When President Donald Trump lobbed the threat of civil war on Twitter late last month, he became the first sitting president to ever hint at potential fratricide if he’s removed via impeachment – an implication as deafening as it was disgusting.
Stewart Rhodes, though, had a different take. For those unfamiliar, Rhodes is the gruff head of the Oath Keepers – a militia made up largely of current and former law enforcement officials and military veterans, perhaps best known for the all-white contingent it sent to provide “security” for a rally in Ferguson in 2015. Now, the Oath Keepers are calling for volunteers to protect Trump supporters—including at the president’s rally Thursday evening in Minnesota.
Rhodes has maintained a relatively low profile recently, as has the broader militia movement, which saw an unprecedented spike under the Obama administration. But that doesn’t mean America’s militia movement has gone dormant since its groups maintained an outsized presence at the deadly 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, claiming they were simply there to try and keep the peace.