US President Joe Biden has apparently made a 180-degree turn on the alleged dangers posed by Donald Trump supporters, saying he doesn’t consider his predecessor’s backers to be a threat to America.
“I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country,” Biden told reporters on Friday at the White House. “I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge an election has been won, insists upon changing the way in which the rule you count votes, that is a threat to democracy.”
The comment was a far cry from the political rhetoric that Biden has used in recent days, including a scathing speech he gave on Thursday night at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. He argued that “MAGA forces” – referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan – are an existential threat to American democracy.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said in the speech. He added in a Twitter post that “Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are a threat to the very soul of this country.”
Biden altered that message dramatically on Friday, saying he was only talking about people who fail to condemn political violence, those who try to manipulate electoral outcomes and those who refuse to acknowledge the results of an election.