Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Deadline,” MSNBC’s Jason Johnson accused President Donald Trump of “raising an illegal white nationalist terrorist army” to intimidate voters at the polls.
Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “I think what the foiled plot against Gretchen Whitmer maybe makes real is that the tweets are acted upon sometimes. Whether they’re cause and effect, I think that’s a question only law enforcement can answer, but there are dots that can be connected between the things he says and the things bad people do. I want to read you this from Politico. ‘Trump campaign ready to unleash thousands of poll watchers on election day. The campaign has established what it says is a 50,000 plus army of volunteer observers across an array of battleground states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania where operations are already underway. Poll watchers monitor everything from voting machines to the processing of ballots to checking voter ID. They’re not permitted to interact directly with voters, but they can relay problems to local election officials or campaign higher-ups.’ Now there is sort of a civic piece of poll watchers and some history of it, but that is not the vain in which Donald Trump is talking about a 50,000-plus army, is it?”
Johnson said, “No, no, and that’s very much connected to what we saw in Michigan this week. The president is raising an illegal white nationalist terrorist army that he wants to go out there and intimidate people, so we have both the legal and the extra-legal. From the legal standpoint, we see things like what just happened in Wisconsin where the Milwaukee Bucks had actually agreed with NBA players to turn their arena into a polling station that will be useful during the pandemic, and then they had to shut it down because Republicans said, ‘Well it’s technically past the deadline so any ballots that are in that location if you vote there, will invalidate everything at that polling station.’”
“We will see wholesale attempts to invalidate where people have voted by the hundreds and thousands,” Johnson continued. “Then you’ve got militia poll workers going out there. Here’s what’s key about what happened this week. It’s not just that Gretchen Whitmer was obviously protected, and this plot was foiled, but it’s intimidating local people, intimidating a county commissioner, it’s intimidating a local election official. The fact that you’ve got these white nationalist groups—Gretchen Whitmer has a lot of protection that your local board is not going to have. If someone throws a molotov cocktail into my house, and I live in Maricopa County, Arizona, I may not go to work the next day, or I may be intimidated into not making the right decision.”
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