Trump slams FBI for investigating Texas MAGA convoy that ‘ambushed’ Biden bus
President Donald Trump has doubled down on his support for a convoy of MAGA fans accused of trying to run a Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas.
Trump weighed in on Twitter on Sunday night, after the FBI confirmed that it had opened an investigation into the confrontation between the 50-strong convoy and the Biden bus on Friday afternoon on Interstate 35 in Hays County, Texas.
‘In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong,’ the president wrote. ‘Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!’
Trump had previously indicated his support for the convoy on Saturday by tweeting a video of MAGA flag-flying cars surrounding the Biden bus as it made its way down the highway, writing: ‘I LOVE TEXAS.’
Other videos shared on social media painted a more dangerous portrait of the confrontation, showing cars driving perilously close to the bus and at one point even running into a Biden staff member’s car.
The confrontation resulted in Democrats cancelling three scheduled events in the state – which is considered a battleground amid a surge in early-voting.
Joe Biden attacked Trump’s support for the convoy participants between campaign stops in Philadelphia on Sunday, saying: ‘We’ve never had anything like this. At least we’ve never had a president who thinks it’s a good thing.’
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President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for a convoy of MAGA fans accused of trying to run a Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas in a tweet on Sunday night after the FBI confirmed it is investigating the incident
Video showed dozens of cars flying MAGA flags flanking the Biden bus on Interstate 35 in Texas on Friday afternoon
Cars in the pro-Trump convoy were seen driving perilously close to the Biden campaign bus. A Biden campaign staffer said the cars had slowed down in front of the Biden bus, attempting to either stop it or run the bus off the road
Biden campaign staffers eventually called police, who helped the bus reach its destination
Trump had previously indicated his support for the 50-strong Trump convoy on Saturday by tweeting a video of MAGA flag-flying cars surrounding the Biden bus as it made its way down the highway, writing: ‘I LOVE TEXAS’
Biden’s campaign had planned to hold multiple events in Texas over the weekend as part of its effort to shore up support there before the election.
But, as the Biden bus and supporters drove through the state, traveling from Loredo, to San Antonio and Austin, they were met by convoys of Trump supporters who harassed them, as seen in several viral videos.
One of the videos – tweeted by Trump – allegedly showed a convoy trying to run the Biden bus off the road near San Marcos.
The video was scored by Tech N9ne’s song Red Kingdom and showed multiple Trump flag-flying trucks driving very close to the Biden, as if escorting it, as they all barreled down the highway.
Joe Biden attacked Trump’s support for the convoy participants between campaign stops in Philadelphia on Sunday, saying: ‘We’ve never had anything like this. At least we’ve never had a president who thinks it’s a good thing’
A Biden campaign staffer told The Daily Beast that the Trump supporters seen in that video had slowed down in front of the Biden bus, attempting to either stop it or run the bus off the road.
Staffers eventually called police, who helped the Biden bus reach its destination.
Historian Dr Eric Cervini, who said he flew down to Texas to help with the Biden campaign’s bus tour, tweeted several videos of the confrontation, including one which showed the convoy waiting on the side of the highway before the bus passed.
‘See all these pickup trucks with Trump flags? They were sitting along I-35, waiting to ambush the Biden/Harris campaign bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin,’ Cervini wrote.
‘These Trump supporters, many of whom were armed, surrounded the bus on the interstate and attempted to drive it off the road.’
Cervini said he spent much of the day on the phone with 911 operators trying to ensure safe passage for the bus.
‘[The convoy] outnumbered police 50-1, and they ended up hitting a staffer’s car,’ he wrote.
‘The police refused to help. When I flagged down one officer, he said his hands were tied: “not my jurisdiction.”
‘Understandably, though nobody was hurt, the rest of the tour was cancelled.’
