The Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed in a new affidavit that the ringleader of a group that plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had also wanted to attack other politicians — including President Donald Trump, The Detroit News reported. The affidavit included details about the social media accounts of Barry Croft, one of six men charged in federal court for the conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and kill any police officers protecting her.
The accounts were filled with vitriol against a number of political figures and often included violent imagery, including nooses. Croft espoused some bigoted views as well, particularly against Muslims.
Though it was previously believed that Croft and his companions had only targeted Whitmer, the new information revealed that the group had several public figures in its sights. Much of this ire was rooted in a distrust of the United States government in general, and officials from both sides of the aisle received their share of attention. In one post, Croft said that he wanted to “hang” Trump. Another upload revealed plans to kill South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican.
However, liberal politicians were more often the focus, with intense hatred aimed at Democratic figures such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Which governor is going to end up dragged off and hung for treason first? It’s really a spin the bottle match at this point, and I’m sure a few mayors are in the running,” read one update on Croft’s Facebook.
“It certainly looks like what you would expect from a typical anti-government extremist ideology where, to them, anyone who represents the government is inherently a bad actor and someone acting in bad faith,” said Jon Lewis, a researcher who studies extremism.
Croft’s distrust of the government did not just include those in the political sphere. In fact, authorities were first warned about the group because of an alleged plot to assassinate police officers.
“At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plans to target and kill police officers, and that person agreed to become a (confidential human source),” the affidavit explained.
Croft and his five co-plotters have been charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Fourteen others have been charged with crimes in state and federal courts in connection to the plans.
As was previously covered by The Inquisitr, the president has faced criticism from the media over the foiled kidnapping, with some claiming that he had fueled the flames of violence.