- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2020

One of the suspects in a plot to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is an anarchist who called President Trump an “enemy” and a “tyrant.”

Social-media posts by Brandon Caserta — who faces 19 felony charges, including state terrorism counts — show the man excoriating Mr. Trump while sitting in front of an anarchist flag.

“Trump is not your friend, dude. And it amazes me that people actually believe that when he’s shown over and over and over again that he’s a tyrant,” the suspect says. “Every single person that works for government is your enemy, dude.”

The video, first reported by director Robby Starbuck, prompted him to question the media’s integrity.

“Why did it take me to pull all these videos to give people access to the truth about the ideology these guys have?” he tweeted Thursday. “It says a lot about the state of journalism that a director/producer had to dig these clips up because we all know we can’t trust mainstream news to do their job.”

Mr. Starbuck’s comments came against a political backdrop in which Ms. Whitmer claimed the president’s behavior served as a “rallying cry” for militia groups.

“Hate groups heard the president’s words [during the presidential debate] not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” she said. “When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit.”

Joseph R. Biden echoed her message by telling reporters “the words of a president matter.”

“There is no place for hate in America, and both of us have been talking about this for some time, about how these white supremacists and these militias are a genuine threat,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Trump responded with disgust.

“My Justice Department and federal law enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist — while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, anarchists, looters and mobs that burn down Democrat run cities,” he tweeted.

Federal prosecutors charged six members of “The Wolverine Watchmen” in total with conspiring to kidnap the governor.

Convictions for the suspects could garner them life sentences in prison.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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