'Total disintegration' of the FBI, civil war: Trump World and far-right explode over Mar-A-Lago raid
- The FBI raided Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida on Monday.
- Numerous far-right influencers condemned the raid online, saying it was unlawful and illegitimate.
Pro-Trump influencers and far-right online commentators are spreading baseless conspiracy theories and claims of civil war in the aftermath of the FBI's Monday raid on Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence.
The details of the FBI's search warrant aren't yet fully public. The raid came after the National Archives and Record Administration, which handles government records, asked the Department of Justice to look into whether Trump had violated the Presidential Records Act by mishandling documents taken from the White House to Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
It's unclear what will happen as a result of the FBI's action—but a huge swath of the GOP and right-wing influencers have already unleashed a torrent of outrage online. Many declared it unlawful and unprecedented, with several calling to defund the FBI. Trump posted a lengthy statement on Monday announcing his home had been raided, calling it "prosecutorial misconduct."
In pro-Trump online communities such as The Donald, posts with hundreds of likes suggested there would be a civil war and users wrote violent comments claiming people need to be hanged over the raid. The top comment with over 1,000 likes on a thread about the raid appeared to urge people to "lock and load" weapons. The most popular reply to that — "Are we not in a cold civil war at this point?" — was written by a user who is waiting to be sentenced for his involvement in the Capitol 6 riot, according to NBC News.
In the same thread, another user asked "When does the shooting start?" and wrote, "I have two guns I haven't cleaned since the last trip to the range. Do I have time?"
One of the most common Republican talking points, which Trump espoused in his own statement, was to condemn the raid as something that would only occur in "third-world countries" or nations with fascist or authoritarian governments.
Far-right commentator and Fox News host Dan Bongino on Monday night called the raid "some third-world bullshit" while appearing on Jesse Waters Fox News show. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted a call to "DEFUND THE FBI!" and likened the search, which was authorized with a warrant, to "the rogue behavior of communist countries." Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that the raid was the sort of thing you'd see happen in "3rd World Banana Republics!!!"
The official House Judiciary GOP Twitter made similar remarks. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader who may take over as Speaker if the GOP wins the House in the fall, heavily criticized the decision to raid Trump's residence. "The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy wrote on Twitter, claiming he would launch an "immediate oversight of this department" if Republicans take the House.
Among the more extreme responses, the New York Young Republicans Club released a statement calling for the "total disintegration" of the FBI and said anyone involved in the raid should be "arrested and prosecuted with expediency."
The popular far-right YouTuber Steven Crowder, who has over 5 million subscribers, released a video after the raid titled "This Means WAR!!!!" and told his fans they would remember this day. Far-right influencers similarly blasted the raid on Trump's social media app Truth Social, including one who said the Biden administration is "hurtling toward despotism."
Numerous Truth Social influencers with tens of thousands of followers also posted after the raid suggesting there would soon be a war. "This was the first shot fired in the Cold Civil War," one user with over 50,000 followers wrote on Monday.
Several conspiracy theories about the raid on Mar-a-Lago also circulated online. Some far-right forum users and the QAnon influencer Jordan Sather baselessly speculated that the FBI may have raided Trump so they could "plant" documents to frame and arrest the former president.
The Department of Justice and FBI have so far not commented on the exact reasoning for the raid, an exceedingly high profile action that top Republicans are now calling for an explanation over. The White House stated it was unaware the FBI's action was set to take place, and that President Joe Biden had no advance knowledge. The FBI's current director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump in 2017.
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