Trump: ‘There will be a bloodbath and no more elections if I lose.’
Republican presidential candidate former US president Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio. At that rally he claimed there would be a "bloodbath" if he loses the election. | Jeff Dean/AP

VANDALIA, Ohio—Donald Trump has gone further off the deep end than ever with declarations he made this weekend and by changing long-held positions he has held in exchange for huge cash handouts from a variety of billionaires.

“Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath,” Trump declared at a March 16 campaign rally in Vandalia, Ohio, a Dayton suburb, for Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Bernie Moreno, a right-wing Trumpite corporate executive whom Trump endorsed for the nomination in the upcoming GOP primary.

“That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country…I don’t think you’re going to have another election in this country, if we don’t win this election…certainly not an election that’s meaningful,” Trump continued.

What Trump didn’t say is that what he predicts if he loses is what analysts and political scientists say—looking at Trump’s plans for “Project 2025” and comments from key advisers—will occur if he wins: A bloodbath of revenge against Trump political enemies and a trashing of the U.S. Constitution, especially on elections.

Trump laced his speech with flaming rhetoric and outright lies. One prime one: Stirring up hatred of Muslims by repeating his canard about “Barack Hussein Obama,” implying his predecessor is a Muslim.

“You know what’s interesting? Joe Biden won against Barack Hussein Obama. Has anyone ever heard of him? Every swing state, Biden beat Obama but in every other state, he got killed,” Trump also told the Vandalia, Ohio crowd.

Trump’s bloodbath comment produced immediate pushback, from Trump’s own former Vice President, Mike Pence, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and from Biden, who beat Trump in the 2020 run for the White House.

Pence pointed out that Trump incited the fatal Jan. 6, 2021, Trumpite invasion, insurrection, and coup d’état try at the U.S. Capitol to stop the electoral vote count that confirmed Biden’s victory the previous November.

The insurrectionists also erected a hangman’s noose on the Capitol lawn and hunted, unsuccessfully, for Pence and Pelosi, whom police hustled away to secure sites. They chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” after Pence refused to nullify Biden’s wins in Electoral College swing states, and yelled “Where’s Nancy?” as they roamed the Capitol’s corridors, brandishing weapons and a Confederate flag.

Five police officers died as a result of the invasion. In the same Vandalia, Ohio, speech, Trump called jailed invaders “hostages.” He’s previously called them “patriots” and vowed, when elected, to pardon them all on his first day in office. Still, despite his criticism, Pence said he’ll vote for neither Biden nor Trump this fall.

But given the Trumpites’ fanaticism, shown that January day, Trump may be right in predicting another bloodbath if he loses this election, too, to Biden. Both now have enough convention delegates to be their parties’ nominees this year.

Biden had his own take on Trump’s comments, though as usual, he didn’t use Trump’s name.

Speaking at the Gridiron Club dinner—an annual “roast” of politicians by “establishment” journalists where pols usually give humor-filled speeches—Biden drew laughs at Trump before turning serious.

“Of course, the big news this week is two candidates clinched their parties’ nomination for president. One candidate is too old and mentally unfit to be president. The other is me,” Biden said.

“Look, I’m running against the same guy that I beat in 2020. But don’t tell him. He thinks he’s running against Barack Obama. That’s what he said,” to more laughter. Biden, of course, was Obama’s VP.

“In the coming months, Kamala”—Vice President Harris—“and I will be making the case how Americans are better off than four years ago, how we got so much through the pandemic, turned around the economy, reestablished America’s leadership in the world. All without encouraging the American people to inject bleach,” one of Trump’s recommended cures for the coronavirus.

“All without destroying the economy, embarrassing us around the world, or itching for insurrection.”

Pence denounced Trump’s characterization of the invaders as hostages.

“We just have to win this election, because he’s even predicting a bloodbath,” Pelosi said. “What does that mean, he’s going to exact a bloodbath? There’s something wrong here.” Reiterating her respect for all Americans “and their goodness,” Pelosi asked, “How much more do they have to see from him to understand that this isn’t what our country is about?”

Trump and his top allies have also returned to using his name as a cash cow for questionable foreign deals. The latest to land in financial hot water—again—is Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Kushner received a free 99-year lease from the Serbian government on vacant land in Belgrade, the capital, to build a $500 million combination hotel-apartment-museum complex on land that is now a public memorial, the New York Tunes reported after receiving a copy of the lease.

The site was the Serbian Ministry of Defense, destroyed by NATO bombing during the Serbian-Bosnian war in 1999. Serbia would get 22% of the profits from the project. Serbian opposition parliamentarians denounced the Kushner deal as violating the memory of people slaughtered in the NATO bombing. A check of websites of good-government and public-interest groups in D.C. produced no reaction yet to Kushner’s freebie Serbian lease deal.

“The concern is the Serbian government may attempt to influence a future President Trump by enriching the president’s family,” Washington University law and ethics professor Kathleen Clark told the Times. “Foreign policy toward Serbia should be influenced by what is in the United States’ interests, not any financial favors coming from the Serbian government.”

That’s also a Trump pattern. When the federal General Services Administration gave Trump’s real estate company a lease on D.C.’s Old Post Office Building just blocks from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, he turned it into a money-losing luxury hotel. The lease was challenged in court, unsuccessfully, as both a sweetheart deal and a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Hotel clients included Republican bigwigs, party and right-wingers’ meetings, and foreign governments eager to curry favor with the Trump regime, despite average room prices of $800 nightly. After Trump left the White House, his company unloaded the hotel.

Kushner’s Serbian deal is on top of the $2 billion in “seed money” which Kushner’s investment firm set up while he was in the White House. He got the money from Saudi Crown Prince—and dictator–Mohammed bin Salman. The money was channeled to Kushner via the Salman-controlled Saudi sovereign investment fund, financed by oil revenues.

Trump, meanwhile, has already more than confirmed that a second Trump administration will, in addition to ushering in a fascist nightmare, become a cash cow for him.

Already he is selling positions on major issues to the highest bidder for those willing to take the chance that he will be elected.

For years Trump joined right wingers in calling for a boycott of Bud Light, one of the nation’s iconic beers after the company ran ads that the right wing said endorsed the LGBTQ lifestyle. When a top executive of the company recently threw a $16,000 a plate fundraiser for Trump, who is using all those campaign funds to pay his legal bills, Trump said the company deserved a “second chance” and he reversed his support for the boycott.

When Trump was president he called for the banning of TikTok but again, when a top shareholder in that company promised him billions of dollars for his legal defense fund he reversed that position too. He is now calling for an end to attacks on the social media giant.

During the Republican primaries, he attacked his GOP opponents for favoring cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Following other contributions from wealthy right wingers he is now saying that he will “look into” how Social Security and Medicare can be cut.

You can almost hear the ringing of an old-fashioned cash register followed by the popping open of the cash draw and the placement into it of more money by Trump as he cashes in during a second Trump administration. Each time he rings up the money, another wealthy lobbyist gets Trump’s support for another issue they hold near and dear. The cash register is already ringing out of control.

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Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.