Trump Praises Supporters Who Swarmed a Biden Campaign Bus, Amid Other Voter Intimidation Tactics

The president claimed on Sunday the supporters who flew Trump flags and surrounded a Biden campaign bus on the highway in their vehicles “did nothing wrong.”

Trump supporters gather to participate in a "Trump Train" event in Las Cruces on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. | Reuters
Trump supporters gather to participate in a "Trump Train" event in Las Cruces on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. | Reuters

President Trump over the weekend praised a caravan of his supporters that surrounded a campaign bus for Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The caravan is one of several public displays of intimidation made by Trump supporters around the country over the past few days. 

The FBI is investigating the Friday highway incident, which included a swarm of individuals driving vehicles and flying Trump flags surrounding a Biden campaign bus on I-35 in Hays County, Texas. The skirmish, which involved at least one minor collision, led Biden’s campaign to cancel a scheduled campaign event in the state Friday.

The president praised the dangerous display of loyalty in a Saturday tweet containing footage of the incident, saying, “I LOVE TEXAS!” He then defended the caravan again in a Sunday tweet, saying, “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!”

Meanwhile, Biden condemned the incident at a canvassing event in Philadelphia Sunday.

“We’ve never had anything like this. At least, we’ve never had a president who thinks it’s a good thing,” Biden said.

In a statement to multiple outlets, Biden’s campaign said vehicles pulled in front of the bus and slowed, attempting to “stop the bus in the middle of the highway.” Campaign officials then called 911 to get help from law enforcement to make it to their destination of Austin from San Antonio. The campaign also said it cancelled an event set to be held in Austin on Friday out of “an abundance of caution.”

“Rather than engage in productive conversation about the drastically different visions that Joe Biden and Donald Trump have for our country, Trump supporters in Texas today instead decided to put our staff, surrogates, supporters, and others in harm’s way,” Tariq Thowfeek, the Biden campaign’s communications director in Texas said in a statement.

According to multiple reports, neither Biden nor vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris were on the bus that was surrounded Friday.

The incident is one of several of apparent disturbance and aggression that Trump supporters around the country have incited over the past several days, including blocking traffic, and intimidating voters at early polling stations.

And while law enforcement has made no arrests related to Trump supporters’ public election season tactics, police in Graham, North Carolina on Saturday arrested and pepper sprayed several individuals involved in a "I Am Change" march to the polls to honor of Black people whose deaths at the hands of police have fueled nationwide civil rights protests.