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TV host criticises Trump Jr and Lauren Boebert, accusing them of acting like IRA and Osama Bin Laden

‘It communicates that they’re open to at least the possibility of violent overthrow of the government,’ claims Chris Hayes

James Crump
Thursday 25 February 2021 18:38 GMT
TV anchor compares GOP gun imagery to Osama bin Laden

MSNBC host Chris Hayes has criticised Donald Trump Jr and Republican representative Lauren Boebert for including guns in the background of recent videos, likening it to imagery used by Osama bin Laden.

During his show, All In with Chris Hayes, on Tuesday night, the political commentator played recent clips of Mr Trump Jr and Ms Boebert talking to a camera with guns placed behind their heads.

The clip of Ms Boebert, who faced criticism last year when she claimed that she would carry her personal firearm with her to Congress, was filmed during a remote meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee.

The guns, including pistols and military-style rifles, were placed on a shelf behind her so that the weapons would be clearly visible during her meeting.

Mr Trump Jr filmed himself criticising teachers’ unions with a backdrop of multiple handguns and rifles. Both Mr Trump Jr and Ms Boebert have been criticised for the imagery in the days since the clips were aired.

Mr Hayes said “the use of guns in that way, as props, and the implicit threat that comes with them has a long, not necessarily great history among various movements around the globe.”

He then referenced propaganda posters for the Provisional Irish Republican Army and pictures of bin Laden, saying that the IRA would “display guns in its propaganda posters and its murals”, while the former al-Qaeda leader “liked to pose in front of a bookshelf with a gun prominently displayed”.

The political commentator added: “You can see it all over the world. It is unquestionably the aesthetic of armed struggle, of revolution or insurrection.

“A movement or faction that puts images of guns, a celebration of guns front and centre in its political aesthetic is a movement that’s engaging in something that we would not call the rhetoric of elected democratic politics.”

Mr Hayes then showed a photo of Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, where she photoshopped an assault rifle into an image of her standing next to progressive Democratic politicians.

“You can’t escape the meaning of it. It communicates that they’re open to at least the possibility of violent overthrow of the government,” he said.

“They use the excuse that they can be violent at any time and they’re willing to brandish that claim as a threat in pursuit of their political aims,” Mr Hayes added, seemingly referencing the Capitol riots on 6 January.

Five people died and several more were injured on that day, as a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol, causing House members to barricade themselves inside their offices.

The insurrection took place while Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory, and came after Donald Trump told a rally of his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” and “show strength.”

Mr Trump was impeached by the House a week after the events of that day, but was acquitted a month later of the charge of “incitement of insurrection” by the Senate even though a bipartisan majority – 57 to 43 – voted to convict him. A total of 67 senators was required for conviction.

“It’s not some academic thing, right?” Mr Hayes then claimed, adding: “It’s become increasingly standard for the most hardcore devotees of Trump and his faction to, at the very least, wink at the notion that they’re ready to hurt anyone who gets in their way.”

The Independent has contacted Ms Boebert and the Trump Organization for comment.

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