Musician Ted Nugent encouraged a crowd of former Republican President Donald Trump's supporters to go "berserk on the skulls of the Democrats," a suggestion that prompted many to condemn him for calling for violence.
Nugent made his remarks during a rally Trump held as part of his “American Freedom Tour” in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 14. At the time, an estimated 8,000 people were present at the rally.
Speaking on stage, he promoted conspiracies about the integrity of the 2020 general election, regurgitating many of the lies that prompted Trump's supporters to attack the United States Capitol in January 2021 on the false premise that the election had been stolen. That MAGA act of violence resulted in 5 deaths, over 100 law enforcement injuries and millions of dollars in damages.
You can hear what Nugent said in the video below.
Nugent urged his audience to "think about what the enemies of America have done in the last 14 months," adding:
"They didn’t sneak into the White House — they lied, they cheated, they scammed, and every day the Democrats violate their sacred oath to the Constitution."
"And if you can’t impress your friends on that, they shouldn’t be your friends."
“So I love you people madly but I’d love you more if you went forward and just went berserk on the skulls of the Democrats and the Marxists and the Communists.”
Although Nugent's remarks received loud cheers from rally attendees, many who've listened to video clips of him speaking at the event have condemned him and accused him of promoting violence.
Nugent has long been a fixture at Trump rallies and counts himself among the former President's more devoted followers. He has made statements critical of former Democratic President Barack Obama that were perceived as threatening and that led to him being the subject of an investigation by the Secret Service.
Although he initially supported Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries, he eventually switched his allegiances and endorsed Trump, whom he visited at the White House when Trump was in the executive office.