Donald Trump’s 2024 Campaign, in His Own Menacing Words

Barbara Comstock, a Republican former congresswoman from Virginia, told us, “This is a very embittered man who I think very much wants to take these actions.”

“Both this rhetoric and all G.O.P. plans announced for a second Trump term indicate clearly that retribution and institutional destruction outside the rule of law will prevail if he returns to the White House,” Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist, said.

To help readers understand the situation, The Times has compiled a list of Trump’s most extreme comments during the campaign so far. The list includes many false statements, including Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was rigged, that the murder rate is at a record high and that Biden is behind the criminal indictments against Trump. Trump also frequently makes false claims about other political figures.

We have grouped his statements into 11 categories.

Trump has used apocalyptic terms to describe the impact of the 2024 election:

  • “2024 is the final battle. … If we don’t win this next election, 2024, I truly believe our country is doomed. I think it’s doomed.” March 25, Waco, Texas

  • “If we don’t stop them this time, I think that’s going to be the end. I really do.” Jan. 28, Salem, N.H.

  • “Our beloved nation is teetering on the edge of tyranny.” June 24, Washington

  • “The gravest threats to our civilization are not from abroad, but from within.” Nov. 15, 2022, Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “If those opposing us succeed, our once beautiful U.S.A. will be a failed country that no one will even recognize. A lawless, open-borders, crime-ridden, filthy, communist nightmare. That’s what it’s going and that’s where it’s going. … Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.” March 4, National Harbor, Md.

  • “Either we surrender to the demonic forces, abolishing and demolishing — and happily doing so — our country, or we defeat them in a landslide on Nov. 5, 2024. Either the deep state destroys America, or we destroy the deep state.” March 25, Waco, Texas

  • “This election will decide whether America will be ruled by Marxist, fascist and communist tyrants who want to smash our Judeo-Christian heritage.” Sept. 15, Washington

  • “I will prevent World War III. … And without me, it will happen. And this won’t be a conventional war with army tanks going back and forth, shooting each other. This will be nuclear war. This will be obliteration. Perhaps obliteration of the entire world.” June 10, Columbus, Ga.

Trump has threatened to use government powers to punish people he perceives as his critics and opponents:

  • “This is a sick nest of people that needs to be cleaned out immediately. Get them out.” June 10, Columbus, Ga. (He was referring to Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating Trump, and others at the Justice Department.)

  • “We will root out the deep state and stop the weaponization of federal agencies because there’s a weaponization like nobody’s ever seen. We will use every tool at our disposal.” Jan. 28, Salem, N.H.

  • “On Day 1 of my new administration, I will direct the D.O.J. to investigate every radical district attorney and attorney general in America for their illegal, racist-in-reverse enforcement of the law.” April 27, Manchester, N.H.

  • “Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC, often and correctly referred to as MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!), should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason.’ … 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. … They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!” Sept. 24, Truth Social

  • “As soon as I am re-elected, I will appoint a real special counsel — or maybe you’ll call it a special prosecutor, whatever you want to call it, you can — to look at all of these bribes, kickbacks and other crimes as well as the shameless attempt at a cover-up. Justice will be done. The Biden crime family will be looked at. … When we get there, the Biden crime family will pay a price.” Aug. 15, Rumble

  • “I will appoint a real special prosecutor to investigate the Biden bribery and crime ring.” June 27, Concord, N.H.

  • “From the first day in office, I will appoint a special prosecutor to study each and every one of the many claims being brought forth by Congress concerning all of the crooked acts, including the bribes from China and many other countries, that go into the coffers of the Biden crime family.” Aug. 5, Columbia, S.C.

  • “I will fire the unelected bureaucrats and shadow forces who have weaponized our justice system like it has never been weaponized before.” March 4, National Harbor, Md.

Trump’s personal attacks have become more specific and menacing:

  • Biden “has gone mad, a stark raving lunatic.” Aug. 10, Truth Social

  • Biden is “the most corrupt president in American history, and it’s not even close.” Feb. 7, Truth Social

  • “Biden is a Stone Cold Crook.” Aug. 27, Truth Social

  • “Instead of keeping terrorists and terrorist sympathizers out of America, the Biden administration is inviting them in. You know why? Because he’s got a boss. Who’s his boss? Barack Hussein Obama.” Oct. 11, West Palm Beach, Fla.

