When Trump first addressed the nation as its president on Jan. 20, 2017, he depicted the nation’s cities as domestic combat zones and declared “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Back then, it was hyperbole at best. But it’s become reality on his watch, and he has encouraged further violence.

More than 100,000 Americans have lost their lives, and another 40 million have lost their livelihoods, amid a coronavirus pandemic to which Trump was slow to react. Against that backdrop, cities across the country are now combustible cauldrons of fear, anger, fire and tear gas as Trump has responded to the violence with threats and little evidence of understanding its cause…

“Trump is far more divisive than past presidents — his strength is stirring up his base, not calming the waters,” said Dan Eberhart, a major Republican donor who lives in Arizona. “President Trump’s use of the word ‘thugs’ on Twitter may have expressed what some Americans were thinking but was ill-advised and could only serve to exacerbate the situation and weaken his credibility with the protesters.”