At a post-election victory rally in Wisconsin yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump once again invited Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to rile up the crowd. Clarke, who declared at a Trump campaign rally in October that it was “pitchfork and torches time in America,” repeated his call to the victorious crowd yesterday, saying that they should have their “pitchforks and torches ready” to help Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence “push back” against the “subversive” progressive movement.
Calling mainstream media outlets like The New York Times and the Washington Post a “fake news network,” Clarke dismissed intelligence findings about Russia’s interference in the election and declared that Congress should instead investigate what he claimed was philanthropist George Soros’ funding of riots after the election.
Trump’s cozy relationship with Clarke is troubling, to say the least. As Brian wrote when Clarke’s name was being floated as a potential Department of Homeland Security secretary:
Clarke has made a name for himself as a Fox News pundit and avid supporter of the gun lobby, using his platform in the media to attack Black Lives Matter, which he describes as a lawless, “subversive” and potentially ISIS-linked group composed of “black slime” that must be “eradicated,” and to champion the cause of anti-government militants, whom he praises as patriots.
When white supremacists murdered six people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee County, Clarke faced criticism for being “AWOL.” In September, an inmate died of thirst in a jail run by Clarke. He reportedly begged for water “in the days before he died.”
He has also compared Beyonce to a Ku Klux Klan member, called for the Great Seal of the United States to feature a semi-automatic rifle, and repeatedly demanded a literal uprising against the government in protest of President Obama’s gun violence proposals, potential election rigging and marriage equality.