Trump Doesn’t Really Mean It About the Riots?

Well, you can relax. It turns out that when Donald Trump said there would be riots in Cleveland if he is denied the nomination, he was only speaking figuratively. So says the Republican National Committee’s chief strategist and spokesman, Sean Spicer:

“Well first of all, I assume he’s speaking figuratively,” Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman, told CNN. “I think if we go into a convention, whoever gets 1,237 delegates becomes the nominee. It’s plain and simple.”

CNN host Carol Costello pushed back, remarking that she did not think Trump was speaking figuratively when he told the network’s morning show that in the event he comes up short of the nomination, “I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots.”

Spicer disputed the assessment, remarking, “It’s the left, and the people on the left that have disrupted events are trying to go in and undermine people’s First Amendment rights,” a possible allusion to protesters supporting Bernie Sanders who forced the cancellation of Trump’s rally in Chicago last Friday.

Given the definition of figuratively, we have to assume that Spicer doesn’t believe Trump meant it when he said that there would be riots. Maybe he thinks whatever fisticuffs occur among foaming-mad delegates won’t rise to the level where the term “riot” would “literally” apply.

If Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot, the question will be whether the riot occurs right then and there in an effort to intimidate those intriguing against him, or if the riot only breaks out after Trump has been outmaneuvered and sidelined.

I’m pretty sure that it will prove impossible to have a “plain and simple” second ballot vote, but the aftermath is sure to be messy if Trump is denied. Will Trump’s delegates file peacefully out of the convention hall in protest? Will Trump take to the podium and promise to pay their legal fees if they assault opposing delegates?

It’s not going to be orderly. I’m sure of that.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.