Former President Donald Trump has never been one to hold back his opinions, but in recent years, the comments he’s made on his Truth Social platform have been seen as veering toward the extreme. That included an online post last week stating that outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, deserved the death penalty. He also called for NBC News and “in particular MSNBC” to be investigated for treason.
Such comments have shocked political pundits, but not his faithful followers.
Rather, many shared a similar sentiment that Milley should face serious punishment, even death, for alleged actions that included reaching out to U.S. allies as well as potential adversaries including China following the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Cynthia Yockey, a Trump supporter at his event in Ottumwa, Iowa, told NBC News last week, “Why was he not in there before a firing squad within a month?” Vicky Entseminger, another Trump supporter, added, “Treason is treason. There’s only one cure for treason: being put to death.”
Trump’s Attack on the Media
Trump’s comments about Milley also came after on his social platform, Trump stated boldly, “I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I win the presidency of the United States, they and others of the lamestream media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events.”
The Biden White House responded to Trump’s recent calls to investigate any independent media as “an outrageous attack on our democracy and the rule of law.”
Yet, here too Trump’s supporters agree with the former president. There is a serious belief that the mainstream media has a liberal agenda to undermine the values of the United States, and this plays into Trump’s rhetoric. Trump says he must attack the media because, as he has told his followers, it lies about the 2020 election, and supports Biden.
Within MAGA: If You’re Not Supporting Donald Trump, You’re a Traitor
Trump’s core base is very unlikely to support any other candidate in the general election – but many who identify as being within the MAGA movement will take it even further.
“MAGA Republicans are, of course, willing to turn on a dime against anybody who runs afoul of Trump,” Aaron Blake of The Washington Post wrote in August. “And it’s not just former Trump vice president Pence; it’s also the two most forceful Trump critics in the field. Strong MAGA Republicans absolutely despise former Trump ally Chris Christie… and the ones who know about former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson feel much the same about him.”
Blake added, “They also aren’t that enamored of former Trump United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who briefly tried to turn on Trump after Jan. 6… This points to perhaps MAGA’s greatest impact: Making anyone who parts with Trump regret it, and keeping the party in line in the process.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.