  • Nancy Pelosi “is a Wicked Witch whose husbands journey from hell starts and finishes with her. She is a sick & demented psycho who will someday live in HELL!” Aug. 6, Truth Social

  • “Deranged Jack Smith — he’s the prosecutor, he’s a deranged person — wants to take away my rights under the First Amendment, wants to take away my right of speaking freely and openly.” Sept. 15, Washington

  • “We have a rogue judge. … We have a racist attorney general who’s a horror show.” Oct. 2, New York City (He was referring to Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing Trump’s civil fraud trial, and to Letitia James, New York State’s attorney general.)

  • “They say there’s a young woman, a young racist in Atlanta. She’s a racist … And this is a person that wants to indict me. She’s got a lot of problems.” Aug. 8, Windham, N.H. (His comments were directed at Fani Willis, a Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.)

  • “I have to stay around and fight off the Crazed Radical Left Lunatics, Communists, Marxists, and Fascists … this COUNTRY DESTROYING Scum.” Aug. 27, Truth Social

  • “They’re flooding your towns with deadly drugs, selling your jobs to China, mutilating your children. They’re mutilating your children.” March 25, Waco, Texas (He was referring to Democrats.)

His claims of national decline have intensified:

  • “Under Biden, our nation is being destroyed by a selfish, radical and corrupt political establishment. … We’re going Marxist. We have skipped socialism. That train has already left.” Jan. 28, Salem, N.H.

  • “Our rights and our liberties are being torn to shreds and your country is being turned into a third-world hellhole ruled by censors, perverts, criminals and thugs.” July 15, West Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “Our country — the way it’s going right now — is going into a depression. We’re going into a depression, like in 1929-type Depression, and we’re not going to let that happen.” April 27, Manchester, N.H.

  • “We are living in a catastrophe. … What’s happening with our country is a disgrace and it’s a laughingstock all over the world.” April 27, Manchester, N.H.

  • “Our enemies are waging war on faith and freedom, on science and religion, on history and tradition, on law and democracy, on God Almighty himself. They are waging war.” June 24, Washington

  • “Savage killers, rapists and violent criminals are being released from jail to continue their crime wave. And under Biden, the murder rate has reached the highest in the history of our country.” Feb. 7, Truth Social

  • “I believe it’s the most dangerous time in the history of our country.” April 14, Indianapolis

  • “The blood-soaked streets of our once great cities are cesspools of violent crimes, which are being watched all over the world, as leadership of other countries explain that this is what America and democracy is really all about.” Nov. 15, 2022, Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “New York City is a crime den. Chicago is a crime den. You look at these great cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco. You look at what’s happening to our country.” March 13, Davenport, Iowa

  • “You’re afraid to walk through one of these Democrat cities. You go out for a loaf of bread, you end up getting shot.” April 14, Indianapolis

  • “We’re not a free nation right now. We don’t have free press. We don’t have free anything. … We do not have free speech.” March 4, National Harbor, Md.

Trump encourages or excuses violence:

  • “Mark Milley, who led perhaps the most embarrassing moment in American history with his grossly incompetent implementation of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, costing many lives, leaving behind hundreds of American citizens, and handing over BILLIONS of dollars of the finest military equipment ever made, will be leaving the military next week. This will be a time for all citizens of the USA to celebrate! This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” Sept. 22, Truth Social

  • “Very simply: If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store. Shot.” Sept. 29, Anaheim, Calif.

  • “We’ll stand up to crazy Nancy Pelosi, who ruined San Francisco. How’s her husband doing, by the way, anybody know? And she’s against building a wall at our border even though she has a wall around her house, which obviously didn’t do a very good job.” Sept. 29, Anaheim, Calif. (Trump was referring to Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who was attacked with a hammer in a home invasion. The attacker told the police he was motivated in part by Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.)

He has promised a harsh federal crackdown on immigrants:

  • “We have complete chaos. Fentanyl is pouring in. Families are being wiped out, destroyed, and there’s death everywhere, all caused by incompetence. … Other countries are emptying out their prisons, insane asylums and mental institutions and sending all of their problems right into their dumping ground: the U.S.A.” March 4, National Harbor, Md.

  • “We will use all necessary state, local, federal and military resources to carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” April 27, Manchester, N.H.

  • “This is an invasion of our country, what’s coming across our border. It’s no different than soldiers. And they’re bringing a lot of different problems than soldiers would bring. They’re not bringing merely bullets, and they’re bringing plenty of them. … They’re killing the blood, the lifestream of our country.” March 13, Davenport, Iowa

  • “Our Southern border has been erased, and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people. … We’re being poisoned.” Nov. 15, 2022, Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “I’ll ask every state and federal agency to identify every known or suspected gang member in America and every one of them that is here illegally. The police know every one of them, and we’ll pick them up, and we’ll send them back home where they came from. They’ll be out of here.” April 27, Manchester, N.H.

