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His messaging on the FBI search mirrors his previous statements

Trump attempted to offer a public olive branch to law enforcement on Monday after inflammatory remarks from his supporters.

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Many of former President Trump’s supporters have become increasingly hostile in the week since the FBI executed a search warrant at his home, leading to an increase in threats against federal agents and, ultimately, a fatal attack on the FBI field office in Cincinnati.

On Monday, Trump reverted to a strategy he used on January 6, 2021, when tensions were high: he offered to calm his supporters while simultaneously feeding their anger by saying they had good reason to be upset.

In an interview published Monday, Trump told Fox News Digital, “the country is in a very dangerous position.” As he put it, “whatever we can do to help,” the country’s temperature needed to be lowered. It must be, or else terrible things will occur.

And, he continued, “The people of this country are not going to stand for another scam.”

It was reminiscent of Trump’s handling of the mob that attacked the Capitol as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s victory over him in the 2020 election that Trump publicly extended an olive branch while continuing to stoke the rage of his supporters. The dramatic summer hearings of the Jan. 6 committee revealed evidence that Trump’s statements in the lead-up to that deadly riot helped whip up his supporters to action.

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Trump ignored repeated requests from his inner circle to intervene after his supporters marched to the Capitol and began fighting with law enforcement. At last, he tweeted a message that simultaneously asked the mob to leave and gave the impression that he approved of their actions.

At 6:01 p.m. on that day, Trump posted on Twitter, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” Sending you love and peace as you depart. Don’t let the memories of today fade.

Find out more here: How the January 6 Committee Is Constructing Its Case Against a Former President Based on What Trump Knew

Since the court-authorized search of his Mar-a-Lago Club on August 8 to retrieve classified documents, Trump has decried the move as politically motivated and strongly implied that something bigger and darker is in the works by the federal government. In one email asking for donations, he said, “It’s important that you know that it wasn’t just my home that was violated — it was the home of every patriotic American.” The former president and his supporters frequently used apocalyptic language in their fundraising appeals, but this has largely shifted to the FBI investigation. The subject line of an email sent to supporters on August 10 in Trump’s name from his Save America PAC read, “These are dark times for our Nation.” I need every true blue American Patriot to help me out right now.

According to David Gomez, a former FBI assistant special agent in charge in the FBI Seattle field office who spent 28 years investigating national security cases including domestic extremism, Trump is “trying to parse the language and create plausible deniability.” There’s no need for a genius to figure out that “he’s trying to get people to do what they did on [January 6],” as Gomez puts it. Without explicitly saying “Let’s do x, y, and z,” he is trying to rally support for his cause, as stated by the author.

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Trump’s statements, including those he posts to his social media startup, Truth Social, have been the subject of close analysis on popular pro-Trump forums and far-right channels. Many of his supporters made it clear in the days following the FBI search that they were waiting for a signal from him, of the sort that some believed they received through his incendiary statements preceding the attack on the Capitol on January 6.

It will be time when Trump declares it at a rally or other public forum. One supporter said, “Not before then,” on a forum that was used as a launchpad for the January 6 attack, a day after the FBI search, on August 9. The language used was identical to that of a call made on the same forum nineteen months prior: One user wrote in response to Trump’s call for supporters to come to Washington that “we have been waiting for Trump to say the word.” This was in December of 2020. No amount of police in DC can prevent what is coming.

Analysts Caution Against Violent Language After FBI Statement. What Happened at Mar-a-Lago Is Just a Taste of Things to Come

Three days after the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, a regular Truth Social poster was shot and killed in a standoff at an FBI field office in Cincinnati. The man had attacked the office with an AR-15-style rifle and a nail gun. More than 374 posts were made in the preceding eight days from an account with the same name as the attacker, with many of the messages demanding action in response to the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago and reiterating Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The account had previously posted a message to Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr. in April that read, “I’m just waiting for your Dad.”

The attacker wrote, “People, this is it…,” on the day that FBI agents searched Trump’s home.

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I’m giving you guys a call to arms. Tomorrow, as soon as the gun store…opens, leave work and get everything you need to be battle ready. The next day he declared it a “insurrection against the people who usurped our government.” This time, I’m coming prepared. TIME reached out to Trump Media & Technology Group, Truth Social’s parent company, for comment but did not receive a reply.

Experts on political violence and former members of the national security community told TIME that they expect an increase in attacks like these in the coming months as Trump continues to be the subject of multiple investigations into possible wrongdoing on his part and fuels rumors of a possible presidential run in 2024.

On Monday, after the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was executed, prosecutors in Pennsylvania charged a man with making threats against the FBI on the social media platform Gab. According to the prosecution, the suspect wrote, “I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die.” “I’m going to f**king kill you,” he said.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the FBI may have planted evidence during their search of Mar-a-Lago. He was even more direct about it during his interview on Monday, saying that the FBI “could have planted anything they wanted” during the search.

The comments of those who agree with the message show that they are considering it seriously. One Trump supporter on a conservative forum summed up the former President’s comments by saying, “They aren’t after me, they’re after you.” Threateningly, “If the FBI keeps behaving in such a partisan way, we will be next.”

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