Trump Warns of “Dangerous Fruit” in Sworn Deposition

“You can get killed with those things.”

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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A looming recession, rising Covid cases, war in Ukraine.

It can certainly feel as though anxiety is baked into every bit of life these days. But our collective uneasiness seems to have missed a more mundane source of true danger: evil fruit. The stuff is downright lethal, according to Donald J. Trump, particularly when hurled at you. 

“You can get killed with those things,” Trump said in a sworn deposition responding to protesters who allege that Trump’s security team had assaulted them outside of Trump Tower in 2015.

When a lawyer representing the protesters asked if Trump recalled once instructing his supporters to “knock the crap” out of anyone they spotted “getting ready to throw a tomato,” the former president said that yes he did, but was only partially serious. (You can  imagine the relief from Trump’s lawyers here.) But when it came down to it, Trump insisted that a flying tomato does indeed justify the use of physical force: “To stop somebody from throwing pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, stuff like that, yeah,” he said.

More from Trump on killer fruit from the deposition’s transcript, which was made public on Tuesday:

“It’s very dangerous stuff. You can get killed with those things… I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit. And some fruit is a lot worse than—tomatoes are bad by the way. But it’s very dangerous… they were going to hit—they were going to hit very hard.

A fear of fruit isn’t exactly a surprise from a man who identifies germs, sharks, windmills, and stairs as sources of trouble. It’s the stuff he isn’t worried about—climate change, hydroxychloroquine, Vladimir Putin, the future of democracy itself—that give me real pause.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

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