  • “For any radical left charity, non-profit or so called aid organizations supporting these caravans and illegal aliens, we will prosecute them for their participation in human trafficking, child smuggling and every other crime we can find.” Nov. 4, Truth Social

Trump argues that the justice system is rigged, often in reference to the four criminal indictments against him:

  • “We have two standards of justice in our country: one for people like you and me, and one for the corrupt political class.” Jan. 19, Truth Social

  • “Our justice system has become lawless. They’re using it now, in addition to everything else, to win elections.” April 4, Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “Crooked Joe Biden and his radical left thugs have weaponized law enforcement to arrest their leading opponent — by a lot, leading — on fake and phony charges.” Sept. 15, Washington

  • “Joe Biden has weaponized law enforcement against his political opposition, the greatest abuse of power in American history, by far.” June 30, Philadelphia

  • “This is the continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time. That’s all it is. And its primary purpose is election interference.” June 27, Concord, N.H.

Trump also says the justice system is rigged against his supporters, including the Jan. 6, 2021, rioters:

  • “We have Antifa and B.L.M., who hate our country and burn down our cities, and they’re protected by law enforcement, while we put great American patriots in jail and destroy their lives.” Jan. 28, Salem, N.H.

  • “Antifa thugs who are allowed to roam the streets while we have people that in many cases are great patriots — great, great patriots — sing prayers every night, playing our national anthem every day. And they’re sitting in a jail nearby, rotting away and being treated so unfairly like nobody’s probably ever been treated in this country before, except maybe me.” March 4, National Harbor, Md.

  • “American patriots are being arrested & held in captivity like animals, while criminals & leftist thugs are allowed to roam the streets, killing & burning with no retribution.” March 18, Truth Social

  • “Patriotic parents, Christians, conservatives, pro-life activists are being hounded by the F.B.I. and the D.O.J. like terrorists. They’re being treated so badly.” March 25, Waco, Texas

  • “If the Communists get away with this, it won’t stop with me. They will not hesitate to ramp up their persecution of Christians, pro-life activists, parents attending school board meetings and even future Republican candidates.” June 13, Bedminster, N.J.

Trump continues to falsely accuse Democrats of rigging the 2020 election:

  • “I believe we also won two general elections, OK? If you want to know the truth.” Jan. 28, Salem, N.H.

  • “Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Dec. 3, 2022, Truth Social

  • “There was never a second of any day that I didn’t believe that that election was rigged. It was a rigged election. It was a rigged election and it was a stolen, disgusting election, and this country should be ashamed. And they go after the people that want to prove that it was rigged and stolen. … They don’t go after the people that rigged it.” Aug. 8, Windham, N.H.

  • “The radical left Democrats rigged the presidential election of 2020. … We won the first one and we won the second one even bigger, and we got — we got screwed, that’s what happened. We had a rigged election. Our opponents are showing every day that they hate democracy.” Nov. 18, Fort Dodge, Iowa

He argues that the U.S. has come to mimic its longtime global rivals and enemies and has become undemocratic:

  • “You go back to Communist China or look at a third-world banana republic. That’s what we’ve become.” March 25, Waco, Texas

  • “Our elections were like those of a third-world country.” April 4, Palm Beach, Fla.

  • “They’re trying to arrest their political opposition. It’s really very much like the old Soviet Union.” April 14, Indianapolis

  • “Many of those people coming from Cuba, Venezuela, other countries, they’ve seen this happening to their countries.” June 13, Bedminster, N.J.

He speaks admiringly of authoritarian leaders:

  • “President Xi: Smart, top of his game. President Putin: Smart. Very smart people.” March 25, Waco, Texas

  • “We did a fantastic job with Kim Jong-un. You know, I got along with him very well. The fake news said, It’s terrible that he gets along with him. I said, Really? It’s not terrible, it’s a very good thing. You know, it’s a positive thing.” June 30, Philadelphia

  • “A man who looks like a piece of granite, right? He’s strong like granite. He’s strong. I know him very well, President Xi of China. … He runs 1.4 billion people with an iron hand. … I got along well with Putin. That’s a good thing.” Nov. 18, Fort Dodge, Iowa

  • “One of the strongest leaders, Viktor Orban from Hungary . … He’s a very strong man — very strong, powerful man — and one of the most respected leaders in the world. He’s tough. No games, right?” Nov. 18, Fort Dodge, Iowa

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