'It's time': Trump calls on supporters to 'protest' and 'take our nation back' in an ominous echo of January 6 riot
Trump issued a siren call for his supporters to "protest" and "take our nation back" on Saturday.
He made the call after claiming without evidence that he will be arrested Tuesday.
His lawyers and advisors said they have no knowledge of an impending arrest.
Former President Donald Trump called on his backers to "protest" and "take our nation back" in an all-caps Truth Social post Saturday in which he predicted his own arrest, despite a lack of evidence he has been charged in an ongoing case before a New York grand jury.
Citing "illegal leaks," Trump wrote that he "will be arrested on Tuesday of next week."
"PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!" he added, in an ominous echo of the words that preceded the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
He followed up in a second all-caps post, writing, "IT'S TIME!!!"
"WE JUST CAN'T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE," Trump wrote. "THEY'RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA!PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!"
Trump's extreme rhetoric was reminiscent of his infamous December 2020 tweet asking followers to converge on the Capitol on January 6 to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory. "Be there, will be wild!" Trump tweeted at the time.
Trump's lawyers and advisors said they have no indication that the former president will be arrested Tuesday.
"President Trump is basing this on press reports," his lawyer, Susan Necheles, told Insider.
"This is a political prosecution and the DA leaks things to the press instead of communicating to the lawyers as they should," Necheles said.
A Trump spokesperson also said in a separate statement that the Manhattan district attorney's office has given "no notification" of an impending arrest. The statement added that Trump "will be in Texas next weekend for a giant rally."
Still, the former president's most ardent supporters backed him up.
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right firebrand and one of Trump's most stalwart loyalists, said in a tweet following Trump's statement that the GOP "base has had enough of Republicans that won't stand up for the people and against the Democrats war against Trump, his admin, his supporters, and traditional values."
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy threatened the Manhattan DA's office with investigations.
"Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump," McCarthy tweeted. "I'm directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions."
In a message accompanied by a foreboding image, Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. falsely claimed that if his father was indicted, it would mean the government would target individual freedoms next.
"If they can take him out they're one step closer to taking you and your freedoms out… and apparently that's been the plan all along," Trump Jr. wrote.
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 18, 2023
Rep. Matt Gaetz said the "impending indictment is based on an untested, tortured legal theory" and should "be seen for the partisan pathetic ploy it is."
Right-wing commentator Dan Bongino said: "The police state is here," adding that it's a story he expects to come out of North Korea.
—MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) March 18, 2023
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington called the charges — which do not appear to have been made — "phony."
"Only failing third world nations try to arrest the political opposition on phony charges. Evil people are trying to destroy America, but they will not win!" Harrington said in a Telegram post.
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