Jen Psaki Challenges Trump Campaign’s Defense of Controversial Bloodbath Comment

jen psaki
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

On an MSNBC segment, Jen Psaki took apart claims from Donald Trump’s campaign that criticisms of his “bloodbath” warning were unfounded and that his remarks were misinterpreted. At a Dayton, Ohio rally, Trump had made a bold statement regarding imposing a 100% tariff on cars imported into the U.S., suggesting dire consequences for the country if he were not re-elected.

His exact words were, “We’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line. And you’re not going to be able to sell those cars if I get elected. Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath. That’s going to be the least of it. It’s gonna be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it, but they’re not gonna sell those cars.”

This comment sparked a wave of criticism, with many interpreting the “bloodbath” reference as an example of Trump’s inclination toward violent rhetoric. In defense, Trump’s campaign asserted he was merely discussing economic repercussions, claiming his words were being unjustly skewed.

“’The full context’ is that some of the first words out of Trump’s mouth last night, same rally, were thanking those rioters and calling them ‘patriots,’” she continued. “’The full context’ is that he also said, in this same rally, ‘If this election isn’t won, I’m not sure that you will ever have another election in this country.’”

“‘The full context’ is that he went on to say that some undocumented immigrants are, quote, ‘not people,’” she added. “And, of course, ‘the full context’ is that this is much bigger than one single speech.”

Former Biden White House Press Secretary Psaki delved into “the full context” of Trump’s statements, as suggested by his campaign, highlighting that in the same rally, Trump had paid homage to individuals convicted for their roles in the January 6 Capitol riot, accompanied by the National Anthem sung by a choir of jailed insurrectionists.

Psaki pointed out several instances that exemplified Trump’s longstanding pattern of endorsing political violence and employing dehumanizing speech. She referenced Trump’s warning of “bedlam” should any legal barriers prevent him from running for president again and his notorious reluctance in 2017 to denounce white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

These examples were presented to underline the consistent thread of violent undertones in Trump’s rhetoric, challenging the campaign’s defense that his “bloodbath” comment was solely an economic forecast taken out of context. Through this analysis, Psaki aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of Trump’s use of language and its implications, contributing to the ongoing discourse around political rhetoric and its potential impact on public sentiment and behavior.

“I could go on and on and on,” said Psaki. “So, no. We did not miss the full context. This was not some meandering off-message comment. This is his message.”

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