MSNBC Guest on White Trump Supporters: No Negotiation, Just ‘Destroy Them’

August 14, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

Elie Mystal, executive editor of, while on a MSNBC’s talk show yesterday used forceful rhetoric to talk about supporters of President Donald Trump.

MSNBC host Joy Reid, a frequent critic of Trump, asked her panel how to communicate with people who are “drugged by” their support for the president. “How do you communicate with people … who are already anesthetized by it?”

“You don’t communicate it to them,” Mystal responded, “you beat them! You beat them!”

“They are not a majority of this country,” he continued. “The majority of white people in this country are not a majority of the country. And all the people who are not fooled by this need to come together, go to the polls, go to the protests, do whatever you have to do. You do not negotiate with these people, you destroy them.”

Reid appeared to realize the Mystal’s forceful comments could be taken as inciting violence, so she quickly interjected: “The black man said ‘beat them,’ meaning in an election,” she said as Mystal added “figuratively.”

This is not the first time Mystal has made such comments. Last Thursday, again as a guest on MSNBC, but this time on the show, “All in with Chris Hayes,” he made aggressive statements saying there should be “pitch forks and torches” outside the South Hampton home of Equinox and Soul Cycle chairman Stephen Ross for hosting a fundraiser for the president there last weekend.

“I have no problem with shining the light back on the donors who fund this kind of racialized hate,” he said. “I go further, I want pitch forks and torches outside this man’s house in the Hamptons.”

“I’ve been to the Hamptons, it’s very nice,” he continued. “There’s no reason it has to be. There’s no reason he should be able to have a nice little party. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to be outside of his house and making their voices peacefully understood.”

In a statement last Thursday, Ross said, “I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.”

Dangerous Rhetoric

This type of rhetoric from the left-leaning pundits and politicians toward Trump, his supporters, and even Republicans is nothing new.

In June 2018, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told a crowd in Los Angeles, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder in October last year, urged fellow supporters at a campaign event for Democrat candidates to abandon former First Lady Michelle Obama’s previous calls for civility, namely, “When they go low, we go high.”

“No,” said Holder said after invoking her words. “When they go low, we kick ’em.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during her presidential campaign, called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” After losing the 2016 presidential election to Trump, she ratcheted up the rhetoric in an interview with CNN, just days before Holder’s remarks.

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” she said during the Oct. 9, 2018, segment.

Meanwhile, in a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized Clinton’s comments to CNN.

“The far-left mob is not letting up. Earlier today, former Secretary of State Clinton sent this signal as clear as day,” McConnell said. “She told CNN exactly how she views millions of Americans who hold different political views from her own.”

Over the same period, there was an increase in reports of public harassment of White House officials.

Political violence

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was the victim of a politically motivated shooting at a Republican baseball practice session in 2017 by a Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson. Scalise was hospitalized with severe injuries to his hip, left leg, and lower organs.

“As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country. I refuse to stand for this and I will continue to call for an end to it,” he wrote in a 2018 Op Ed.

Scalise pleaded with Democrats to condemn these dangerous actions, instead of promoting them. He said that for change to happen, leaders of the party must be the first to move.

“In America, we win battles at the ballot box, not through mob rule or intimidation. While it’s clear many Democrats refuse to accept the election of President Trump, if they want change, they need to convince people with their ideas and actually win elections, rather than call for violent resistance, harassment, and mob rule.”

Bowen Xiao Contributed to this report