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Rep. Pramila Jayapal says former President Donald Trump has fostered an increasingly violent political climate: 'The highest office in the land, used, and unleashed, and mobilized, all of that violence'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/18/2022 (Taiyler Simone Mitchell)
US House of Representatives © US House of Representatives US House of Representatives
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal appeared on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show."
  • She discussed threats made against her earlier this month and compared them to the January 6 attack.
  • Jayapal said former President Trump "unleashed and mobilized all of that violence and white supremacy."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, an Oregon Democrat, compared threats made against her to an increasingly violent political climate.

In her first interview discussing threats made against her earlier this month, Jayapal said former President Donald Trump's tenure emboldened white supremacists and other extremists to act on their violent urges.

"It's not that racism and white supremacy haven't existed in our country," Jayapal told Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show."

Video: Rep. Jayapal on the threats made against her: "This violence has been unleashed" (MSNBC)


"But what has happened is that the person that occupied the White House, the highest office in the land, actually used and unleashed and mobilized all of that violence and white supremacy using the tools of the federal government," she said.

On July 9, a 48-year-old man was arrested and accused of stalking and threatening Jayapal outside of her residence, Insider previously reported

A neighbor told police the suspect shouted, "Go back to India, I'm going to kill you."

Jayapal pointed to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol as an example of violence and extremism encouraged by the former president.

She also added that Trump promoted violence by "using bans on Muslims, bans on trans folks, calling out people to be racist, working with the most racist, white supremacist, violent extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, and then, of course, using lies and misinformation, disinformation, to try to steal an election and stage a coup."

Jayapal brought up a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote at the end of her interview: "Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

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