Jeff Stein, the editor-in-chief of SpyTalk, took to Twitter on Wednesday to accuse Donald Trump of fueling the recent political plots against Democratic politicians.
“Trump’s giving cover to rightwing nutballs who want to murder Democrats,” he tweeted.
The comment was in response to The New York Times report on the arrest of James Dale Reed, who is accused of threatening to kidnap and murder Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris. Some social media users responded to the article with sentiments that echoed Stein.
“Remember how Trump encouraged his supporters to go to the voting places — to police them essentially?” one tweeted.
“Trump’s pushing too much hate! He should be held accountable for this! It’s criminal!” another wrote.
“When we have a president* who pushes to lock up his political opponents, kidnapping is the next ‘logical’ step from the right wing,” a third user chimed in.
Another person paralleled the attack with Trump’s presidential debate comments on the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys, which were interpreted by the group as approval.
“Was this Maryland man ‘standing by’ waiting for the command?” they wrote.
Although Trump later walked back his remarks to the Proud Boys — “stand back and stand by” — the group appeared to take them as orders, National Post reported. The president also received criticism for not offering a more forceful condemnation of white supremacists. Notably, Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, claimed that Trump should have been “very clear” in his opposition to both far-right and far-left militants.
The news of the recent kidnapping and murder threat comes nearly two weeks after a plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was foiled by the FBI. After the story, some — including Whitmer and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — accused the president of encouraging such attacks with his rhetoric.
As The Inquisitr reported, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes accused Trump of admitting to ordering the assassination of a U.S. citizen for the president’s comments on the killing of self-described antifa supporter Michael Reinoehl at the hands of federal marshals. Reporting from The New York Times suggested that the majority of eyewitnesses did not hear officers identify themselves before gunning down Reinoehl, which has fueled speculation that he was targeted and killed by federal agents.
Others have pointed to the death of Aaron “Jay” Danielson at the hands of Reinoehl as an example of left-wing rhetoric fueling violence against people on the political right.