to his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. “Why can’t we just shoot them? I wouldn’t lose any support and it’s technically legal, remember?”
Though some members of the Trump campaign were anxious about such a risky political and legal move, others saw it as an opportunity.
“Well I certainly don’t see any legal recourse to the President’s actions should he commit murder on the streets of New York,” said Attorney General William Barr last month during a press conference. “In fact, one could argue that the founders specifically meant for the President to have all of the powers inherent of a king.”
Due to the split confidence among the President’s inner circle, Trump decided against this more direct method of voter suppression in favor of more indirect actions like shutting down polling locations and posing legal challenges against state-approved voting measures like mail-in ballots and drive-thru voting.
But the tension leading into election day proved to be too much for the President, who began to see his candidacy at risk.
“The liberals want to take away your guns,” said Trump in a four part tweet to his followers. “Meanwhile, I USE guns! #MAGA”
Supporters responded to the President’s tweet saying that they admired that he is willing to do what no other politicians have the stomach to do.