President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to accept any responsibility for inciting violence in American communities, dismissing critics who have pointed to his rhetoric as a potential source of inspiration for some citizens acting on even long-held beliefs of bigotry and hate.
"I think my rhetoric brings people together," he said last week, four days after a 21-year-old allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed online and then allegedly opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 and injuring dozens of others.
But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.
In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant's violent or threatening behavior.
Seven cases involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump's allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases -- 29 of the 36 -- reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.
ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.
The 36 cases identified by ABC News are remarkable in that a link to the president is captured in court documents and police statements, under the penalty of perjury or contempt.