President Trump tweeted ‘I LOVE TEXAS’ the day after footage of Central Texas Trump supporters harassing a Biden campaign bus and ‘running’ it out of town went viral.
The incident, which occurred Friday on I-35 in Hays County, Texas, resulted in Democrats canceling three scheduled events in the state and has now prompted the FBI to launch an investigation into what happened, the Texas Tribune reported.
With Texas turning into a battleground state, Joe Biden‘s campaign had planned to hold multiple events in the state 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 and also allegedly tried to run the Biden bus off the road near San Marcos, Texas.
Trump tweeted a video of Trump supporters surrounding a Biden campaign bus as they drove down a Texas highway and noted that he loved Texas
Video taken from a different angle showed the Trump supporters’ cars – with flags on them – very closely surrounding a Biden campaign bus on Friday
The video captured the moment when a Biden campaign staffer’s car got into a scrape with a Trump supporter’s truck, which nudged it over the lane line
On Saturday evening, Trump tweeted a video of the MAGA convoy surrounding the Biden bus and wrote, ‘I LOVE TEXAS.’
The video was scored by Tech N9ne’s ‘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.
During his rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Saturday, Trump also made reference to the Texas MAGA convoy, 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’ and noted that ‘it’s like a hot thing.’ He added that it’s ‘really No. 1 trending.’
It’s unclear from Trump’s tweet and rally comments if he was aware of other social media videos, which showed his supporters shouting at Biden staffers or of the clip which showed a Trump supporter’s truck and a Biden staffer’s car colliding as they drove down the highway.
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, can be 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 out pictures of the Biden bus next to a hearse covered in Trump campaign flags, noting that: ‘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.
One Biden supporter tweeted about the experience.
Trump made reference to the Texas MAGA convoy during a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday. He’s shown here at a campaign stop in Butler, Pennsylvania
A Biden staffer posted pictures of Trump supporters heckling the Biden bus at a pitstop (left) and the damage caused after a staffer’s car was hit by a Trump supporter’s truck (right)
‘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,’ wrote historian Dr. Eric Cervini in a tweet accompanying a video of a Trump convey.
‘These Trump supporters, many of whom were armed, surrounded the bus on the interstate and attempted to drive it off the road. They outnumbered police 50-1, and they ended up hitting a staffer’s car.’
A Biden campaign staffer told The Daily Beast that the Trump supporters seen in the highway video around the Biden bus had slowed down in front of it, attempting to either stop it or run the bus off the road.
Staffers eventually called police, who helped the Biden bus reach its destination.
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.’
‘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,’ the Biden campaign’s Texas communications director, Tariq 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 a video Donald Trump Jr. made was posted on social media. In the clip, he encouraged Trump supporters in Loredo, to descend upon an event vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was holding in McAllen, Texas on Friday.
‘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 Friday, more than nine 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 per cent of likely Texas voters, while Biden is at 47 per cent.