Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele Rages at GOP for Civil War Rhetoric: ‘I Don’t Know What the Hell’s Wrong With These People’


Former chairman of the RNC Michael Steele appeared on MSNBC’s AM Joy for a discussion about the rhetoric from the right “predicting” — some might say “threatening” — a civil war if Trump is impeached, or perhaps even merely if a Democrat is duly elected in 2020. Steele had no reservations about trashing the talk and the Republicans, by name, who are some of the biggest names behind it.

Guest host Jonathan Capehart started the segment with a threatening voicemail that was shared on Twitter by Rep. David Cicilline on Friday, in which the caller bragged about being ready to start a civil war and saying “Trump 2020”. Capehart asked how damaging it is “to the Republic” that “this talk of civil war” over Trump is so prevalent.

MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner answered first. “The hateful, violent speech by the Louie Gohmerts and the Steve Kings of the world — Steve King recently tweeted out something about red states have eight trillion bullets, and the inference being ‘we’re not afraid to use them — you know this is, this kind of hateful speech just proves they have no defense of the president’s conduct on the merits, so instead they behave like common criminals.”

“I see comments by Steve King and by Louie Gohmert as being no different than an armed gunman who walks up to a victim in the street and says ‘gimme your wallet’ and the victim says, ‘you have no right to my wallet’, and the gunman says ‘listen, if you don’t give me your wallet, there will be violence,'” said Kirschner. “I mean that’s what these folks are saying.”

Capehart took the question to Steele, showing on screen the President’s infamous tweet quoting Trumpism pastor Robert Jeffress warning of civil war on Fox News.

“It’s not just the Louie Gohmerts of the world, and the Steve Kings of the world who are engaging in this civil war talk, it is the president of the United States,” said Capehart to Steele.

“Yeah, I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with these people,” said Steele. “I think we just need to be straight up about it and just call them out. Jeffress, Gohmert, all of them are — this is something they want. This is something that they are perpetuating through their language and their tweets.”

“Americans have to push back on this and say, no, this is not where we are going, and this is not who we are,” Steel continued. “The fact of the matter is, you’re going to threaten us with a civil war?–When did we have all this conversation about a civil war? Who started this silliness? Over Donald Trump? Are you frigging kidding me? I’m going to go to civil — I’m going to go against my neighbor? Over Donald Trump?”

“This shows you the lunacy of this time,” said Steele. He said people are obsessed “to the point of stupid” as he continued to become more animated about the entire situation.

“It’s not worth it, the country is better than this,” said Steele.

Just to note, in addition to Gohmert, King, Trump, and Jeffress, Fox’s Sean Hannity has raised the specter of civil war, and defended doing so, evangelical Rick Wiles has threatened nationwide violence (under the guise of “warning”) if Trump doesn’t get another four years, and Federalist and Townhall writers who are also on Fox News have been using threatening civil war rhetoric for over a year and argue that even Trump losing the election through Americans exercising their right to vote against him would be a “coup.”

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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Caleb Howe is an editor and writer focusing on politics and media. Former managing editor at RedState. Published at USA Today, Blaze, National Review, Daily Wire, American Spectator, AOL News, Asylum, fortune cookies, manifestos, napkins, fridge drawings...