Video showed the pro-Trump convoy waiting on the side of a highway before it swarmed a Biden campaign bus
At least 50 vehicles waving MAGA flags were seen on the shoulder of Interstate 35 in Hays County on Friday afternoon
Dr Eric Cervini, who said he flew down to Texas to help with the Biden campaign’s bus tour, described the highway ‘ambush’ in a Twitter thread
Video showed a Biden campaign staffer’s car (white on the left) colliding with a Trump supporter’s black truck behind the Biden campaign bus
A Biden staffer shared a photo (above) of the damaged car after it collided with a Trump truck
A Biden staffer also posted pictures of Trump supporters heckling the Biden bus at a pitstop
Trump referenced the MAGA convoy in Texas during his rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday while talking about how his supporters have been showing up to Biden’s drive-in rallies.
Trump asked the crowd if they saw pictures of the Texas incident and then said: ‘What a group.’ He added: ‘It’s like a hot thing … really No. 1 trending.’
It’s unclear from Trump’s tweet and rally comments if he was aware of other social media videos, some of which showed his supporters shouting at Biden staffers.
Another video showed a Trump supporter’s truck and a Biden staffer’s car colliding as they drove down the highway.
Trump referenced the MAGA convoy in Texas during his rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday (pictured), saying: ‘What a group’
A viral video shot by a woman on the highway with the Biden bus showed a different angle on the Trump supporter convoy than the one that Trump tweeted.
At one point in her video, a white car, later identified as belonging to a Biden staffer, was seen colliding with a black truck that was closely tailing the Biden bus.
Video shows the truck pushing against the white car, forcing it over the lane line.
Texas Rep Rafael Anchia tweeted pictures of the Biden bus next to a hearse covered in Trump campaign flags, writing: ‘Armed Trump trolls harassing Biden Bus on I-35, ramming volunteer vehicles & blocking traffic for 40 mins.’
Other videos and photos showed Trump supporters heckling the Biden bus – calling the Democrat’s supporters communists – as it pulled out of a rest stop.
Texas Rep Sheryl Cole tweeted Friday: ‘This is a 1st for me – but we just cancelled a joint event in Pflugerville w/@JoeBiden campaign, @AustinYoungDems, & more, due to security reasons. Unfortunately, Pro-Trump Protestors have escalated well beyond safe limits.’
The Biden campaign’s Texas communications director, Tariq Thowfeek, also condemned the convoy.
‘Rather than engage in productive conversation about the drastically different visions that Joe Biden and Donald Trump have for our country, Trump supporters in Texas today instead decided to put our staff, surrogates, supporters, and others in harm’s way,’ Thowfeek told The Daily Beast.
The Texas Tribune reported that several police departments received calls for help from the Biden staffers as they were being followed by the Trump convoy.
The New Braunfels police were said to have provided an escort for the Biden bus as it traveled through their jurisdiction. While the police were there, the Trump supporters were said to have fallen back behind the police escort cruisers.
New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno said in a statement to the newspaper that police ‘did not observe any traffic violations’ at the time.
A San Marcos spokesperson told the newspaper that police were called, asking for an escort by the Biden campaign, but that traffic kept the officers from reaching the bus before it exited the city.
Police said that they were not able to speak with either the Biden staffer or the driver of the Trump truck that collided with each other in the video, so they have not been able to determine which party was responsible for the incident.
Friday’s Biden bus incident came two days after the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, was filmed encouraging Trump supporters in Loredo to interrupt an event vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was holding on Friday in McAllen.
‘It’d be great if you all get together and head down to McAllen and give Kamala Harris a nice Trump rain welcome,’ Don Jr said. ‘Get out there, have some fun, enjoy it.’
He wrapped up the message by saying: ‘Let’s show them how strong Texas still is as Trump country.’
Harris was traveling on a different bus than the Biden campaign bus that appeared in the viral videos.
Texas has become a highly contested state in the 2020 Presidential Election, as the state has been shattering voting records.
As of Sunday, more than 9.7 million people have voted early in the state, meaning the number of early voters has already surpassed Texas’s total number of voters during the 2016 election.
An independent, nonpartisan poll conducted by UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion revealed Thursday that Trump has the support of 48 percent of likely Texas voters, while Biden is at 47 percent.