Last week, a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard was arrested on gun and drug charges after investigators determined he sought to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”
According to a detention memo filed by prosecutors in Silver Spring, Maryland—a suburb of the nation’s capital—Christopher Paul Hasson “is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.”
Hasson “conducted online searches and made thousands of visits for pro-Russian, neo-fascist, and neo-Nazi literature,” the document alleges.
Investigators say Hasson “compiled a list of prominent Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities.”
Last month, Hasson performed the following Google searches after organizing his hit list:
8:54 a.m.: “what if trump illegally impeached”
8:57 a.m.: “best place in dc to see congress people”
8:58 a.m.: “where in dc to congress live”
10:39 a.m.: “civil war if trump impeached”
11:26 a.m.: “social democrats usa”
One of Hasson’s targets was MSNBC host and former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, a stalwart critic of President Donald Trump.
On Thursday morning, Scarborough said Trump is responsible for the recent plots against journalists and political operatives.
“We’ve seen people who are unhinged… who listen to conspiracy theories that are fanned by the president and his supporters,” Scarborough said, “and then you have the president of the United States instead of tamping down these conspiracy theories, actually stirring them up.”
“This is pretty simple. It’s all on the president’s shoulders. It’s all the president’s fault, and he sits there with his mouth shut, for once in his life, doesn’t say anything, doesn’t tweet anything, which, of course, makes it even more on him.”
Scarborough accused Trump of being an “autocrat in training” for using “Stalinist phrases like ‘enemies of the people’ that only tyrants have used in the past,” which is the president’s favorite line of attack against negative media coverage. The New York Times is a frequent subject of Trump’s ire.
On Wednesday morning, shortly before the Hasson story broke, Trump tweeted:
“The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
Scarborough believes this is no coincidence.
“He writes that in the morning and in the afternoon we have this conspiracy to actually kill top Democratic lawmakers who oppose Donald Trump and journalists who dare to report the truth about Donald Trump,” said Scarborough.
Scarborough assailed Trump for having not uttered a single word in support of law enforcement or condemning the actions and intent of Hasson and those like him.
Scarborough is far from alone in his concern over the potential consequences of Trump’s words.
Absolutely what is happening is his fault…
— Margs (@margs50) February 21, 2019
I agree with Joe. The president is out of control with his hateful rhetoric. It is time Twitter starts to censor his hateful tweets.
— Alan R Dyer (@dyeralan1) February 21, 2019
He’s 100% correct!
— ralph gargaro (@RalphGargaro) February 21, 2019
— ispeaksmymind (@john_lisovitch) February 21, 2019
Happy the joe Scarborough Isn’t afraid to speak out this president is a danger to Americans
— BARBARA BRUST (@SMART1MOM) February 21, 2019
Everyone on TV should be making the connection to tRump. People died and will continue to die because of his rhetoric.
— May Cope (@CopeMay) February 21, 2019
An armed white supremacist terrorist searched for where @JoeNBC lived after reading a headline in which Scarborough criticized Trump. We should be shocked that we’re not shocked – and appalled at what’s being stirred up in our country. https://t.co/Xjc3HDMq5l
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) February 21, 2019
Others pointed out that Trump’s demand for a border wall with Mexico would do nothing to curb the resurgence of violent white nationalism, which has spiked under Trump.