Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Says Trump 'Courts Potential Violence' with Anti-McConnell Rhetoric

Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on July 19, 2021 in New York City
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on July 19, 2021 in New York City

James Devaney/GC Images Donald Trump

While Donald Trump is no stranger to name-calling, his rhetoric of late has grown increasingly violent — and it could lead some of his supporters to hurting someone, argues the Wall Street Journal in a new editorial.

The editorial comes after the former president, 76, took to his social media platform Truth Social to slam Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for "approving" Democrat-led bills.

"Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?" Trump wrote in his post.

RELATED: Trump-McConnell Feud Escalates as Former President Calls for Minority Leader to Be Replaced 'Immediately'

Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump
Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump

Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Mitch McConnell (left), Donald Trump

Then the former president got personal, again attacking the senator's wife (who served as Transportation Secretary under Trump) Elaine Chao, and writing that McConnell had a "death wish."

"He has a DEATH WISH," Trump wrote of McConnell. "Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!"

The Journal's editorial board described Trump's post as "reckless," writing: "We live in a polarized political age when rabid partisans don't need provocation to resort to violence."

The editorial continued: "The 'death wish' rhetoric is ugly even by Mr. Trump's standards and deserves to be condemned. Mr. Trump's apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn't what he wrote. It's all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell."

Trump has directed his ire at McConnell — the Republicans' longest-serving leader in history — and Chao in the past, calling the senator "a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want," in August, and arguing that "A new Republican Leader in the Senate should be picked immediately!"

"Why do Republican Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard-working Republican candidates for the United States Senate?" Trump wrote on his social media platform Saturday. "This is such an affront to honor and to leadership. He should spend more time (and money!) helping them get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!"

RELATED: Trump Insults His Former Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao and Her Husband, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell

But Trump has also been accused of inciting violence in the past, with some of his supporters often taking his threats literally.

During a presidential debate in October 2020, Trump not only refused to denounce white supremacists, but he implored the Proud Boys, a far-right fringe group associated with violence, to "stand back and stand by" — a message some said seemed to be an endorsement.

After the president's comment, the group — which is designated as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center — immediately celebrated.

"YES SIR, PROUD BOYS STANDING BY," the group posted to its Parler account, a conservative social media app.

An hour later, the group posted its black-and-yellow logo with the words "STAND BY" plastered around its crest.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer.

Later, just one week before he was set to leave office after losing both the electoral and popular votes, Trump spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally near the U.S. Capitol, imploring his supporters to "fight like Hell" to ensure the results were overturned in his favor.

Within hours, a large group of his supporters breached the Capitol building in what would become a deadly scene as they beat police officers and forced the evacuation of even Trump's own vice president. In the end, the results were not overturned for Trump, and more than 900 people were arrested.

Even after leaving office, Trump has continued to share often inflammatory rhetoric, such as when he slammed the FBI for executing a search warrant at his Palm Beach home. Shortly after, one of his supporters (reportedly a prolific poster on Trump's Truth Social) died in a shootout after trying to breach an FBI building in Ohio.

"If you don't hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I." the man wrote on Truth Social before his death.